How to Get a GED in 5 Steps

If you do not have a high school diploma, you might want to consider taking the GED or General Education Development  test.

This test will assess your knowledge in five subject areas (writing, reading, science, history, social studies and math) to know if you are as competent as any high school graduate.

If you pass, the GED will serve as a credential you can use instead of a high school diploma so you can enroll in college or find better jobs. This guide will show you how to get a GED in five steps.


how to get a ged


1. Know the requirements

You have to keep in mind that GED requirements vary from state to state. To be sure that you qualify, check with your state. Typically, you must be at least sixteen years old and not currently enrolled in any high school. Testing fees, prep courses, practice exams and other additional requirements are also different for every state. You may want to check with the GED testing service website for more information on how to get a GED.


2. Prepare ahead

  • As mentioned, the test will cover subject areas in  writing, reading, science, history, social studies and math. The test is about 7 hours and 45 minutes long, and depending on your chosen testing center, the test may be split into parts so you can take them on separate days.


  • GED test scores for each section range from 200 to 800, and you’ll need to get at least 410 on each section so you can pass. Your total score must add up to at least 2250.


  • Check with your local high school or community college for GED prep courses. You can also check with the American Literacy Director locator to find GED preparation programs in your area. These programs will help you prepare for the GED by giving you study tips, important infos and practice tests. You may also check for online prep courses and GED practice tests if you don’t have the time to attend classes.


  • Talk to people who have taken the test before. They can give you more insight and tips on how to get a GED.


3. Register for the test

  • The test is only available online so you’d have to register with an official testing center so you can sit for the test. There’s a testing center for every state, U.S. territory and even on some international locations. You can also check online for testing centers near you.


  • You can preregister online but you’ll have to do the actual registration in person. You may also have to pay for applicable fees and present additional requirements like your social security number, government issued ID and proof of residence.


4. Take the exam

  • Wondering about how to get a GED when you can’t even get away from your day job? Well you can choose not to take the test  in one sitting (7 hours and 45 minutes!) depending on your testing center. Some centers also offer evening testing for candidates that can’t take the exam during the day. Be sure to check with your test administrator for further information.


  • If you have special needs, special accommodations can be made by your testing center for you so be sure to indicate this on your registration.


  • On test day, be on time. If you chose to take parts of the test on separate days, make sure that you’ve completed portions of the test for that day.


  • Follow instructions closely so you don’t get disqualified from taking the test.



5.  After taking the test

  • Get in touch with your testing center on how you’ll receive your score. Some centers may give you the score directly or send it to you.


  • If you’re in the military, the U.S. job corps, outside of the U.S. or incarcerated, you’ll need to fill out a request for transcript form on the American Council on Education (ACE) website or your contact organization.


  • If you didn’t pass, you can take the exam again after a waiting period. Your state might require you to take a test prep course before sitting for the exam again.


Did you know that 98% of national colleges will accept GED in place of a high school diploma? In the same way, 96% of employers will accept GED as a valid high school credential.

If you’re planning to take the GED then you are on the right track. Still have questions on how to get a GED? You may visit the American Council on Education (ACE) website to know more.

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