GED Changes Mean New Challenges for DREAMers

Thirty eight states currently offer a computerized test, and according to Diaz, the pass rate is higher for the computerized version than for the paper version.

Next year, all states must offer a computerized version because the paper version will no longer be available. According to Diaz, it is designed to test digital literacy, including typing and basic skills such as dragging and dropping icons. Some aspects of the test have become dated, and others, such as tech skills, have been added to reflect the fact that graduating high school seniors need some degree of familiarity with a computer, Diaz said.

"It's not going to be harder. We're just going to be measuring different skills," Diaz said. "We have to make sure the GED is on par with the regular high-school curriculum."

Taking the test on a computer offers some definite advantages, Diaz noted. People will know their scores instantly instead of waiting what can sometimes be several months for a score report. It could also help to alleviate the burden on test centers that are already overbooked and stretching their resources.

Koelsch said despite the additional roadblock to DREAMers, possible deportation relief is a big motivator and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

"They're a little ticked off," he said, "but they say, 'Yeah, it's one more thing, but we have a way to get status now, and we're going to do it.'"

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