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What Are GED Requirements?

August 9, 2021

GED Checklist

Most high school students pass their required classes and graduate in four years. Others take a different path. In 2019, the United States had a graduation rate of 84.6%, meaning 15% of students did not finish high school. You can remedy the lack of a diploma by researching GED requirements, studying, and taking the GED test.

Dropping out of school is not the end of the world. While those who don’t graduate from high school may tend to struggle more in life than those who graduate, you can receive a high school equivalency diploma, like the GED, to enroll in college and apply for better jobs. 

What Are the Requirements for a GED?

Three requirements must be met for you to take the GED tests.

1. You do not currently attend high school.

You cannot be a high school student and take the GED tests. You must pursue one or the other, either a diploma or equivalency, not both. GED testing takes place at the high school senior level, so test-takers should thoroughly prepare. Some states even require that you take preparatory classes before the exam.

2. You never graduated from high school.

You do not need your equivalency diploma if you have a high school diploma.

3. You are at least 18 years old.

Some states allow testing at younger ages, but typically you cannot be younger than 16 years of age. Those between 16-18 must usually meet additional requirements. This can include official withdrawal from school, permission from the former school district, and parental consent.

Possible Additional Requirements

Some states require a few more steps before you can pursue your GED credential. For example, you may need to be an official resident first. You might also need to show proof that you’ve been out of school for a certain amount of time.

Depending on where you live, you may need to pass an official qualification test first. Some states require test-takers to take an official prep test. You must score high enough to show that you can probably pass the real thing before you’re allowed to take the official test.

You must pass a Constitution test in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Illinois to get your GED credential. Additionally, in North Dakota, you must also pass a Civics Test.

Click here and select your state to see what other GED requirements apply to you.

What Happens Next?

Once you meet all the GED requirements, the next step is to study. Again, you will be tested on the same knowledge as high school seniors, which can be quite rigorous. Therefore, you must understand what types of questions to expect on the tests and be prepared to answer them.

The GED test consists of four separate tests: Social Studies, Science, Mathematical Reasoning, and Reasoning Through Language Arts. You can take all four tests at once, or you can opt to space them out and take them at your own pace.

While studying online and using interactive study tools is an option, in-person classes at a local prep center can help, too. If you need guidance or study partners, you should consider in-person courses.

Contact Us Today

Now that you know the GED requirements, are you ready to go for it? Find a testing center near you and schedule your GED test today.


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