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ct-met-ged-dupage-c-0930-em-jpg-20130929A new version of the GED will be released next January that will invalidate past scores. This change and the fear of a more challenging exam have pushed more test takers to sign up for the test before the December 31 deadline, AP reports.

The new version of the GED eliminates the traditional paper and pencil test. Test takers will now have to take the exam by computer instead. It is also more rigorous and expensive; the new version will cost test takers $120 instead of $80 in most states. Exam officials say that the changes are being made to keep the test up to date with other college and career-ready examinations that have been adopted by several states.

Knowing that these changes are coming, states and local offices are calling people and mailing out letters, especially  to individuals who have passed parts of the exam but not all sections.

Executive Vice President at GED Testing Service Nicole Chestang told AP that the rush was expected. In 2001, the last year that an upgrade was made, there was a 30 percent increase in test takers towards year-end.

Some people have openly criticized the testing service’s changes, particularly over the price increases and computer adaptation because these are issues that directly impacts the poor. Some individuals still may not have access to a computer and may find taking the exam on one – a practice that is not adopted in traditional K-12 schooling – more difficult.

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