GED Exam Surpasses 1 Million Adult Test Takers in 2001WASHINGTONMore than 1 million adults worldwide took one or more of the five GED Tests in 2001, a first in the program’s 60-year history, the General Educational Development (GED) Testing Service announced in a report released last month. Much of the increase resulted from the start of the 2002 GED Test Series on Jan. 1, 2002. Participants had until Dec. 31 to complete the old test series or start over with the new test series.“Who Took the GED? GED 2001 Statistical Report,” published by the American Council on Education (ACE) details the general characteristics and performance of GED candidates throughout North America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Data was collected from more than 3,300 GED Testing Centers around the world.A total of 1,069,899 adults in the United States, Canada and outlying jurisdictions took one or more of the GED Tests during the year ending Dec. 31, 2001, a 31.1 percent increase from 2000. (The United States total was 945,131, an increase of 31.6 percent.) Despite the dramatic increase, the more than 1 million who attempted to earn their high school credential by passing the GED Tests represents only 2 percent of the adult population without a high school diploma.Recognized in the United States and Canada by employers and institutions of higher learning, the GED Testing Program has served as a bridge to further education and employment opportunities for an estimated 15.4 million people.“GED candidates recognize the value of education in today’s society,” says David Ward, ACE President. “Two out of every three candidates who took the GED Tests last year indicated that they planned to pursue further education and training.” More than 95 percent of U.S. colleges and universities admit students with GED diplomas on the same basis as traditional high school graduates.Other relevant findings contained in the report:• More than half of those who took the GED Tests last year (52.7 percent) were between the ages of 20 and 39, up slightly over previous years. The average age increased six months from 24.7 years in 2000 to 25.2 years in 2001.• Candidates have a long involvement in traditional educational programs prior to taking the GED Tests. Two out of every three adults tested in 2001 (66.5 percent) reported completing the 10th grade or higher prior to leaving high school. One of every three adults (37.2 percent) reported completing the 11th or 12th grade prior to leaving high school.• The number of GED candidates who plan to pursue higher education after completing the test battery increased by almost 20 percentage points over the 14-year period of the 1988 GED Tests series (from 47.5 percent in 1988 to 65.5 percent in 2001).• In addition to the unprecedented numbers of candidates tested in 2001, the number of adults who were provided testing accommodations for disabilities also reached new heights. Worldwide, 15,782 adults received accommodations, an increase of 95.5 percent over the previous year.
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