President’s Corner: Looking Back at 2021 and Looking Forward to 2022
As the year comes to an end, we are sharing a closer look at the progress of the GED test program, our learners, and what’s to come.
Data provides a snapshot of our successes and an assessment of what areas we can make improvements. This is just one aspect of how we approach the work we do every day and the commitment we have to creating equitable access to a GED credential and pathways to a better life.
Evolving as a learner-centric program requires us to understand better who our students are and what support they need. For example, we know that the average GED test taker is 25 years old, and 50% of test-takers stated that they belong to communities of color, including Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Indigenous communities.
Our learners leave traditional school settings due to various circumstances, with 42% stating personal reasons, 30% for personal and academic reasons, and 13% identifying academic reasons. Many students share that their families are the primary reason for going back to school and earning their credentials. In addition, 40% listed educational gain as a motivating factor, 32% listed personal gain and achievement, and 21% were motivated for work-related reasons.
We’ve seen these demographic trends for the past three years (2019 to 2021), and it’s helping shape how we reach out to our learners, develop products, and improve access to resources.
The GED Test Program and Journey
The ongoing pandemic has changed our lives in unexpected ways and has certainly impacted our testing program. Our online proctored testing option was created in response to test center closures and limited availability during the early phases of the pandemic. It has remained as an option, offering the flexibility our learners want and need.
Approximately 150,000 test takers earn a GED credential per year. This includes test-takers in over 90 countries where the GED test is offered. The average GED test journey is 90 days. The national pass rate for 2019, 2020, and 2021 was around 75%.
Almost 500,000 GED.com accounts were created in 2021. Through ongoing research, we are identifying how we can help more interested learners take the first step in their GED journey and continue until they earn their credentials.
Our employer-offered GEDWorks program has grown to more than 50 employers, health plans, and non-profit organizations and has helped nearly 5,000 GEDWorks graduates earn a credential at no cost.
What’s to Come in 2022
Our learners come from every background with a common goal of earning a high school equivalency diploma. In 2022, we will expand how we connect all learners to workforce development opportunities and postsecondary education as part of Pearson’s Workforce Skills Division. Under this new umbrella, we are more closely aligned with programs and services that will give our learners access to career exploration tools, additional employer partnerships, and training opportunities. We know that currently, 50% of GED graduates enroll in college within four years. We will continue to work with learners to help them identify college and vocational training programs that will prepare them for their desired career fields.
Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Your partnership and commitment are essential to the success of our learners and the GED test program. We wish all of you a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season and end of the year. We look forward to all the success to come in 2022!
–-Vicki Greene, President of GED Testing Service