General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
For more information on GED testing facilities, please visit
Testing Centers page.
Questions about the GED
Q: Are you eligible to take
A: Read more about eligibility here.
Q: What is the GED?
A: GED stands for the General Educational
Development Program. The GED test offers people who did not
finish high school the opportunity to earn high school
credentials. If your scores on the GED test are satisfactory,
you will be awarded an official High School Equivalency Diploma by
the State of Alabama. This credential is considered
equivalent to a high school diploma and is recognized as such by
employers, the military, and colleges.
The GED Test
Q: What are the eligibility requirements for
taking the GED test?
A: GED examinees must be
- 18 years of age
- not enrolled in school
- not a graduate of any accredited high school
- a resident of Alabama
Q: Are there any provisions for 16 and 17 year
olds to take the test?
A: Yes. A 16 or 17 year old may test.
However, students from this group are required to submit
documentation from a public or private school, as appropriate,
verifying that the applicant has withdrawn. In addition, the
student should submit a notarized letter of permission from a
parent or legal guardian. The required format for this letter
may be obtained from a GED examiner.
If you are enrolled in a GED preparation program, your teacher
will assist you. If not, ask the GED test administrator for
guidance through this process.
Q: What does it cost to take the GED
A: The cost is $50 to take the entire test for
the first time. It will cost $10 per subject to repeat any
individual subject test.
Q: What subjects are tested on the GED exam and
what are the time limits?
Language Arts, Writing
1 hour, 15 minutes
Tests sentence structure, usage, mechanics and organization.
Language Arts, Essay
Requires an original essay that adequately develops the topic
Language Arts, Reading
Requires comprehension and analysis of selections from popular
and classical literature, business documents, etc.
1 hour, 10 minutes
History, geography, civics, government and economics.
Includes maps, charts, tables, cartoons and photographs.
1 hour, 20 minutes
Life science, earth and space science, physical science.
1 hour, 30 minutes
Covers number sense, geometry/ measurement, data analysis/
statistics, and algebra/functions. Some use of calculator
required. Includes graphs, charts, tables and diagrams.
Q: Do I have to take the entire test in one
A: Candidates taking the GED for the first time
are expected to complete the test in a one-day sitting.
However, there are two exceptions. First is the candidate who
applies to the GED testing service and is approved for special
testing accommodations. Second is the candidate who can
sufficiently demonstrate to the Chief GED Examiner an inability to
do this due to transportation, child care, work or family
responsibilities. In any case, the entire test must be
completed within a ninety day period.
Some centers test on weekdays, some in the evenings, and some on
weekends. When you call the test centers, inquire about all
the options they provide.
Q: Are there special test accommodations for
those with disabilities?
A: Yes. Test candidates may not have the
ability or test-taking skills required to complete the test under
standard conditions because of physical, psychological, or learning
disabilities. In these cases, the student can be tested under
special conditions and/or with special editions of the test
(Braille, large print, etc) at no additional cost. However,
you must inquire about this option in advance at your test center,
fill out special forms and receive certain approvals. If you
are enrolled in an adult education class, your instructor will
assist you with this.
Q: What score is required to pass the GED
A: In Alabama, your total score on all five tests
must add up to 2250 points (the essay is not included in this
scoring system). The required minimum score on each
individual test is 410. Remember, this is the minimum.
To achieve the total, you must have an average score of 450 per
Q: Is this score based on a 0 to 100 point
A: No. The scores used on the GED have a
different range. The lowest score you can earn on each test
is 200; the highest is 800.
Q: How long will it take me to receive my test
scores and find out if I passed?
A: It is usually two to four weeks before you
receive your official test results in the mail.