GED Requirements: What You Need to Get a GED

Even though the General Educational Development (GED) Testing Service creates a standard test for the whole country, individual states determine eligibility and other requirements. Read on to find your state's requirements.

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Who Can Take the GED Test?

You must take the test at your official GED testing center. It cannot be taken online. You must also meet the following qualifications:

  • Are not enrolled in high school.
  • Have not graduated from high school.
  • Are at least age 16.
  • Meet specific state, provincial or territorial requirements.

For information about what your state requires, contact the agency responsible for administering the GED, which is generally your state board of education. If you're unsure who to contact, the American Council of Education (ACE) has a website that lists each state's administrator.

You may take the test in English, Spanish and French. If you're assessed in a non-English language, your state may require you to pass an additional English as a Second Language (ESL) exam. The test is also available in Braille, large print and on cassette.

What's on the Test?

The GED measures your knowledge of academic and basic skills equivalent to a high school diploma. You will be tested on five subject areas, including reading, writing, science, social studies and mathematics. In addition, you'll be asked to write an essay.

How Do I Pass?

The minimum passing score set by GED Testing Service is 2250, which equals an average score of 450 on the five content-area tests. In addition, you need to score at least 410 on each test. Some states may require higher passing scores, but none may accept a passing score lower than 2250 total or 410 on each subtest.

What Happens If I Don't Pass?

You're allowed to re-take the GED if you didn't meet minimum scores on one or all of the tests. Content area tests can be retaken two additional times, for a total of three times per year. Some states have restrictions on how soon you can re-test, so make sure you understand your state's requirements.

If you don't pass, you might want to seek extra help by taking a class, practice test or using a study guide. Your state administrator's office might help you find prep classes. The GED Testing Service website also offers recommendations for practice tests and online resources.

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