GED to be phased out across Canada next year, may be replaced with new ‘made-in-Canada’ test

A new development called the Canadian Adult Education credential is expected to replace the GED in many provinces starting in spring 2024.

GED to be phased out across Canada next year, may be replaced with new ‘made-in-Canada’ test
GED Test
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The current Canadian version of the General Educational Development test (GED) will no longer be available in the coming school years. This was announced by the Pearson Vue GED Testing Service (GEDTS) in an email to students:

Dear GED Student,

The Canadian GED Series exam will be ending on May 3, 2024, for paper and computer testing. This means any progress made toward your GED High School Equivalency Certification must be completed by May 3 otherwise you will not be able to finish. After this date tests will no longer be scored by GED Testing Service and you would be at risk of losing any and all progress made toward your certification up to this point. It is highly recommended that you make every effort to finish any remaining subject test to complete your GED (High School Equivalency certification). This was a difficult decision, and we want to encourage all testers to finish what they started for the best result given the situation. This impacts Canadian testers only!

The GED is a high school equivalency certificate which provides a path for those without a high school diploma to gain higher education or employment, especially within the skilled trades — an industry which is expected to need over 256,000 new apprentices over the next five years in order to meet demand in Canada. Half a million Canadians and Americans gain their GED every year.

Quebec has yet to announce any plans to phase out the GED, and British Columbia already stopped offering the GED in 2014, replacing it with other high school equivalency tests.

Saskatchewan has announced that it will be replacing the GED with the new Alberta-developed Canadian Adult Education Credential (CAEC) coming spring of 2024, a project that has been in the making for years.

Although Alberta has yet to announce the switch, it is speculated that it will soon, as government webpage has been set up with CAEC secured exams and practice tests. Seemingly, other provinces, many of which have already announced the cancellation of the GED, will follow suit.

A reason for this change may be that the Canadian version of the GED could be considered outdated. While U.S. and international test-takers have switched to a 2014 version, Canadians are still taking a set of exams released in 2004. 

The social studies portion of the new exam is said to be more knowledge-based, rather than reading and comprehension-based. 

Samples of these questions are as pictured below:

The minimum age for Canadians to take the GED is 16 in Quebec, 17 in Alberta and Yukon Territory, 18 in Newfoundland & Labrador, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan, and 19 in Nova Scotia and Nunavut.

The reason why the minimum age requirement to take the test is so high in many provinces, especially considering the current need for skilled workers in the trades, is unknown. Lower age requirements would give Canadians who can demonstrate that they have the capability and knowledge of a high school graduate the opportunity to move on to post-secondary school or their career of choice without having to spend unnecessary time in a high school setting.

Most provinces are experiencing significant skilled labour shortages, with almost a million job vacancies recorded in February 2023, and therefore have a vested interest in ensuring that capable workers have every opportunity to prove their academic competence so as to be allowed into various training programs.

Rebel News has reached out to various provinces' ministries of education, as well as the director of the CAEC, for more information and clarity on the GED cancellation, key differences between the CAEC and the GED, and minimum age requirements for the new test, and is awaiting responses.

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