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ERIC Number: ED541695
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
Repeat GED[R] Tests Examinees: Who Persists and Who Passes? GED Testing Service [R]Research Studies, 2010-2
Zhang, Jizhi; Patterson, Margaret Becker
GED Testing Service
Like most high-stakes testing programs, the GED[R] testing program allows examinees who do not pass on the first attempt to retake the GED Tests. Studies and reports have described GED Tests candidates' characteristics and testing performance, but no study has targeted repeat examinees. A series of questions related to repeat examinees remains unanswered: Do repeat examinees have the same characteristics as examinees who pass the GED Tests on the first try? What are repeat examinees' retesting behaviors? What relationship do testing center policies have to a repeat examinee's decision about retesting? The goal of this study is to provide an accurate description of characteristics and testing histories of repeat GED Tests examinees and to examine relationships of individual characteristics and testing center policies with examinees' test performance. Testing and passing rates by GED Tests examinees' social and demographic characteristics are disclosed. The study employs multilevel analyses to disaggregate relationships of individual factors and testing center policies with examinees' decisions about retesting and their passing status. Overall, about half of GED Tests examinees who did not pass the GED Tests on their first attempt retested. Thirty-two percent of all first-time non-passers retested and passed. Among repeat examinees in the current study, nearly 60 percent of them eventually passed the GED Tests through persistent effort. Fifty-four percent of repeat examinees retested in Mathematics, and 49 percent retested in Language Arts, Writing. Status as a young candidate, a white candidate, having completed higher than fifth grade, having a higher first-attempt score, having a goal to enter a two-year college, or taking the Official GED Practice Tests was associated with a higher chance of retesting. At the testing center level, both requiring GED Tests completion in one day and allowing testing in one content area at a time reduced the probability of retesting. The probability of passing also increased for young, white males with English as a primary language, who had a higher first-attempt score, who completed higher than fifth grade, and who had a goal to enter a two-year college. At the testing center level, requiring a retesting fee, requiring GED Tests to be completed in one day, and allowing testing in one content area at a time were negatively associated with the chance of passing for repeat examinees. Completion of GED Tests before scoring increased a repeat examinee's probability of passing the GED Tests. The longer repeat examinees waited before retesting, the higher their chances for passing the GED Tests. Implications of these and other findings from the study are discussed, and suggestions for future research are offered in this report. Appended are: (1) Descriptive Statistics for Candidates Who Did Not Pass on Their First Attempt, by Retesting Status: 2006; (2) Distribution of GED Tests Candidates Who Did Not Pass on the First Attempt, by Reasons for Testing and Retest Status: 2006; (3) Descriptive Statistics for Repeat Examinees, by Passing Status: 2006; (4) Fully Conditional HGLM Results for the Likelihood of Retesting (Population Average Model): 2006; and (5) Fully Conditional HGLM Results for Likelihood of Passing the GED Tests (Population Average Model): 2006. (Contains 9 tables and 3 footnotes.)
GED Testing Service. Available from: American Council on Education. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 250, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-939-9490; Fax: 202-659-8875; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; High School Equivalency Programs
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council on Education, GED Testing Service
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Educational Development Tests