The number of people passing the GED test in Arkansas is declining and people are pointing at the new test as the cause.
“It was more difficult than I'd say definitely high school,” student Emily Looper said.
Many people appear to have the same sentiments as Looper. Facilities around the state have seen the amount of people taking the test decline when the new exam appeared in 2014.
“The last semester of 2013, the fall semester of 2013, we had exactly 100 people pass the GED test,” said Steve Clayton, director of the Valley View Adult Education Center. “The first semester, the first 6 months of 2014, we had 7 people.”
In 2013, Craighead County had a 93% pass rate. This number dropped in 2014 to about 60%. Clayton said even though there are no studies done, the numbers show the test is more difficult to pass.
“There are no statistics yet that will incur it is more difficult,” Clayton said. “The numbers being fewer will tell the obvious that one of the variables is the test is more difficult.”
Students must first pass the GED Ready exam before they can take the actual GED test. Clayton said this pre-test is another reason why the numbers are down.
“In my opinion, there has been fewer test takers because of the difficulty of the Ready test,” Clayton said.
Looper is only partially done with her exam, but she has plans for the future.
“I want to go into animal sciences maybe be like a veterinarian or something like that,” Looper said.