Solving the 3 of 4 Dilemma to Motivate Students Who Are 1 Test Away from the GED Diploma
At the end of 2021, GED Testing Service started a working group with state leaders who were interested in helping to address the high number of GED students who had passed 3 of 4 tests but never passed that last test. Our data shows that over 157,000 individuals need to pass just one remaining test to earn their GED credential, with 80% of these individuals needing to pass the math test.
Math isn’t the only thing keeping students from graduating. Some students may lose motivation or interest in completing the entire GED test series after passing three exams. They might feel satisfied with their progress and believe that three tests are sufficient for their immediate goals. Some students mistakenly think that they have to start over if too much time has gone by since taking their last test subject. In most cases, they can pick up where they left off and complete one final test subject to graduate. Time and scheduling constraints also play a role. It’s not always easy to balance work, family responsibilities, and other commitments.
Luckily, dedicated individuals in education across the country are making a difference, helping motivate students to pass the final test. Sue Grosdidier Associate Director, High School Equivalency Kansas Board of Regents, was a pioneer in getting students to the finish line. She called over 100 students personally! Her dedication changed the lives of hundreds of GED students in Kansas. Ms. Grosdidier shares her reflections on the 3 of 4 project below:
“When we started this journey in Kansas, we had some very distinct “aha” moments that made it ALL worth the time and effort. We found that students thought in many cases that they had more than one test to take. It was also surprising to find duplicate accounts, that once merged, the individuals had credentialed. But more students than I had expected thought their scores were no longer valid; they thought they would need to start all over. These individuals were just shocked at the opportunity presented to them and the support they were being provided. As a State Administrator, I do not get the daily doses of student interaction that I once did, and I miss it. The 3 of 4 project allowed me to connect with the students and provide resources and encouragement to obtain their credential.” — Sue Grosdidier Associate Director, High School Equivalency Kansas Board of Regents
Inspired by people like Sue, more and more states are climbing the charts in GED graduation numbers. Progress is being made nationwide. 14 states — and counting! — implemented targeted campaigns in their states to encourage these students to finish the last test. To date, these efforts have helped around 3,500 students pass that last test and earn a credential.
What’s great is that even seemingly small acts make a huge impact. The trick is to add 3 of 4 follow-ups into daily activities. Calling, texting or emailing a few students per day can add up to a hundred each month. It’s easy to find which students need a nudge by looking up their status in GED Manager. Every student counts!
Some states, including Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Illinois and Kentucky have gone further by providing incentives to students, such as covering the cost of the last subject or offering to help pay for study programs to gain the knowledge they need to pass. There are many ways to move the needle and we’re happy to share ideas. If you’d like to join a state working group, please reach out to Brian Smith at Brian.Smith@GED.com
Another great way to connect and discover new ideas is at our annual conference! Are you attending the GED Conference this July in New York City? Among dozens of inspiring sessions, state leaders will share best practice for outreach and engagement and leave plenty of time for questions. Learn how your state or program can do your own outreach to increase your GED graduate numbers.