Obtaining The General Education Development Certificate


The General Education Development (GED) credential is a valuable certification for those who do not have a high school diploma but wish to demonstrate high school-level academic proficiency. Recognized in the United States and Canada, the GED serves as a suitable alternative to a high school diploma. This article will guide you through the GED requirements and the process of getting a GED.

GED: An Overview

The General Education Development Testing Service (GEDTS) creates and administers the GED. This is done in collaboration with the local U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and various U.S. Territories.

GEDTS establishes the tests, outlines the administration procedures, sets the minimum test requirements, and determines the passing standards. The local jurisdictions handle the test delivery and award the high school credential to adults who meet eligibility standards and pass the tests. There are also other tests that you should know about to advance your education, and learning about them from sites like Grand Paper Writing would be beneficial for you.

GED Requirements: The Basics

To be eligible for the GED, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must not currently be enrolled in high school.
  2. You must not have graduated from high school.
  3. You must be at least 16 years old (age requirement varies by state).
  4. You must meet jurisdictional requirements regarding residency, age, and length of time since leaving high school.

GED Eligibility Across States

Each state has unique GED eligibility prerequisites. For instance, some states require test-takers to be at least 18 years old before attempting the GED exam. Previously, the GED exam was only available at physical testing sites. However, you can now take the exam online if permitted by your state.

A Recap of GED Requirements

As discussed earlier, each local jurisdiction (whether a state, territory, or province) can establish its own GED eligibility requirements, provided they adhere to the minimum standards set by the GEDTS.

Most states require a GED test-taker to be at least 18 years old, a rule primarily designed to discourage early high school dropouts. If students believe they can leave high school at 16 and easily obtain a GED, the number of high school dropouts could increase.

Most jurisdictions agree that dropping out of high school can adversely impact a student’s career prospects, so they do not want to encourage more high school dropouts.

The Process of Getting a GED

#1 – Verify Your State’s GED Requirements

Each state has the authority to establish its own GED exam requirements. Some states allow test-takers to be as young as 16 years old, while others require a 16-year-old to seek an age waiver or wait until they turn 18 and are no longer considered a minor.

The typical GED requirements for every state include:

  • Age – Confirm the state’s minimum age requirement.
  • Residency Concerns – Find out if your state has residency requirements.
  • Photo ID mandates – Determine what forms of ID are acceptable.
  • Preparation Course Requirements – Learn about your state’s prep course prerequisites.
  • High School Enrollment Status – Understand if your state has high school enrollment status requirements. Are test-takers required to be out of school for a certain timeframe?

Remember to confirm whether your state recognizes the GED credential. Refer to the table above for more details.

#2 – Prepare for the GED Exam

The GED is a four-section exam designed to measure and evaluate a test-taker’s knowledge of high school-level concepts. The sections include:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts

It’s crucial to study for the GED to optimize your final test results, especially if you have been out of the academic loop for some time.

However, the amount of time needed to prepare for the exam will depend on:

  • The student’s current knowledge of the subjects that will be tested.
  • The amount of time the test-taker has been out of the classroom.
  • Other commitments (job, children, etc.).

As you prepare for the GED, take full advantage of the numerous online resources available. 

#3 – Understand the GED’s Format and Timing

Preparation for the GED is crucial. However, it’s equally important to familiarize yourself with the GED’s format and time constraints. Here are a few general concepts about the exam:

  • Most questions are multiple-choice, but you will also encounter drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, select an area, and drop-down questions.
  • Each state sets the test’s time limits.
  • The scoring results for the GED are typically available within a day. In some cases, they may be available just a few hours after the exam.
  • Many GED test-takers can take each test separately (and in any order) or together, depending on the state’s rules.
  • Students who successfully pass the GED become eligible for federal student aid.
  • Re-test rules – Most states allow GED test-takers three re-test attempts without much fuss. However, for a fourth attempt, there is generally a pre-established waiting period.

#4 – Register Online for the GED

When you feel adequately prepared for the GED, the next step is to register for the test and set the dates, testing location, and testing specifics. The registration process requires the creation of an online account.

If you need special accommodation, you should contact the testing center to learn about the site’s accommodation. However, securing special accommodation takes extra time, so account for this in your planning.

#5 – Take the Exam and Earn Your GED Certification

The final step in acquiring your GED is to take the exam and pass each section. You need to score a 145 or higher on each section to pass. 


Obtaining your GED can open doors to higher-paying jobs and further education opportunities. With the right preparation and understanding of the GED requirements, you can pass the GED exam and earn your certification. Whether you’re 16 or 60, it’s never too late to get your GED and improve your future prospects.

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