As of 2014, the state of Montana will no longer use the high school Graduation Equivalency test produced by the General Education Development brand, or GED. Although GED is almost synonymous with the graduation equivalency test, two new test designers have entered the market place.

"We brought together some experts from the adult basic ed community, Job Core, Department of Labor, Department of Corrections, higher education . . . these are all stake holders in the GED landscape," said Deputy State Superintendent Dennis Parman. "Each of the three vendors sent representatives to Montana to sit down and talk about their product. What we did not want to end up with was an assessment that did not measure what people expected to have measured, and that is the equivalency of a high school diploma."

The decision weighed the rigors of the test with the cost and, in the end, a switch was made mostly because of upcoming changes to the GED pay scale.

"In terms of costs, currently GED exams cost about 55 dollars and retakes are 7 to 14  dollars. that is going to change from that company. Now that cost will jump to 120 with 40 dollars for retakes."

The new test maker is E.T.S. Which produces the popular graduate school test known as the G.R.E. Test takers will pay fifty dollars to take the test and can retake the test for free twice during the same calendar year.

Dennis Parman: