Ged test 2015 cost

Ged test 2015 cost DEFAULT

The General Educational Development Test (GED®)

The specific purpose of the GED® Test is the measurement of the educational development of adults who have not completed their formal high school education. Adults may earn a High School Equivalency Certificate and thus qualify for admission to colleges or other educational institutions, meet educational requirements for employment or promotion, satisfy educational qualifications for induction into the armed services, fulfill requirements of local or state licensing boards, or gain personal satisfaction.


Illinois does not require you to prepare for the GED® exam in an adult education classroom to take a practice test before testing, but it is strongly recommended.

Danville Area Community College offers both day and night GED® preparation classes free of charge at various locations within Vermilion County.

Location Days Times
Danville Area Community
Monday-Thursday 9:00am-12:00pm
Danville Area Community
Mondays &
The American Job Center Monday-Thursday 9:00am-12:00pm
Danville Housing Authority Monday-Thursday 9:00am-12:00pm
Hoopeston Higher Learning
Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:00pm-8:30pm
Westville Jr. High School Mondays &
Head Start Center Monday-Thursday 12:30pm-2:30pm


The 2014 GED Test consists of 4 subject areas:

  1. Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) (150 minutes)
    • Section 1 (27 minutes*)
    • Section 2 (45 minutes)
    • Student Break (10 minutes)
    • Section 3 (60 minutes*)

* The time allotted for sections 1 and 3 may vary slightly, but the total test time will always be 150 minutes.

  1. Mathematical Reasoning (115 minutes)
    • Part 1 (first 5 test questions) calculator not allowed
    • Part 2 – (remaining 41 test questions) calculator allowed
  2. Science (90 minutes)
  3. Social Studies (90 minutes)
    • Section 1 (65 minutes)
    • Section 2 (25 minutes)

Tests are administered in English and Spanish

You can test 3 times on each subject without waiting. After the third attempt, you must wait 60 days before each subsequent attempt until the end of the calendar year. There no limit to how many times you can test in a year. You will receive two discounted retakes for every GED® test subject you purchase but don’t pass. GED® Testing Service waives its $20 testing fee, however Illinois charges a $10 fee for test retakes.


In order to earn an Illinois High School Equivalency Certificate, you must take and pass the Constitution test as required by Illinois Compiled Statutes – School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-3) in addition to passing the 4 parts of the GED test. There is no fee to take the Constitution exam, and you must pass all 4 parts of the GED® test before you are allowed to take the Constitution test.


The Constitution Study Guide of the United States and State of Illinois can be downloaded here: CSG English or CSG Spanish or you can order a printed copy directly from Curriculum Publications Clearinghouse by calling 309-756-2194 ext. 2. Please contact Danville Area Community College’s Testing Center at 217-443-8708 for more information about scheduling the Constitution Test.


An individual is eligible to take the GED® Test given they meet all of the following conditions:

  • 17 years of age or older*
  • does not have a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential and is not currently enrolled in a secondary school
  • is a resident of the State of Illinois

Note: *If an individual is 17 years old and has been enrolled in a public, private, or a home school setting in the last 12 months, they must present a withdrawal letter from the last school enrolled in before taking the GED® tests.

Withdrawal letters must be on school letterhead and signed by a school official, must include the candidate’s full name and date of birth, and must include the formal withdrawal date/last date of attendance. Transcripts are not acceptable as proof of withdrawal unless they include a formal withdrawal date and the signature of a school official.

If home schooled, the candidate must provide a letter from the person responsible for the home schooling [e.g., instructor, tutor, parent, guardian, etc.] stating the program has been completed, the individual is no longer required to be home schooled, and the individual has been cleared to take the GED® exam. The letter should include the candidate’s full name and date of birth. Letters from home schooled students must include a physical signature from the individual responsible for the home schooling.


The cost to take the GED® test is $30 per subject. A total of 4 test subjects comprise the GED® exam, meaning the full GED® total cost is $120.You will pay for the test online at with a debit or credit card when you schedule your test.

Don’t have a credit or debit card? Some students use American Express Bluebird. Register for a free Bluebird card online and add funds with cash at a Walmart location. Learn more about Bluebird.


Not all individuals can be fairly tested under standard conditions. If you have a documented learning, physical or emotional disability, you may qualify for accommodations for a GED® test administration. If approved, accommodations are provided at no additional charge.

For information on how to request accommodations for the 2014 GED® tests, visit or email [email protected]

Accommodation forms and supporting documentation can be faxed directly to GED® Testing Service at Fax: 202-464-4894.


You must contact the Regional Office of Education for the county in which you tested in to request your transcripts or certificates.

GED® Page -

Request Form -

The Vermilion County Regional Office of Education
Phone: 217-431-2668
Fax: 217-431-2671
200 College Street B
Danville, IL 61832


Purchase a practice test -

Test Previews -

Study Materials -


General Educational Development

North American high school-level skills test

"GED" redirects here. For other uses, see GED (disambiguation).

Logo of the GED Testing Service, the only authorized provider of the GED test

The General Educational Development (GED) tests are a group of four subject tests which, when passed, provide certification that the test taker has United States or Canadianhigh school-level academic skills. It is an alternative to the US high school diploma, HiSET, and TASC test. The GED Testing Service website currently does not refer to the test as anything but "GED".[1]

The American Council on Education (ACE), in Washington, D.C. (U.S.), which owns the GED trademark, coined the initialism to identify "tests of general equivalency development" that measure proficiency in science, mathematics, social studies, reading, and writing. Passing the GED test gives those who do not complete high school, or who do not meet requirements for high school diploma, the opportunity to earn their high school equivalency credential, also called a high school equivalency development or general equivalency diploma. It is called the GED in the majority of the United States,[2][3] Canada, or internationally.[4] In 2014, some states in the United States switched to alternate exams, the HiSET and TASC.[5] In New York, if the examinee successfully passes all their TASC exams, the examinee would earn a High School Equivalent diploma (abbreviated as HSE), which replaced the GED diploma.[6]

The GED Testing Service is a joint venture of the American Council on Education. Pearson is the sole developer for the GED test. The test is taken on a computer and in person. States and jurisdictions award a Certificate of High School Equivalency or similarly titled credential to persons who meet the passing score requirements.[7]

In addition to English, the GED tests are available in Spanish and in French in Canada, large print, audio, and braille.[8] Tests and test preparation are also offered to persons incarcerated and on military bases in addition to more traditional settings. Individuals living outside the United States, Canada, or U.S. territories may be eligible to take the GED tests through Pearson Vue testing centers.[9]Utah's Adult High School Completion program has been used as an alternative for individuals who opt to earn a diploma.[citation needed]


GED Diploma with Instructions - PA 1972
GED diploma with instructions, Pennsylvania, 1972

In November 1942, the United States Armed Forces Institute asked the American Council on Education (ACE) to develop a battery of tests to measure high school-level academic skills.[10] These tests gave military personnel and veterans who had enrolled in the military before completing high school a way to demonstrate their knowledge. Passing these tests gave returning soldiers and sailors the academic credentials they needed to get civilian jobs and gain access to post-secondary education or training.

ACE revised the GED tests for a third time in 1988.[10] The most noticeable change to the series was the addition of a writing sample, or essay. The new tests placed more emphasis on socially relevant topics and problem-solving skills. Surveys of test-takers found that more students (65%) reported taking the test with the intention of continuing their education beyond high school, rather than to get better employment (30%).[10]

A fourth revision was made in 2002 to make the test comply with more recent standards for high-school education.[10]

A fifth revision was released on January 2, 2014,[11] to be delivered on Pearson VUE, a proprietary computer-based testing platform. The new test applies to the United States, but not to Canada or international locations. It retained four content areas but with different content — language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies — that "measure a foundational core of knowledge and skills that are essential for career and college readiness."[11]

Test administration[edit]

There are more than 3,200 Official GED Testing Centers in the United States and increasingly in Canada, as well as around the world.[citation needed] Testing centers are most often in adult-education centers, community colleges, and public schools. Students in metropolitan areas may be able to choose from several testing locations.

Official GED Testing Centers are controlled environments. All testing sessions take place either in person or online according to very specific rules, and security measures are enforced. Breaks may be permitted between tests, depending on how many tests are being administered in a session. There may be restrictions on what test-takers may bring into the testing room.[12][13]

There are approximately three to six GED test forms in circulation at any time.[citation needed] This measure helps catch test-takers who may be cheating. As with any standardized test, the various test forms are calibrated to the same level of difficulty.


Regulations governing eligibility to take the GED vary by state. According to GED Testing Service policy, students at least 16 years old and not enrolled in high school are eligible for the program.[14][15] However, many states require the candidate to be 17 years of age and a resident of the state. Some states which allow students under 17 years of age to take the test require a letter of parental consent and a letter of consent from the student's school district.[citation needed]


The cost of the GED test for test-takers varies depending on the state. Currently costs can be as low as $45 as is the case in Maryland, but the typical fees are $120 for all four tests, or $30 for each of the four subject tests.[16][17]

Students with disabilities[edit]

Disabled persons who want to take the GED test may be entitled to receive reasonable testing accommodations.[18] If a qualified professional has documented the disability, the candidate should get the appropriate form from the Testing Center:

  • Physical disability and chronic-health disability (such as blindness, low vision, hearing impairment, and mobility impairment): "Request for Testing Accommodations—Physical/Chronic Health Disability" form
  • Learning or cognitive disability (such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, receptive aphasia, and written-language disorder): "Request for Testing Accommodations—Learning and Other Cognitive Disabilities" form
  • Emotional or mental-health disorder (such as bipolar disorder, Tourette's syndrome, and schizophrenia): "Request for Testing Accommodations—Emotional/Mental health" form
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (inattentive type, hyperactive–impulse type, or combined type): "Request for Testing Accommodations—Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" form

The candidate returns the completed form to the GED testing center. Each request is considered individually. If accommodations are approved, the local GED testing examiner will conduct the testing with the approved accommodations, which are provided at no extra charge.[citation needed] Accommodations may include, but are not limited to:[citation needed]

  • Audio cassette tests
  • Braille or large-print tests
  • Vision-enhancing technologies
  • Use of video equipment
  • Use of a talking calculator or abacus
  • Use of a sign language interpreter
  • Use of a scribe (a person who writes down the test-taker's answers)
  • Extended testing time

Passing the GED testing battery[edit]

Possible scores on an individual test within the GED battery range from a minimum of 100 to a maximum of 200.[19] A score of 200 on an individual test puts the student in the top 1% of graduating high school seniors. ACE issues recommendations for what constitutes a minimum passing score for any given sub-test (currently 145) and for the test as a whole (currently 580—i.e., an average of 145 per test across all four sub-tests). Although most GED-issuing jurisdictions (for the most part, Boards of Education of U.S. states) adopt these minimum standards as their own, a jurisdiction may establish higher standards for issuance of the certificate if it chooses. Many jurisdictions award honors-level equivalency diplomas to students meeting certain criteria higher than those for a standard diploma in a given jurisdiction.[20] Some districts hold graduation ceremonies for GED tests passers and/or award scholarships to the highest scorers.[citation needed]

Colleges admit that grades based upon high school may require a minimum score on the GED test for admittance based upon the test. For example, Arizona State University requires an average sub-test score of 500 in addition to the certificate.[21]

If a student passes one or more, but not all four tests within the battery, he or she only needs to retake the test(s) not passed. Most places limit the number of times students may take each individual test within a year.[citation needed] A student may encounter a waiting period before being allowed to retake a failed test.[citation needed] Tests must be completed by the expiration date, which is generally every two years on the last day of the year.[citation needed]

The GED test is available in many countries around the world. Since 2015, the GED test has become popular in African countries including South Africa and Namibia.[citation needed]

Many government institutions and universities regard the GED test credential as the same as a high school diploma with respect to program eligibility and as a prerequisite for admissions. The U.S. military, however, has explicitly higher requirements in admissions for GED test takers to compensate for their lack of a traditional high school diploma.[22] The test is administered to a representative sample of graduating high-school seniors each year, about 30% of whom fail the test. That only 70% of these students pass the test may show that it is harder than commonly believed.[23]

Effects on employability[edit]

The GED certification itself (i.e., without further post-secondary education or training) does not create the same labor market opportunities available to traditional high school graduates.[24] While people who have earned the GED test credential tend to earn more than dropouts and less than high school graduates, economist James Heckman has found that this is primarily due to existing differences in the characteristics and backgrounds of GED test graduates. When controlling for other influences, he finds no evidence that, for the average taker, the GED test credential improves an individual's economic opportunities above those for other dropouts.[24]

Some say overall, there is a certain level of stigma for GED certification holders that affects employability or pursuit of higher education.[25][26]

Calls for abolition[edit]

There are calls for the GED to be abolished. Those who support abolishing the GED say the program reduces high school graduation rates,[27] is outmoded, and a financial burden for low-income participants.[28]

See also[edit]

  • HiSET
  • TASC
  • CHSPE, a similar California standardized test aimed at high school students
  • HSED, a credential issued in Wisconsin that utilizes two additional testing batteries
  • Adult high school


  1. ^"GED®: Get Your GED - Classes, Online Practice Test, Study Guides, More". GED.
  2. ^"Iowa is the Fifth State to Choose ETS's HiSET". Archived from the original on 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  3. ^"Information about ESOL and Basic Education for Adults in New York City". Information about ESOL and Basic Education for Adults in New York City.
  4. ^"GED®: Get Your GED - Classes, Online Practice Test, Study Guides, More". GED.
  5. ^"What is TASC and HiSET". GED Board. Archived from the original on February 27, 2015.
  6. ^"What is the HSE/TASC™ Test?". 22 June 2015.
  7. ^"What is the GED® Test". Archived from the original on 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  8. ^"Special Test Editions"Archived 2013-03-28 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  9. ^"International GED® Testing", Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  10. ^ abcd"History of the GED® test". GED Testing Service. GED Testing Service LLC. 2015. Archived from the original on 2013-02-09. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  11. ^ ab"The new assessment is a stepping-stone to a brighter future". GED Testing Service. GED Testing Service LLC. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  12. ^"Can I take the test online?", [yes the test can be taken online], Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  13. ^"Introducing the Official Online GED Test". June 8, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  14. ^"MyGED FAQs". GED Testing Service. Archived from the original on 2016-04-28. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  15. ^"High School Equivalency (GED-HiSET-TASC)". MyCareerTools. Archived from the original on 2016-09-15. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  16. ^"2014 Maryland". GED Testing Service. GED Testing Service LLC. 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  17. ^"Programs and Services: FAQs". GED Testing Service. GED Testing Service LLC. 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  18. ^"Accommodations - GED".
  19. ^"GED®: Get Your GED - Classes, Online Practice Test, Study Guides, More". GED.
  20. ^"What Is an Honors GED?". Everyday Life - Global Post. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  21. ^"Testing Services - Mesa Community College".
  22. ^"Joining the Army". Archived from the original on April 13, 2004. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  23. ^Martz, Geoff. "Cracking the GED: 2002 Edition" (2001). pg 7. New York: Princeton Review Publishing, L.L.C. ISBN 0-375-76193-4
  24. ^ abCameron, Stephen V and James J. Heckman (1993). "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents"(PDF). Journal of Labor Economics. 11 (1): 1–47. doi:10.1086/298316. S2CID 154901876.
  25. ^Chandler, Michael Alison (31 January 2015). "Should GED lead to a diploma? District considers changing policy to help outcomes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  26. ^Chen, Michelle (5 May 2014). "The GED Is Getting Tougher for Students Who Need it Most". The Nation. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  27. ^Heckman, James J.; LaFontaine, Paul A.; Rodriguez, Pedro L. (2008). "Taking The Easy Way Out: How The GED Testing Program Induces Students To Drop Out". Journal of Labor Economics. 30 (3): 495–520. CiteSeerX doi:10.1086/664924. PMC 3950965. PMID 24634564.
  28. ^Schlueter, John (10 June 2015). "To Get More College-Ready Students, Drop the GED". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 16 January 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Shankar Vedantam (13 May 2019). "What's Not On The Test: The Overlooked Factors That Determine Success"(Audio Podcast with Transcript). NPR.
  • GED Technical Manual, 2nd Edition. (1998). Washington, DC: GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education.
  • GED Technical Manual, 2nd Edition. (1998). Washington, DC: GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education.
  • Northcutt, Ellen et al. Steck-Vaughn Complete GED Preparation (2002). Austin: Steck-Vaughn Company. ISBN 0-7398-2837-1
  • Rockowitz, Murray et al. Barron's How to Prepare for the GED High School Equivalency Exam (2004). New York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc. ISBN 0-7641-2603-2
  • Mitchell, Robert. McGraw-Hill's GED: Science (2003). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. ISBN 0-07-140704-9
  • Larry Elowitz et al. GED Success: 2003 (2003). Lawrenceville, New Jersey: Peterson's. ISBN 0-7689-0906-6

External links[edit]

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  2. Stanford alumni association staff
  3. Sugar factory miami
  4. Hard rock rockford

GED overhaul: Tougher test, less success

  • The GED test underwent a major revision in 2014%2C becoming more difficult for students to pass.
  • Adult education experts say it will now take many students far longer to prepare for the exam.
  • Some%2C though%2C say the changes will ensure the GED is in line with a high school diploma.

A year after the GED exam underwent a massive overhaul — one that made it far more difficult but more in line with what's expected of today's high school grads — there has been a steep decline in people taking and passing the test.

Kelly West works on her English skills during GED classes at the Adult Education Center-West Campus in January 2015. Scoring changes will make it easier for people to pass the GED.

Preliminary numbers from the GED Testing Service estimate that 90,000 people nationwide earned the General Educational Development diploma — a high school equivalency credential — in 2014. That's down from 540,535 in 2013 and 401,388 in 2012.

Similar declines are happening in Michigan, where the number passing in 2014 was 1,472 for people in the general population, down from 13,651 in 2013 and 10,290 in 2012.

Most education experts expected a decline because the number of people passing always drops when the GED introduces a new exam. But last year's drop was worse than the last overhaul in 2002, when there was a 53% decline in people passing the test. Last year, the drop was 83%. GED officials expect the numbers will rebound.

"The new test is a higher standard. It's just going to take more time for people to adjust," said Keenan Wade, manager of GED testing in Michigan's Workforce Development Agency.

"A year from now, we'll be right back to normal and everything will be fine," said Lennox McLendon, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education.

But some education experts are worried that the difficulty of the new test — and the additional time it will take to prepare for it — will discourage people from pursuing it, especially those who are taking it just to get a job. The new test is also more expensive, though whether that impacts students varies from state to state and program to program.

"I'm concerned that some people will be scared away by how long it's taking," said Amy Amador, executive director of the Mercy Education Project in Detroit, which provides GED preparation programs.

Others see the tougher test as necessary to better prepare students for the future. By many accounts, the old exam had become too easy and wasn't keeping up with the changing high school curriculum, particularly as more states adopt the Common Core State Standards, which spell out what students must know to be prepared for college or careers

Jacklyn Perkins, 56, of Detroit, who's taking GED classes at the Adult Education Center-West Campus in Detroit Public Schools, said the changes are "good in a way. ... We can go straight into college or a university."

Jacklyn Perkins works on her English skills during GED classes at the West Campus-Adult Education Center in Detroit.

Joshua Jordan, 22, of Detroit said he doesn't mind that the test is harder.

"It was difficult, but I like to be challenged. The new test prepares you for college better than the old one did."

Part of the decline in those taking the test can be attributed to a surge in 2013, as people rushed to complete the old exam before the new test began in January 2014. GED officials also attribute the decline to an improved economy that has put more people to work, and the fact that in the last year 10 states dropped the GED as their high school equivalency exam and seven more are now offering multiple equivalency exams.

But there's no doubt that the tougher test also has had an impact.

The retooling is happening as state funding for adult education programs has declined over the last decade, Amador said. The computer requirement is also making things difficult for a population of students who have "very basic or no computer literacy" skills.

Possible barrier to jobs

The American Council on Education, which developed the GED in the 1940s, began work toward the overhaul in 2009. In 2011, it formed a partnership with Pearson, an international education services company. The GED Testing Service was created from that partnership.

Diane Renaud, executive director and CEO of the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center in Detroit, which provides GED testing and preparation programs, said she isn't opposed to increasing the rigor but says the change happened too quickly and could hurt in the long run.

She and others are concerned that if people are scared off by the new test, it will hurt their chances of being in the workforce.

"The vast majority of the people taking the GED are not likely to be college-bound. However, to get a job, where you're able to earn a minimum livable wage, you have to have a GED."

She said the new test could create "a group of people who are not employable, can't go on to college, so they're going to be stuck either relying on assistance or falling into (crime)."

But CT Turner, spokesman for the GED Testing Service, said there aren't enough low-skill jobs in Michigan for those with just a high school diploma or a GED. The jobs that are vacant are those that require some postsecondary education (college, university, or training program).

Others experts say students will adapt, as they have every other time the GED has gone through a redesign. The test was created in 1942 and is now on its fourth update.

"Those potential workers will have to overcome the barrier," Wade said.

The changes were necessary to ensure the diploma is truly the equivalent of a high school diploma, said Kathryn Stoecker, GED program coordinator for Capital Area Literacy Coalition, which offers a program assisting with GED preparation.

"What's the point of having a test at all if we just want students to be able to easily pass it," Stoecker said.

An example for children

Perkins, who dropped out of high school years ago, is among hundreds of people who attend classes daily at what was once an elementary school. She wants to pursue a career in the medical field, "and nowadays you have to have a high school diploma or a GED for anything."

Everyone at the facility has a different story to tell about why they dropped out of high school and are now pursuing their GED. For Kelly West, 29, and Elizabeth Abrams, 38, it's not just about improving their employment options, but sending a message to their children.

Dima Walters helps Elizabeth Abrams during GED classes at the West Campus-Adult Education Center in Detroit.

"I always wanted to go back because I knew I couldn't be a hypocrite," said West, who dropped out of school when her son, now 12, was born and has now passed two of the four tests that make up the GED. "I couldn't tell my kids to go to school and go to college and have a career when I didn't finish school."

Abrams has four grown children and five grandchildren.

"I want to be an inspiration to other people that you're never too old and it's never too late to try and go back and get your GED, even if you just get the plaque and put it on your wall for your own self-fulfillment."

Michigan prisoners could provide some inspiration. They bucked the trend in 2014, showing a slight increase in the number passing the exam — though that likely is because earning a GED is a parole requirement for most.

Longer preparation

Dedria Willis, principal of the Detroit program, said the GED changes have forced programs like hers to retool to make sure students are properly prepared. Many of the students who come to the program started at a fourth- to seventh-grade level. Now, even before they can begin GED preparation, the staff must get them to the high-school level.

This is a portrait of Dedria Willis, principal of the West Campus-Adult Education Center in Detroit.

"It's going to take longer, and the students have to be a little more committed and dedicated," Willis said. "It's not going to be an easy fix like it used to be."

At the St. Vincent program, the average student comes in at the sixth-grade level and most could get through the program and pass the old GED within nine months.

"Now we fully expect that it's going to take people a year and a half," Renaud said.

Contact Lori Higgins: 313-222-6651, [email protected] or @LoriAHiggins

GED facts

The test: It's formally called the General Educational Development diploma, but commonly referred to as the GED. It is considered the equivalent of a high school diploma for those who dropped out or otherwise didn't earn a traditional diploma.

History: The exam was created in 1942 by the nonprofit Washington-based American Council on Education. In 2011, the council developed a partnership with the for-profit Pearson, an education services company. The two created a joint venture, the GED Testing Service, based in Washington.

Subjects covered: The GED includes four tests: reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, science and social studies. (For sample test questions, go to

Scoring: A scale score of 150 is considered passing and will earn a student a GED. That score lines up with the performance of 2013 high school graduates nationwide. A score of 170 will earn a student a GED diploma with honors, indicating the student has met college- and career-ready standards.

If you fail: The GED can be taken as many times as it takes. But there are some restrictions. You can take the test three times without a waiting period. But after the third failed attempt, test-takers must wait 60 days. That gives them up to eight opportunities in a year. Some programs — particularly those that subsidize the cost of taking the test — may have more specific restrictions on how many times they'll cover the cost.

Cost: In general, the cost is $150 in Michigan to take all four tests. However, the cost varies from program to program. Some programs cover the full cost, some cover a portion of the cost.

New feature: The 2014 changes include detailed reports students receive after taking a GED test, indicating what areas they struggled on — allowing for more precise preparation if they have to retake the exam.

Scope of GED: All but 10 states offer the GED. Another seven states offer the GED, and one or two alternate exams. A task force is being created in Michigan this year to study the various options.

New program

aims to get

people in school

The state Workforce Development Agency is launching a new program aimed at encouraging people to complete their GED testing so they can go on to postsecondary work, whether it's a community college, a university or a training program.

The GED-to-School program will pay the cost of testing — which is $150 in Michigan — beginning in June. The state earmarked $500,000 for the program.

"We're hoping we'll be able to extend the funding," said Keenan Wade, manager of the GED testing program for the agency.

To qualify, one would have to complete a preparation course approved by the agency and take the GED on or after June 1.

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