GED trademark, coined the initialism to identify “tests of general equivalency development” that measure proficiency in general preparation of children for school, mathematics, social studies, reading, and writing. The GED Testing Service is a joint venture of the American Council on Education.
Pearson is the sole developer for the GED test. The test is taken on a computer and in person. States and jurisdictions award a Certificate of High School Equivalency or similarly titled credential to persons who meet the passing score requirements. In addition to English, the GED tests are available in Spanish and in French in Canada, large print, audio, and braille.
These tests gave military personnel and veterans who had enrolled in the military before completing high school a way to demonstrate their knowledge. ACE revised the GED Tests for a third time in 1988. The most noticeable change to the series was the addition of a writing sample, or essay. The new tests placed more emphasis on socially relevant topics and problem-solving skills. A fourth revision was made in 2002 to make the test comply with more recent standards for high-school education. A fifth revision was released on January 2, 2014, to be delivered on Pearson VUE, a proprietary computer-based testing platform.
The new test applies to the United States, but not to Canada or international locations. There are more than 3,200 Official GED Testing Centers in the United States and increasingly in Canada, as well as around the world. Testing centers are most often in adult-education centers, community colleges, and public schools. Official GED Testing Centers are controlled environments. All testing sessions take place either in person or online according to very specific rules, and security measures are enforced. Breaks may be permitted between tests, depending on how many tests are being administered in a session.
There may be restrictions on what test-takers may bring into the testing room. There are approximately three to six GED test forms in circulation at any time. This measure helps catch test-takers who may be cheating. As with any standardized test, the various test forms are calibrated to the same level of difficulty. Regulations governing eligibility to take the GED vary by state. According to GED Testing Service policy, students at least 16 years old and not enrolled in high school are eligible for the program. However, many states require the candidate to be 17 years of age and a resident of the state.
The cost of the GED test for test-takers varies depending on the state. 30 for each of the four subject tests. Disabled persons who want to take the GED test may be entitled to receive reasonable testing accommodations. The candidate should return the completed form to the GED Testing Center.
If accommodations are approved, the local GED testing examiner will conduct the testing with the approved accommodations, which are provided at no extra charge. Possible scores on an individual test within the GED battery, range from a minimum of 100 to a maximum of 200. Colleges that admit based upon high school grades may require a minimum score on the GED test for admittance based upon the test. For example, Arizona State University requires an average sub-test score of 500 in addition to the certificate. Most places limit the number of times students may take each individual test within a year.