GED Diploma Candidates Reach Record Level

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Record numbers of adults completed the General Educational Development Tests and received their high school equivalency diplomas in 1996, according to figures released last week.

The Washington-based American Council on Education, which operates the GED Testing Service, reported that 758,570 people completed the tests last year, a 5 percent increase over 1995 and the largest number in the history of the GED.

More than 524,482 adults earned a GED diploma in 1996, surpassing the previous record set in 1995, according to the ACE.

Janet Baldwin, the director of research for the GED Testing Service, said that last year's increases might be attributed in part to people who wanted to take the tests before Jan. 1, 1997, when the minimum scores required for passage were raised.

The GED tests were created to provide World War II veterans who had not completed high school before entering military service with an opportunity to earn high school credentials. Since 1949, when administrators began collecting and reporting test data, the GED program has since allowed more than 12.6 million adults to earn an equivalency diploma. The tests cover writing, social studies, science, literature, and mathematics.

"Who Took the GED? GED 1996 Statistical Report" is available for $20 plus $5 for shipping and handling from the GED Fulfillment Service, P.O. Box 261, Annapolis Junction, Md. 20701; (301) 604-9073; fax (301) 604-0158.


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