By Leslie Haslam, Director of Exeter Adult Education, Leadership Seacoast Class of 2002

Did you know that in January, 2014, the current NH GED testing program will be phased out and replaced with a new high school equivalency test? Many people don’t.  The NH High School Equivalency test change will have broad community impact.  More than 300 Seacoast residents earned their GED in New Hampshire in 2013, helping further their careers and improve their lives. Below is some important information related to the new high school equivalence certificate program.

What’s the change and who needs to know about it?

The GED® test will change nationwide at the end of 2013.  Any test-takers who have not completed and passed all sections of the exam are urged to return to a GED testing center as soon as possible to finish by the end of 2013.  Otherwise they will have to start over with a new high school equivalency test.

Beginning in January 2014, the high school equivalency certificate issued by the New Hampshire Department of Education will be based on the HiSET rather than the GED.  A number of other states, including Maine, are also choosing HiSET or alternatives to the GED.  HiSET is published by ETS (Education Testing Service which also publishes the SAT; see http://hiset/ets.org).

What impact will the GED exam change have on the broader community?  Employers, post-secondary institutions, military, training programs, organizations, clubs, high schools, and examinees all need to know about and make changes to adapt to this change coming to New Hampshire!

What specifics can affect you and your organization?

Application forms (paper and online) often require an applicant’s educational background.  The choice usually includes:  High School Diploma or GED.   Those who earn the NH High School Equivalency Certificate beginning in 2014 will need to have an option that reflects their achievement.  Employers, colleges and others: please change your forms by adding “high school equivalency certificate” next to or instead of GED. 

Value: The new high school equivalency test, HiSET, will be based on the Common Core State Standards and will continue to serve as a strong indication of an individual’s basic skills.  The new test will include two scores – one that may indicate if the HiSET completer is “Career & College Ready”.  Employers, military and post-secondary institutions should regard the HiSET just as they have a GED for the past 65 years – as a high school equivalent.

Cost: Service clubs, post-secondary institutions, employers, future examinees all need to know that the cost of the HiSET will be $95 in NH.  The current GED test is $65 (the 2014 GED test will be $120).  Individuals seeking to take the high school equivalency test after January 2014 may need to ask for more financial support.

Information:  If you or your organization would like more information regarding the high school equivalency change, please contact Debbie Tasker at the NH Dept. of Education at Deborah.Tasker@doe.nh.gov or Leslie Haslam, Director of Exeter Adult Education at lhaslam@sau16.org or 603-775-8456.  We want to help you and your organization make the transition as smoothly as possible!