How to Earn Your GED in Illinois

You're eligible to take the GED (General Educational Development) test in Illinois by meeting guidelines established by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). Read on to find out about eligibility, testing schedules and preparation programs for the GED in Illinois.

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Who Can Take the GED Test?

In the state of Illinois, you're eligible to take the GED if you're at least 17 years old, are not a high school graduate or GED graduate and have maintained residence in Illinois for at least 30 days. In addition, if you're school age and have been enrolled in a public, private or home school in the past 12 months, you must get an official letter of withdrawal from the last school attended. In order to take the test at 16, you have to meet the residency requirement and be enrolled in a state-approved alternative education program or a youth education program under the Illinois National Guard.

Where and When Can I Take the Test?

The GED can't be taken online or through the mail. It can only be taken at an official testing center. Residents of Illinois must register for the GED test at the Regional Office of Education where they live. Depending on the location, the GED test is given between 1-6 times per month, on weekdays and Saturdays. You can take the test in English or Spanish. Some sites also accommodate individuals with disabilities.

How Can I Prepare for the GED?

The GED tests measure knowledge in five areas: reading, writing, social studies, science and mathematics. The majority of the questions are in multiple-choice format; however, there is an essay section on the writing exam.

A total score of 2,250 is required to pass the exam, which averages to 450 per test. In addition, you must get a score of at least 410 on each of the five sections. The state also requires GED test takers to pass the Illinois State Constitution Exam.

If you haven't been in school for a while, you might want to study for the test. Free preparation classes are offered to Illinois residents through the ICCB. You can also study on your own by using study guides and online resources. You can find GED classes and information by using the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline accessed from the ICCB website.

What if I Fail the Tests?

If you fail to make the required scores, you may re-take all or parts of the test. You're allowed to take any single test up to three times a year.

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