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The number of adults who took the General Educational Development test in 1990 was up substantially over 1989, significantly reversing a trend of declining numbers of people taking the ged, according to a report issued last week by the American Council on Education.

The number of adults taking the test last year in the United States, its territories, and Canada was 763,618, a 12 percent increase over the 1989 figure of 682,728, the report says.

Forty-five of the 50 states recorded increases, it says, and 11 of them had increases of more than 20 percent. The state with the highest increase was Ohio, which began to offer adults the exams free of charge.

A total of 431,225 adults passed the exam in 1990, compared with 376,879 the previous year, a 14 percent increase, the report says. In 1981, 513,549 ged diplomas were issued, an all-time high. By 1989, however, the number of diplomas awarded had plummeted by 27 percent.

Henry Spille, acting director of the ged Testing Service, said in a statement that the reversals in test-taking and awarding of diplomas were due to better publicity at the local and national levels, better preparation for test-takers, and the weak national economy, which encourages job-seekers to upgrade their academic credentials.

Nationwide, about one in eight high-school diplomas is achieved by passing the test, which is administered by the ace

Copies of the "1990 ged Statistical Report" are available for $10 each from the ged Testing Service (Publications), One Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Vol. 10, Issue 37

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