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The Gathering Place Blog

Adult Education Students Win By Choice

About 50 years ago, Colorado passed a law allowing people who had not earned a high school diploma to earn a high school equivalency certificate by passing a GED test. The law that identified the GED as the only high school equivalency test accepted by the state of Colorado was taken off the books. Then, the Colorado Department of Education entered into contract negotiations with vendors of two other exams. The result is that Colorado now accepts passing test scores for 3 high school equivalency tests: GED (General Equivalency Diploma), HiSET (High School Equivalency Test, and and TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion).

Each of these tests have different advantages and disadvantages, and each test may be a better fit for different students depending on the skills and goals of the student. One thing that all of the tests have in common is that they are based on the common core standards taught in high schools in Colorado. Fortunately, this allows classes to focus on the common core standards while different students within a class may choose different tests.

The common core standards can potentially offer the biggest challenge to older students who were not exposed to these standards in high school. However, the HiSet offers the option of a paper and pencil exam. Paper and pencil testing is very helpful for students who may be less comfortable with testing on a computer and it also creates opportunities for students and testing centers with limited resources who may not have access to computers.

It is expected that the TASC and the HiSet will begin to be offered this summer. No matter what test someone chooses, it is likely that choice and competition will benefit both testing centers and students.