Cimko said he encouraged his students to get their GED done before the new tests were in place to avoid any problems with transferring credit and because the new test will be harder.
According to the state Education Department, people who started the GED previously and passed sub-tests but did not finish will be allowed to use up to four GED sub-tests to count towards earning a High School Equivalency diploma. This will prevent them from having to start all over again. Individuals in states that have accepted the new GED will not have this opportunity.
Oneonta’s Adult Education program serves Otsego and Delaware counties. Rowe said there are 250 students enrolled in the over-21 Adult Education Test Preparation program, and 15 students in the Alternative High School Equivalency program, which is for people younger than 21 who have not graduated from high school.
According to Rowe, there are more than 5,000 residents in Otsego and Delaware counties that don’t have a High School Equivalency credential.
Rowe said the advice she would give to a person looking to get his or her High School Equivalency diploma by taking the TASC would be to come in to classes and get lots of practice with writing comprehension and the new calculator. She said the classes are free and allow for individual attention. Students are able to work at their own pace and there are a lot of class options for anyone looking to prepare for and take the exam. Rowe said there are classes in Oneonta and Cooperstown in Otsego County and Afton in Delaware County.
Rowe said classes are held at 31 Center St. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thurday. The center also offers a program for people for whom English is their second language.
Rowe said the first TASC will be available to take in March.
“The most important thing is that people know that we’re here to help them achieve that high school equivalency credential,” Rowe said. “The best and most effective way to get that credential is by taking classes. Just come in to class and we can help.”