By Leonard Williams
For today’s 39 million U.S. adults who didn’t graduate from high school, the GED® diploma is the equivalent to a high school diploma and the best way to demonstrate skills and proficiency levels that are necessary for a better job or more education.
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Developed in 1942, the first GED tests were designed to help military veterans finish their basic education. Today, any adult who has not received a high school diploma in the U.S. can likely take the GED test to get a GED diploma. A GED test credential is awarded to anyone passing the GED test, which measures knowledge and skills in science, social studies, math, reading, and writing. Find out about online GED courses.
Who’s eligible to take the GED test? As a rule, you’re eligible if:
You aren’t currently enrolled in high school;
You haven’t graduated from high school;
You are at least 18 years old or older. Some states or provinces
will allow testing at 16 and 17 years, often with special
You meet local requirements regarding age, residency, GED test
prep, and the length of time since leaving school.
GED test eligibility varies in different states and provinces, because each area administers the GED test and awards an official GED diploma or GED test credential. Find out more about your local GED requirements.
What other circumstances apply to GED test candidates?
Some candidates elect to take the test when they have a high school
diploma from an unaccredited high school or they’ve been
Candidates who graduated from a non-U.S. high school are
generally eligible to take the GED test if they meet all other
state and federal requirements.
U.S. citizenship is not a requirement to take the GED test. Adults
who aren’t US citizens can take the GED test.
Is the GED test given online
No! Taking the GED test online is not allowed. The GED test is administered by the American Council of Education, which develops and distributes GED tests. GED tests are ONLY given at designated GED test locations throughout the U.S., U.S. Territories, and Canada, and internationally through Prometric. To locate official GED locations, including international testing, visit http://www.passGED.com/test_state.php.
What makes a GED diploma a high school equivalent?
The GED test is rigorous 7.5-hour exam, equal to or exceeding high school proficiency. Tests are standardized and normed using a national random sample of graduating high school seniors. Passing the GED test requires a candidate to demonstrate a level of skill that meets or exceeds that demonstrated by 60% of graduating high school seniors. This means that 40% of graduating high school seniors wouldn’t pass the GED tests.
Approximately 97 percent of colleges and universities in the U.S., and 95 percent of employers accept the GED diploma.
Free GED resources and information on GED testing, GED test
locations, financial aid, and student support are available at http://www.passGED.com. The
website also provides links to federal agencies and nonprofits
that serve GED students, instructors and workforce development
The American Council on Education and most local libraries and
community colleges will also have additional free GED resources
designed specifically for GED students and adult learners. Visit
the ACE’s Official GED Testing Service® at www.gedtest.org,
or call 202-939-9490.
Contact GED test resources such as your local public school
district, community college, public library or university and ask
about GED test and adult education programs. Local family resource
centers or volunteer centers are also good resources to find
programs and support services for GED students and adult learners.
Browse listings of Volunteer Centers, provided by the Points of
Light Foundation: http://www.pointsoflight.org/centers/find_center.cfm
- Does your community have a Communities in Schools program? Or YouthBuild USA? If so, you can probably find information on local GED resources, and even other support services for families who want to focus on their education. Learn more about CIS at http://www.cisnet.org/intro.html. Learn more about Youth Build at http://www.youthbuild.org/.