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GED FAQs: How Do I Register for the GED?

The General Educational Development (GED) Test allows persons without a high school diploma to earn an equivalent credential, but each state set its own process, fees and requirements for registering for the exam. For example, Maine does not have a residency requirement, and testing is free in West Virginia. Knowing and following the procedure for your particular state or jurisdiction is key to registering for the exam.

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Answers to Your Questions About GED Registration

Who is Eligible?

Anyone who is currently enrolled in high school or already has a high school diploma is ineligible to take the exam. Some states require that candidates take a preparatory course and/or the GED Official Practice Exam before they can register. Your local test center or your state's department of education can provide the test policies and requirements for your location. The website of the American Council for Education (ACE), which oversees the GED Testing Service, has links leading to the policies for all the states and jurisdictions, including military bases and correctional facilities (www.acenet.edu).

You should be at least 16 years old on the day you take the GED. However, most states and jurisdictions require extra documentation if you are 16 or 17 years old. Find out from your test center or test administrator what additional forms or paperwork you may need.

What Special Accommodations Are Available?

Visual and hearing impairments, learning disabilities, mental or emotional illness and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are among the conditions that qualify for special accommodations. You'll need to provide documentation of your disability from a qualified health professional or evaluator, as well as any school or other reports that support your case. The request form must be filled out by you, the person who evaluates you and the chief examiner at your local test center. The accommodations request form and guidelines for your evaluator are available at your testing center and on the ACE website.

How Do I Find Authorized Sites?

The GED is offered at more than 3,400 official testing sites in and outside of the U.S. Locate your nearest center by typing your zip code into the GED locator on the ACE website. You can also call the toll-free hotline at (800) 626-9433 (800-62-MY GED) or contact your state department of education. If you are eligible to take the GED, but you live outside of the U.S., contact Prometric Services for scheduling your exam (www.prometric.com).

GED Testing Locations

Be aware that the GED test cannot be taken online. Your nearest physical location for taking the test might be a community college, a high school or an adult learning center. Contact your test site, your test administrator or the state website for information about testing times and directions to the center.

GED Administrators

Test administrators are in charge of GED testing for each state or jurisdiction. Their names and contact information are usually found with the address of the department of education or other office that manages testing for your state. Contact your administrator if you have questions about finding a test center, eligibility or special accommodations. Ask your administrator or local test center about the testing fee since it varies from state to state.

Legitimate Online GED Sites

A website that advertises an online GED credential may be a 'diploma mill' or even fraudulent. These tests don't meet the rigorous standards of the ACE, and any credential you receive is not likely to be accepted by colleges or prospective employers.

Legitimate websites for information include the ACE website and state sites. Official state GED information is usually found on the state's department of education site. Legitimate websites for studying for the GED include Steck Vaughn Adult Education (steckvaughnadult.hmhco.com/) and PBS Literacy Link (litlink.ket.org/).

What Steps and Documentation Are Needed?

If you plan to register at your local test center, call ahead to make sure it's open. Be prepared to fill out the necessary forms and pay the fee, if applicable. Proof of identity such as a birth certificate, passport or driver's license may be required, as well as proof of residency. In some cases you may be able to preregister online, or you may be able to print out and mail your forms to the address provided.

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