If you're thinking about getting your General Educational Development diploma, also known as GEd, there are some major changes you should know about.
Region 9 's Adult Education Coordinator Octaviano Garza says Region 9's Education Service Center helps prepare people wanting to earn their GED.
Garza says due to changes in the test, those currently taking their GED have until the end of the year to pass or face a harsh reality.
"If they do not complete all five sections by the end of December, they will have to start over with the new version and take all the tests that they have completed over again," Garza says.
The five sections consists of: reading, writing, math, science and social studies but the new test will condense those into four sections.
In addition, the test will no longer be taken on paper.
The new test will be most computer based.
Changes Garza says are necessary.
"That's to keep up with the times and the rigor is going to be a little bit more rigorous to accomodate some of the market needs in the labor force because we're preparing people for internships, maybe to go onto college or a vocation," Garza says.
For students like Shelby Whitley, earning her GED this year means a lot.
"My parents have pushed me to do good in school and getting my GED will mean I actually accomplished something," Whitley says.
Lastly, Garza says the test can be passed in well under a year.
"There is still plenty of time even if they have not taken any of the tests, to come in, go through the orientation; we'll let them know where they stand and what they have to cover," Garza says.
If you would like to enroll into free GED preparation classes, Region 9 is having a GED orientation next week on January 14 - 16 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. or 6 - 9 p-m.
Students must attend all three days of orientation and bring their social security card, photo ID, paper, pen and pencil.
Region 9 is located at 301 Loop 11 or you can call (940) 322- 6928.