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FAQ

What is the GED test?


The Tests of General Educational Development were developed in 1942 to certify a high school level of academic skills for those people who did not graduate from high school. They were originally used to test veterans of World War II to determine whether returning GIs were qualified to attend higher education institutions. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, 11 Canadian provinces, and the U.S. insular areas and freely associated states use the GED tests as a basis for awarding high school equivalency credentials. Most U.S. employers consider the GED credential in the same manner as a high school diploma. Almost all U.S. colleges and universities accept the GED transcript for admissions purposes. GED tests are available in English and Spanish versions.


Who is eligible to take the GED in Pennsylvania?


If you are 18 years old or older, you must meet the following criteria to take the GED tests in Pennsylvania:
-Are a resident of Pennsylvania
-Have not graduated from high school or received a high school diploma or equivalency certificate
-Are not enrolled in a public, licensed private, registered accredited, or licensed nonpublic secondary school
-Can provide necessary documentation to prove your identity

If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you must meet the above criteria (GED Testing Service determines eligibility) and also provide written verification from your school superintendent or principal stating that you are withdrawn from school. In addition, you must provide a letter from one of the following:
-A letter from an employer stating that you must pass the GED test in order to gain or maintain employment
-A letter from a college or post-secondary training institution stating that passing GED test scores are required for enrollment
-A letter from a branch of the Armed Services stating that passing GED test scores are necessary for induction
-A letter requesting GED scores from the director of a state institution in which you are a resident, patient or inmate

These letters must be written on company/school letterhead and signed by the appropriate staff.

Persons 16 years old and older who are under the direction of correctional facilities or parole/probation offices are eligible to take the GED tests while enrolled in school, if so ordered by a court.
No persons under the age of 16 are eligible to take the GED tests in Pennsylvania.


What is the minimum passing score?
150 for each part



Is retesting allowed?


Applicants may retest any test they do not pass. Applicants are encouraged to attend GED preparation classes prior to retesting.


How do I get a diploma?


Upon a candidate's successful completion of the GED test, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will issue a Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma. Only one diploma will be issued per candidate; duplicate diplomas are not issued. The diploma will be sent to the address the applicant provides. Transcripts are issued with diplomas and can be re-issued upon request. Candidates who take the GED tests before turning 18 years old will be issued diploma on their 18th birthday.


Where can I take the test?


The test is given at over 150 sites throughout Pennsylvania.


Is the GED test available online?


There are no online GED testing programs recognized by the GED Testing Service of the American Council of Education or by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Authentic Commonwealth Secondary School Diplomas earned by passing the GED tests in Pennsylvania are only issued by the GED office of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


How can I get a copy of my transcript?


Individuals who have passed the GED tests may fill out a GED transcript request form online, then mail in the form and $3.00 fee per transcript in the form of a money order. The $3.00 fee is nonrefundable.

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