DETROIT | A year after the GED exam underwent a massive overhaul — one that made it far more difficult but more in line with what’s expected of today’s high school grads — there has been a steep drop in people taking and passing the test.
Preliminary numbers from the GED Testing Service estimate that 90,000 people nationwide earned the General Educational Development diploma — a high school equivalency credential — in 2014. That’s down from 540,535 in 2013 and 401,388 in 2012.
Similar declines occurred in Florida, where the number of people taking tests fell from 46,055 in 2012 to 21,828 in 2014, a 53 percent decline over the two years. The passage rate also fell from 65 percent passing in 2012 to 58 percent in 2014.
The 2013 year was an anomaly, because many people rushed to take and finish the old GED before it was changed to a newer, tougher GED in January 2014. In 2013, 61,084 people took the test and 76.5 percent passed it in Florida, said Cheryl Etters, a state education department spokeswoman.