The first GED Tests were developed in 1942 to measure the major outcomes and concepts generally associated with four years of high school education. Initiated by the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI), the original tests were administered only to military personnel so that returning World War II veterans could more easily pursue their educational, vocational, and personal goals.
USAFI examination staff, composed of civilian testing experts, worked with an
advisory committee established with the support and cooperation of the American
Council on Education (ACE), the National Association of Secondary School
Principals, and the regional accrediting associations.
The opportunity to document the attainment of high school-level skills proved to be a significant aid to many service members whose academic careers had been disrupted during the war. During the 1950ís, it became apparent that civilians could also benefit from the program-a need that the American Council on Education undertook to fulfill. From 1945-1963, the program was administered by the Veteranís Testing Service. In 1963, in recognition of the transition to a program chiefly for nonveteran adults, the name was changed to the General Educational Development Testing Service.
Since that time, the GED Testing Service has guided and directed a program which now serves more than 800,000 test takers annually at approximately 3,200 overseas, persons confined in correctional and health institutions, and U.S. civilians and foreign nationals overseas.
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