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All About the GED: Pennsylvania

If you live in Pennsylvania and don't have a high school diploma, passing the General Educational Development (GED) tests are a way to earn your Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma. This is equivalent to a high school diploma and is accepted by almost all colleges and universities, as well as employers and the military.

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Answering Your Questions About Taking the Pennsylvania GED Test

Am I Eligible?

As an adult who's at least 18 years old, you must be a resident of Pennsylvania. You can't be a high school graduate, nor can you be currently enrolled in a secondary school. You'll need to provide appropriate documentation to verify your identity.

How Is the GED Structured?

The GED consists of five separate exams that cover mathematics, social studies, science, language arts - reading and language arts - writing. Total testing time is seven hours and five minutes. There is one essay in the exam, which is Part II of the language arts - writing exam. A calculator is provided for the math section of the test. The GED test is available in English, French and Spanish in Pennsylvania.

What Is the Minimum Score to Pass?

Pennsylvania requires that your score for the entire exam (five tests) is at least 2250, but you need to score at least 410 on each individual test. You may retake each test that you didn't pass up to three times a year. However, the chief examiner makes the final decision on how many times a candidate can repeat the tests.

How Do I Register in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has over 110 certified testing centers throughout the state where you can register and take the GED test. To find a center near you, type your zip code into the locator on the American Council for Education's website or call the toll-free hotline (www.acenet.edu). Contact your center for test times, current fee to take the exam and registration details. You can also contact the GED test administrator for Pennsylvania via the ACE website or the Pennsylvania Department of Education (www.portal.state.pa.us)

Can I Take the Test Online?

You can't take the GED test online in Pennsylvania or in any other state or jurisdiction. The test is given only in official testing centers.

How Can I Prepare for the GED Test?

If you prefer help from a teacher, consider taking a GED test preparation class. Pennsylvania Department of Education's Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE) program offers free classes in community colleges, school districts and learning centers throughout the state. The list of teaching agencies is available on the state's Department of Education website.

Pennsylvania offers the option of preparing for the GED test without having to come to a class. Test candidates can work with a teacher using the Internet, video and workbooks. The distant study program is also free but requires a separate enrollment and orientation. If you're interested in this option, contact the teaching agency nearest you by following the link on the Department of Education's website to the online application or call the toll free number. Other at-home and online preparation aids are available on the ACE website.

Are There Special Accommodations?

Persons taking the GED tests can apply for special accommodations if they have a disability, including physical, mental or emotional, which would interfere with their best performance on the test. Call the chief examiner at your test center for the appropriate forms. You can also review the general procedure for special accommodations on the ACE website. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Other accommodations, such as earplugs and large print test material, as well as taking one test per day, are available on request without extra documentation. The list of non-special accommodations is available on the Department of Education's website, and requests should be made before the day of the test.

How Do I Get My Diploma and Scores?

Once you pass the GED tests, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sends your diploma to the address on your application. You only receive one diploma, so you can't get a duplicate diploma if you lose it.

To get your scores, Pennsylvania candidates need go to the Department of Education's website and fill out the transcript request form (online or by hand). Print it and mail it with the required money order to the state's GED office, where you can pick up your transcript if you have photo identification and the money order. Note that you can buy more than one transcript.

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