Thousands of Washington residents who started the GED high school equivalency test sometime this past decade but never finished have just a few weeks to complete their exams, or they'll have to start over.

On Jan. 1, Washington and most other states will switch to a new computer-based testing system with four segments instead of five. The results from old tests will be thrown away, even for students who have passed all but one of the required sections.

An estimated 25,000 Washington residents started the GED sometime in the past five years but didn't finish. The Washington Student Achievement Council says nearly 200,000 state residents between the ages of 25 and 44 do not have a high school diploma.