It serves as a stand in for a high school diploma, and for many, it's a second chance to get on their life on track.
"It's very important for me, especially for my life and for my education and my future goals," said student Jorge Irizarry.
But for those in Florida pursuing a general education development certificate, or GED, things will soon be radically different.
"There's going to be a new test that's going to come out January 2, 2014," said Hillsborough County GED Chief Examiner Debbie Sass.
This is the first time the GED test has changed since 2002.
"It's developed to match the standards that are required for graduating high school seniors," said Sass. "The new GED test coming out in 2014 will based on the common core standards."
The new test will also mirror the technology of today
Gone are the familiar bubble sheets -- the new tests will be computer based.
And while January 2014 is a long way off, test administrators say the new tests can cause problems much sooner.
The current test is comprised of five parts: math, reading, writing, science and social studies.
If a GED student passes, for example, only two parts today, they can go back and try to pass the remaining three at another time.
This year, if that student waits and doesn't get all five done by the end of 2013, they'll have to go back to square one.
"If they have not passed the GED by time we leave for winter break in December 2013 that they would then have to start over," said Sass.
Starting from scratch isn't the only issue.
Today the test costs $70, the new test will cost $130.
Students say starting over and paying more money is not something the want to do.
"That would be tragic, that would be really tragic for me," said student Kevin Romero.
"I would pretty much go bananas," said Irizarry.
Test administrators fear there will be a rush at the end of the year causing many to miss out on their GED, so they're trying to get the word out now.
"You don't want to put yourself in a position where you wait so long that all the testing spots are filled," said Sass.
The test is going on computers it's not going online.
The computer based test may be the reason for the big cost increase but GED administrators say when the price goes up test takers can pay for one section at a time, softening the blow of that big increase.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?