SIC Adapts to GED Changes

August 14, 2014

The number of people taking and passing the General Education Development (GED) exam in Illinois has decreased dramatically according to a recent article in the Chicago Daily Herald. Most attribute the drop in numbers to the changes made to the GED this year.

The changes included eliminating the pencil and paper exam, adopting a computer-based testing (CBT) format, increasing the cost of the test from $50 to $120, and creating an all new GED test that is consistent with state Common Core standards.

“2014 brought several changes to GED and with it came new standards and more rigor,” said Angie Dunk, Southeastern Illinois College’s ABE/GED Coordinator and Data Manager. “We are taking several proactive steps to assist the students with succeeding when taking the new test.”

Some of the steps being taken involve creation of a new, updated curriculum that aligns with the new GED test, new text books that are rooted in the Common Core standards and offering scholarships for the GED test through a grant received from the Dollar General Family Literacy Foundation to those who qualify.

“As the Illinois GED test continues to see reform, we at the Southeastern Illinois College Adult Education department will continually strive to take every action possible and necessary to ensure that our students are well-equipped with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to enable them to not only obtain their GED, but have success in their future endeavors,” said Dunk.

The importance of getting a GED goes beyond the classroom. Most specialized training programs require either a high school diploma or a GED diploma. This could mean a significant difference in income over a lifetime.

“Research shows that people with a GED diploma make an average of $385,000 more in their lifetime than people who do not have a GED diploma or high school diploma,” said Dunk. “To get a GED diploma, you show you have important skills. With GED’s new focus on career transition and post-secondary education, obtaining a GED really is a great first step towards a successful future.”

SIC is offering free GED Classes beginning Sept. 2. Instruction includes all classes, materials and practice tests at no charge. Students may register during the first class session.

In addition to offering GED classes on its main campus in Harrisburg, the College will offer free classes at the following locations: Harrisburg District Library (begins Sept. 8); WADI in Shawneetown (begins Sept. 3); Hardin County Golden Circle (begins Sept. 3); First Baptist Church in Golconda (begins Sept. 4); and SIC’s White County Center in Carmi (begins Sept. 2).

For further details about SIC’s free GED classes, visit or contact Angie Dunk at 618-252-5400, ext. 2242, toll free at 866-338-2742 or