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DMACC first in state to offer computerized GED testing

Local college is pilot sight for Iowa transition

Des Moines Area Community College was the first institution in Iowa to administer the General Education Degree testing by computer.  

“We give approximately 1,500 GED tests a year, more than any other community college in Iowa,” said DMACC Director of Program Development Rick Carpenter. “We are proud to be among the first to make the transition to computerized testing.”

DMACC is in a pilot group of three community colleges and was the first to administer a computerized GED test Dec. 3, according to State Director for Adult Education Alex Harris. Western Iowa Community College and Indian Hills Community College are also in the pilot group.

“This is a great opportunity to make it easier for Iowans without a high school diploma to earn a GED and become better prepared to improve their educational and career prospects,” said Harris.

Five people took the first computerized GED test at the DMACC Success Center on Porter Avenue in Des Moines, according to Carpenter. He said the testing went well and initial results showed that all five people passed. DMACC also is administering the computerized GED test inside the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.

Randy Trask, president of GED Testing Services, outlines the following benefits of the computerized testing:

• More testing flexibility for test-takers — they can choose when and where to take their test

• Instant unofficial score reports — faster results mean adults can apply for jobs or immediately begin studying if they need to retake a subject area

• Enhanced test security

Harris said by January 2014 all Iowa GED tests will be taken by computer. The GED test is currently administered at 52 sites. Harris said the GED test can only be taken at an Official GED Testing Center. He warns against websites that claim you can earn a GED at home or online.

Since the beginning of 2012, almost 20,000 computerized GED tests have been delivered in at least 29 states and the District of Columbia according to GED Testing Services.


As Iowa’s largest two-year college, DMACC offers 153 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving more than 75,000 credit and noncredit students on six campuses and in three learning centers. For more information, please visit

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