CTB McGraw-Hill, the same educational publisher that created California Achievement Tests and TerraNova, provided an answer with its creation of the Test Assessing Secondary Completion.
According to Rowe, the decision to replace the GED with the TASC was probably mostly financial. She said because New York state pays for each person who takes the test, the new GED would have cost New York state three times what it was paying with the GED.
According to TASC’s website, the test will be available in paper- and computer-based formats. It can be taken at any state-approved testing site and will cost the state $52 per test.
The test will include five sections: English Language Arts Reading, English Language Arts Writing, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. The website said it takes about 7 hours to complete.
Rowe said the TASC is roughly 20 percent more difficult than the old GED because of alignment with Common Core curriculum. However, she said, the TASC allows for a gradual transition into the Common Core over three years, letting test-takers get used to the new standards just as students in high school have gradually been allowed to.
James Cimko, a teacher with Oneonta Adult Education, said the switch to the TASC is intimidating simply because it is a change, but he believes it will be positive in the long run.
Cimko said the TASC seems more difficult than the old GED, but said the new GED would also have been more challenging. Cimko said he recently attended a conference in Syracuse concerning the math portion of the TASC, which he says he believes will be one of the most challenging aspects.
“There is more algebra and more functions ...’fancier’ math that adult learners may not have ever had experience with,” Cimko said. “The new calculators that students will have to use have more functions and are more difficult to navigate.”