Changes coming to GED testing in 2014

Adults who didn’t get their high school diplomas should consider enrolling in the McKinley Community School for Adults before the end of the year, public school officials say.

Beginning in January, a new version of the General Education Development test will be implemented. It is an entirely online assessment that some officials say will make it more challenging.

The school’s Maui campus offers options for students looking to obtain their diploma – by either passing the GED high school equivalency test or by completing a 150-hour course.

The GED test is administered at the campus in Kahului every month. It is a series of five tests in writing skills, social studies, science, reading skills and mathematics. Each test costs $30, and students may opt to take one test at a time.

In order to pass the GED, students must score 2,250 points out of the possible 4,000 points, with no less than 410 on any one of the five tests.

The next round of testing begins June 3. The deadline to register is May 29.

For diploma-seekers who do not wish to take the GED test, the adult school offers the option of enrolling in a “competency-based” course, a series of five classes that will cover government and law, health, consumer economics, community resources and occupational knowledge. Each class requires 30 hours and costs $20 per class.

“It’s the cheapest and the best way to get your diploma,” said Iris Nitta, a counselor at the school.

All applicants must first take a placement test, which takes about three hours to complete and costs $5. Applicants should bring an original Social Security card, a high school transcript, a valid government issued photo ID and, if under 18 years old, a proper release form from the high school of legal residence.

The summer session begins June 17.

The school will be hosting its annual graduation ceremony at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Baldwin Auditorium. Due to continued budget cuts, school officials say this may be the last year the school holds a graduation ceremony.

For more information, call 873-3082 or visit 179 Kaahumanu Ave., Kahului 96732. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.