Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 | 2 a.m.
About 69 percent of Nevada’s GED test-takers passed the high-school equivalency exam last year, according to a report released this month.
Although Nevada's pass rate is on par with the national average, the state ranks 32nd in the nation.
The ranking underscores how much Nevada’s adult education schools and community colleges must improve their GED preparation courses to give high school dropouts a second chance to go to college, have a career or enter the military.
Here are 10 key findings in the GED report:
1. Number of America’s nongraduates
Nearly one-fifth of Americans 16 and older lack a high school diploma or GED and are not enrolled in school, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. That translates to 39 million people without a high school degree.
2. Number of Nevada’s dropouts
Earlier this year, Education Week estimated that 13,430 Nevada seniors in the class of 2013 would fail to graduate. For some of these dropouts, the GED is a way to escape a life of lower wages and fewer job opportunities.
3. About the GED
The GED tests students in five subjects: reading, writing, social studies, science and math. About 607,000 people nationwide took the GED test in 2012. Nearly 418,000 people, or 68.8 percent of test-takers, passed the exam.
4. Number of Nevada’s test-takers and passers
About 5,800 Nevadans took the GED test last year. Of those, 4,012 — or about 69 percent — passed the test.
Nationally, pass rates ranged from 98 percent in Iowa to 53 percent in New York.
5. Profile of Nevada’s test-takers
The average age of Nevada’s GED test-takers is 26.5. Men tend to take the test slightly more than women. About 42 percent of test-takers are white, 35 percent are Hispanic and 15 percent are black.
6. When Nevada’s test-takers drop out of school
The overwhelming majority of Nevada’s GED test-takers drop out of school in the 10th, 11th or 12th grades, underscoring how close some students were to graduation before giving up.
About 39 percent of GED test-takers dropped out in their junior year. About 18 percent dropped out in their senior year.
7. Why Nevada’s dropouts take the exam
The report surveyed why Nevada’s test-takers decided to pursue a GED.
About 57 percent of Nevadans said they sought a GED to go to college or a trade school or as part of a job training or certification requirement. The rest had personal reasons for taking the test.
About 4.5 percent of Nevadans said they wanted to join the military. A smaller percentage of test-takers took the GED as part of a court order or to get early release from prison.
8. How Nevada’s test-takers did on the exam
Nevada’s GED passers did well on reading, writing, social studies and science, with more than 90 percent of GED test-takers passing these sections.
About 79 percent of GED test-takers passed the math section.
9. The pass rates for races in Nevada
White students had an 81 percent pass rate, Native American students had a 74 percent pass rate, and Asian, Pacific Islander and Hawaiian students had a 70 percent pass rate.
Hispanic and black students had a 60 percent pass rate.
10. The number of passers in Nevada since 2002
There are 45,197 Nevadans who have passed the GED since 2002.