PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The General Educational Development test, GED, referred to as the high school equivalency exam, was designed to help returning World War II veterans complete high school and use the GI Bill to attend college.

Scholars question its value. Research has shown that GED recipients earn no more than high school dropouts. Only one in 10 earns a college degree. The exam is in the process of changing and so is some of the instruction.

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At LaGuardia Community College in a GED Bridge to College and Careers program, classes taught on campus extend instruction to deal with careers. In the health-care focus, students might learn through case studies. While only 35% of its students formerly made it to college, of last year’s cohort 80% enrolled.

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Forty million Americans over 16 haven’t finished high school. It’s hoped that the new more rigorous computerized test due in 2014 will help people prepare for college and the future job market. Read more in Education Week.

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Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio