The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has selected a new high school equivalency test — and the cost of taking it will be considerably cheaper that first proposed.
The state's current exam, known as the General Education Development Test, or GED, is set to expire at the end of 2013. Beginning in January, the state will adopt the HiSET examination, which was developed by Educational Testing Service.
The cost to those taking the new computer-based test will be $95, which includes a $60 registration fee plus an additional $7 for each of the test's five sections, which may be taken separately. The current fee is $40.
Those seeking an equivalency certificate next year will be able to take the test three times during a 12-month period, meaning that examinees who do not pass the test the first time can retake the entire test or any individual section twice more.
Retaking a single section will cost another $7, but the $60 fee is good for the entire 12 months.
Missouri had originally planned to hire a for-profit organization to develop a new high school equivalency exam to replace the GED, but changed course after learning test-takers would have to pay $120 plus administrative fees.
As a result, the department went with ETS, which is said to be world's largest private nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization.
Missourians who want to obtain their high school equivalency before the current no-computer GED expires must apply by Sept. 1. Those who have taken the test but failed to pass all sections have until Nov. 4 to reapply.
Individuals who have taken the test, but who failed to score well enough to pass any of the sections, have until the end of the year to complete the exam. Scores from current test sections will not transfer to the new format.
For more information about obtaining a high school equivalency certificate, go to www.hse.mo.gov or call (573) 751-3504.