The GED test - A way to get a legal identity!!!!

Tips on the GED Equivalency diploma offers an option for those who didn't finish high school

Pat Kossan The Arizona Republic Mar. 21, 2006 12:00 AM

There are thousands of parents now facing a harsh reality: their high school seniors are not going to graduate.

Despite their cajoling and threatening, the senior in their family hasn't passed the 21 or 22 credits needed to get out of high school. Maybe the student has given up trying to pass the AIMS exit exam one more time or maybe high school was never a comfortable social fit.

That might spark parents to have their children take the general education development test to get an equivalency diploma.

Karen Liersch, who directs Arizona's GED program, has this advice: stick it out. If it takes another summer or another year, get a regular diploma from your neighborhood high school.

Liersch said she hasn't seen a rise in applicants because of the AIMS standard for graduation but said it seems more parents are calling about the GED.

Employers and universities want to know a young person has the self-discipline, teamwork and coping skills it takes to successfully survive four, even five, years of high school.

The GED test is not any easier than the reading, writing and math sections of Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards exit exam, which isn't timed. The GED tests reading, writing and math, as well as science and social studies, and is a timed test.

The GED is tough enough to be accepted by the military. It's also acceptable for jobs that require high school diplomas and for most universities.

But many Arizona GED-training programs are hesitant about accepting students 18 and under. Of the 16,000 Arizona residents who took the exam in 2005, 10,811 passed. Of those, 7,943 were over 18.

Adults over 18 arrive for a second or third chance to get a diploma. They are usually determined and often need the diploma to get a better job or a promotion, but younger students rarely call on their own.

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