New GED test format, ESL and Excel at the Education Center

By Rosalind Marshall
Special to The PREVIEW

In January 2014, the GED test format will change to a computer-based test.

The current, five-part pencil and paper test will be replaced by a completely new format, and will require basic computer skills. The new four-part test can only be taken on a computer, and will bring in a different set of educational standards 47 states have adopted.

Colorado’s annual pass rate for GED is 85-90 percent, and the credential is an alternative to a four-year high school diploma.

New skills that are commonplace in today’s workplace will be introduced, and keyboarding skills will be essential. However, the biggest challenge will be that students who have not completed all five tests by January 2014 will have to start over with the new format. Scores cannot be carried over, as the new test will be structured in an entirely different way.

So, now is the time to complete your GED.

Individual tutoring is available Monday-Thursday 2-7 p.m. This requires a $15 annual administration fee. Tests are held monthly, and are $30 each. We offer free babysitting Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5-7 p.m., to make it easier for students with children to attend, so come in and finish your GED. Residents of Colorado not currently enrolled in high school and who are 17 years of age or older are eligible, and financial assistance is available for those involved in the Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood Program.

Free babysitting is also offered to our ESL students. English as a Second Language is available for adults in the community for whom English is not their native language. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5-7 p.m., and instructors are available for both beginner and intermediate level English. Classes cover pronunciation, reading and, for the more advanced students, writing in English. All instruction is in English and students respond well to the immersion approach of instruction. Currently, students from Colombia, Guatemala, Thailand, Ukraine and Mexico attend classes, and this variety of nationalities helps raise cultural awareness and creates a sense of community among our students. ESL has an annual registration fee of $15 for administration, but the classes, textbooks and all materials are free.

The remaining computer class this month will be Advanced Excel on Saturday, Feb. 23, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. This class is for current Excel users and covers filtering, working with charts, search features, mail merge and advanced formulas.

For more information, or to register for classes, visit our website,, where you can register and pay with PayPal.

Or, drop by the Education Center office (264-2835) on the corner of 4th and Lewis streets. Office hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.

Save the date for the Education Center’s 25th anniversary fund-raising luncheon, Wednesday, March 20, noon-1 p.m. at Centerpoint Church. Tickets are now available for a minimum donation of $40 on our website or at the Education Center office.

This story was posted on February 21, 2013.