General Educational Development Testing

The GED, or General Educational Development Test, is a test that certifies the taker has attained American or Canadian high school-level academic skills. To pass the GED, the test taker must perform in at least the 40th percentile of high school seniors nationwide, though individual states can set their own requirements for passing. Some states also require that students take an additional test showing an understanding of federal, state, and/or local government.

The GED is taken by individuals who did not earn a high school diploma. Common reasons for GED recipients not having received a high school diploma include immigration to the United States or Canada, home schooling, and leaving high school early due to a lack of interest, the inability to pass required tests, or personal problems.

More than 15 million students have received the GED since its inception. One in every seven Americans with high school credentials received the GED, as well as one in twenty college students. 70% of GED recipients complete at least the 10th grade before leaving school, and the same number are over the age of 19, with the average age being 24.

In addition to English, the GED test is available in Spanish, French, large print, audiocassette, and braille. Tests and test preparation are routinely offered in correctional facilities and on military bases in addition to more traditional settings. American and Canadian students living outside of those two countries can take the GED test on-line.