State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced North Dakota finished second in the nation in the percentage of General Educational Development test-takers who earned a GED diploma in the past 12 months.
“Students who earn a GED improve their prospects for landing a good-paying job, embarking on a technical career, or for success in college if they choose to attend,” Baesler said. “I congratulate these students, and the staff in our Adult Learning Centers across the state, who helped our students reach this important milestone.”
During the 12 months from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, 498 North Dakota students completed the four exams needed to earn a GED, Baesler said. Of those, 439 students, or 88 percent, got passing grades for all four tests.
This result ranked North Dakota second in the nation, behind Wyoming, which had a pass rate of 90 percent, said Stan Schauer, director of adult education for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. Twenty-nine Wyoming students finished the required four exams during the year, and 26 passed all four.
To earn a GED, students must pass exams in reading and language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Exam scores range from 100 to 200, with a score of 145 needed to pass. A score of 165 shows the student is likely to be college ready, Schauer said.
North Dakota has a network of regional adult learning centers that administer GED tests. In addition, North Dakota’s state correctional facilities and the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center offer instruction and testing. Each exam costs $30. The Bank of North Dakota covers the cost of the first and fourth exams taken by students who register at an adult learning center or GED test center.
Schauer said North Dakota normally finishes in the top five among states in the ratio of test “passers” to “completers.” The state’s system encourages prospective GED test takers to study and do preparatory work before taking the test, which Schauer believes helps to account for the strong performance of North Dakota GED students.
“We try to bring them in and get them under our wing, so they’re not just jumping in and trying to test,” Schauer said. “They can get some instruction and find out where they are.”