Behind the Scenes of the Official GED App
We sat down with Director of Product Management, Jane Bledsoe, to learn more about the official GED mobile application coming soon. We are set to share a prototype of the app with you at the GED conference in July. Here is the Q&A detailing what is to come.
Who is the app for?
Our primary audience is the learners who are preparing for the GED on their own, but adult educators can also use the app.
What is the purpose?
We found that 18% of candidates who create an account on GED.com make progress by testing within a year. We want to help those who are getting stuck along the way. The app will give them confidence and motivation to move forward in reaching their goals.
What features and benefits of the app can you share with us?
The app is like a mobile ‘advisor,’ helping the learner chart their path to taking and passing the GED tests. Along the way, they will meet ‘Syd,’ a character who points out what learners need to do on their GED testing journey. Syd celebrates with them as they make their way through practice questions, scheduling tests, and completing milestones.
Everyone is excited for the app, when will it be ready?
We will share a prototype of the app at the GED Conference in July. Beta testing of the app for select audiences will take place in Q3/Q4, with a full commercial launch in early 2024.
How do we know this will appeal to learners?
We have been reaching out to small groups of GED learners for feedback on designs – both those currently testing and those who plan to take a GED test in the future. Feedback has been strongly positive. They like the mobile ‘advisor’ (Syd), and the guided path to tell them what they need to do to be successful on the test. They like the practice questions embedded in the App, and recommendations for books and other study tools they can purchase to augment their learning. We have observed in testing that learners pay more attention to ‘Syd’s’ visual cues than some of the text-based instructions we included in the App. We have moderated and unmoderated feedback/interaction from approximately 100 research participants to-date. The learners are truly excited about the App and its potential to help them.
How is this different than GED.com?
GED learners can use both GED.com and the GED App, but the App should help them focus on the specific path to take to successfully start testing. The App will not replace the website; there’s still a wealth of information on GED.com that learners and teachers will continue to access. Learners can use the same log-in for both the App and GED.com. The two will be linked so that a test scheduled on GED.com will prompt a notification in the App, and notifications of score results, etc., will also trigger a notification in the App. The App will not replicate all the content in GED.com but should augment the learner’s ability to know what to do next.
Why do we need an App? Why now?
In 2021, more than 60% of GED leaners used a mobile device to reach GED.com. We want to be accessible to learners in the most relevant way. We also know that leaners are looking for more guidance than what the website can provide. The App is meant to help more learners achieve their goals. The App is something that learners and adult educators alike have been asking for, for years. The entire team at GED Testing Service is excited about its potential to reach more learners.
How is it working with an outside agency?
We are working with Livefront who have done amazing work with big brands on the consumer market like Target. They are phenomenal in helping us understand the value this app will play in student’s lives. We truly learned a lot from them.
What are students looking forward to about the App?
Students want that guided path. Our research shows they don’t know where to start. This app will help them earn their GED effectively by helping them practice and provide feedback. They need a way forward, and the app will give them that pathway.
What is the timeline?
We have been wanting to do an app for 10 years now and started research and discovery on what students need in January. We wanted to get the research done right and spend a lot of time understanding it before we have our first version. We aren’t promising an official release date, but we will show a prototype during the GED conference in July.
Will it be in Spanish?
We probably won’t have a Spanish version at the outset, at least not in the first version. That is something we want to look for down the road.
Is there anything else you wanted to share that I didn’t touch on?
If you go to the App store or the Google play store, you’ll see a lot of GED apps. Why do we need another one? This is going to the official GED app, a trusted resource for students straight from the source. It will truly help students progress on their journey. Everyone is super excited about this, and they all have a different idea of what should be included in it. It really required us to come together and figure out what is going to help the student most. Getting the students’ feedback has been so helpful. We didn’t want to replicate GED.com in an app. We spent so much time seeing what students really needed.
Will there be a cost for the app?
No, the App will be free.