GED testing service

With computer-based testing, students take the GED exams alone in a room with a computer. (GED Testing Service )

The administrator of P.E.I.'s new computerized GED testing says an initial round of participants in the program have found success.

Barbara MacNutt said five people have completed all five GED tests on the computer system, and passed them all.

The old testing system was by hand, filling out bubbles on an answer sheet. MacNutt told CBC News the new computer testing takes half the time and tells students right away whether they've passed.

"Everybody's extremely pleased with it," said MacNutt.

"I'm hoping that we are going to be swamped with people wanting to do their GED testing. We have approximately 23,000 adult Islanders that do not have grade 12 and that's a real burden. It's a heavy weight to carry on their shoulders."

MacNutt said the province started with just five people to test out the system. With that successful pilot completed, the new system is being gradually phased in over the next year. P.E.I. joins Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan in offering computerized GED testing.

American research done last year showed the success rate in completing all five GED tests went up 20 per cent with the new computer system, said MacNutt. The researchers believe the system cuts down on unnecessary errors, because there are fewer distractions and it is easier to fill out the computer form than a paper bubble sheet.

Being alone in a room with a computer makes people calmer, the researchers said.

Paper testing will remain available for those that prefer it.