NEWPORT -- Northeast Kingdom Learning Service's Community Education Center in Newport was the site of the inaugural computer based GED test in New England on May 15. So far GED exams were only available in pencil and paper form. Now people interested in GED testing can register for computer-based testing from the convenience of their home and schedule online (www.gedcomputer.com) a date and time for their test.

Until Dec. 31, 2013, both ways of testing will be available; starting on Jan. 1, 2014, the computer based version will be the only option left.

The first person in New England to sign up for computer based testing was Allison Fournier of North Troy. Melvin Peno of Newport was the first actual test taker. In addition, Andrew Hauser, a student at the St. Johnsbury Learning Center, showed up to take exams. Between the three of them, they completed eight tests and passed them all including one perfect score.

"I have never seen a perfect score," said Scott Salesses, program manager of the GED Testing Service, who had travelled to Newport for the occasion. He was also impressed and happy with the way NEKLS staff had prepared for the event. "Everything went without a glitch," said NEKLS's director of data and assessment, Chris Hardy, "I couldn't be happier."

As for reactions from the test takers, the general sentiment seemed to be overwhelmingly positive. "Compared with the pencil and paper practice tests, this was a lot more relaxing," found Andrew Hauser. In reaction to her perfect score on her social studies exam, Allison Fournier just said "Wow. I really liked that."

Computer based GED testing, just like the conventional pencil and paper testing, is now available at the Newport Community Education Center for anyone interested in achieving their high school credential. While the fee for computer based testing is higher than the paper tests, there are some significant advantages. Computer based test takers will know their score right away for four of the five tests. (The essay is still scored by proof-readers.) In addition, you do not have to come to the test site ahead of time to register. Registration can be done online or at the Center. For any more information, visit www.neklsvt.org or call us at (802) 334-2839.

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