Testing out of high school is a topic that more students are considering at some point during their careers, either through the GED or through a state level proficiency exam (ex. CHSPE). To address the important factors in this decision, Huffington Post held a discussion in their Huffpost Live format, and LA Tutors 123/Fortune Tutors’ own Wendy Ford was part of the four person panel. Reasons, results, and success factors were common themes throughout the discussion.
Reasons for testing out of high school
There are a myriad of reasons for testing out of high school. Many students wish to begin other projects, and don’t want to, or can’t, wait until graduation. College and career are the top projects that came up; students either want to begin college early, have their career determined, or need to begin work to support their families. In some cases, such as acting and sports, the career is time dependent, and employees who are tested out are more marketable to employers. Other students want to leave school when it is no longer beneficial to them, but take time before beginning college or career paths. This leads to a gap year/exploratory year that can include travel, internships, or college application preparation. Students must be aware of state requirements when considering their reasons for testing out. Some states require a parent/guardian release if school attendance is stopped before a particular age.
Results of testing out of high school
Concerns about the consequences of leaving high school early through testing need to be considered. There seems to be a shift in opinion towards acceptance of testing out. Although the normal path of education still leads through standard high school graduation, deviation from this pathway is seeming less important in Millennial generations. Socially, initial differences between the tested out students and their peers and colleagues seem to disappear over time, and end up being irrelevant in the classroom or workplace. The unusual approach may be looked down upon if not well used, but may act as a useful catalyst in college or job interviews. An individual that makes good use of their time can turn questions about their decision into a selling point. While it is true that acquisition of general knowledge can be compromised, it is not necessarily so. Indeed, if focus is low from lack of engaging classroom study, learning is actually benefited by preparatory study with engaging tutors.
Factors influencing success in goals of testing out of high school
Finally, a student considering testing out of high school needs to consider the factors which will aid success in their plans and goals. Success in this process requires motivation. A student choosing to test out and following it through successfully must maintain motivation, both to pass the test and acquire skills for their future path. To enter college, a student must have a strong sense of responsibility, regardless of age. If a student has the responsibility and study skills required, a move directly to college can give greater academic opportunities and facilities than those available at a high school level. If the student has the motivation to move forward, but does not feel ready for the commitment of college or career, an internship or other exploration of potential pathways can be very successful. Academic advancement is another factor that influences success for a student. The tests to leave high school early can be challenging for students. A candidate must be focused enough to learn the test material well. This focus can then be applied to the individual’s future path. Students who are decided in their career often find success through this high level of focus.
Making the decision to test out of high school
A well considered decision about testing out of high school requires the student to think about the reasons, results, and success factors involved. The discussion conducted on Huffpost Live addressed these topics and is a great resource for those individuals considering testing out as part of their own pathway.
Testing out of High School.
Nancy Redd- Moderator
Wendy Ford- Tutor at LA Tutors, Comm. College instructor
Jason Goetz -Author, Tutor
Ted Darid Mauro -Educational Consultant
Lydia Trottmann -Student who took the GED at age 17