GED Overview and Eligibility

The Chancellor, Department of Postsecondary Education may award a State of Alabama High School Equivalency Diploma to you if you meet the eligibility requirements and attain a standard score of not less than four hundred ten (410) on each of the five (5) tests comprising the GED Test battery AND an average standard score of not less than four hundred fifty (450) on the test battery (2250 total points). Policies and score requirements may change without prior notice and may be supplemented by other policies of the GED Testing Service. Am I eligible to take the GED Tests?

What are the GED Tests? The First GED Tests were developed in 1942 to help returning World War II veterans finish their studies and re-enter civilian life. Recognized throughout North America, the GED Testing Program has served as a bridge to education and employment for an estimated 15.2 million people over its 60-year history. About one in seven high school diplomas issued in the United States each year is based on passing the GED Tests. Developed by the American Council on Education's GED Testing Service, the TESTS of General Education Development (GED Tests) are designed to measure the major and lasting academic outcomes students normally acquired by completing a typical high school program of study. Each of the five tests uses a multiple-choice question format. In addition, every GED candidate must also satisfactorily complete a timed essay on an assigned topic in order to pass the GED Tests. Each of the five tests in the GED Tests battery is developed from specifications established by experienced secondary school and adult educators and is reviewed by subject-matter experts. Every test question undergoes multiple reviews by test specialists and external content specialists and is evaluated for fairness. Each question is also field-tested before becoming part of a final test form. The GED Tests are standardized on a regular basis using a national stratified random sample of graduating high school seniors, tested in the spring of their senior year. These seniors establish the performance standard required for candidates to earn a GED credential. Equating studies performance standard required for candidates to earn a GED credential. Equating studies ensure comparability across different forms of the GED Tests. The standard score scale for the GED Tests is derived directly from the performance of graduating high school seniors. Standard scores, and the accompanying percentile ranks, provide the vehicle for comparing the performance of GED candidates to the performance of graduating high school seniors. In order to pass the GED Tests, the GED candidate must currently demonstrate a level of skill that meets or surpasses that of the top 60 percent of graduating high school seniors.

Test Area
Number of Questions
Time Limit
Language Arts, Writing, Part I
50
75 minutes
Language Arts, Writing, Part II
1 Essay
45 minutes
Social Studies
50
70 minutes
Science
50
80 minutes
Language Arts, Reading
40
65 minutes
Mathematics
50
90 minutes

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Am I eligible to take the GED Tests?

In order to be administered the GED Test, candidates shall:

1. Not be enrolled in a public K-12 school, or a private K-12 registered with the Alabama Department of Education.
2. Be a legal resident of Alabama, a military member / dependent stationed in Alabama, a non-U. S. citizen residing in Alabama, or a non-resident enrolled in an adult education program funded by the Department of Postsecondary Education.
3. Not have earned a secondary school diploma from a public school or a private school registered with the Alabama Department of Education. NOTE: Those awarded the Alabama Occupational Diploma (AOD) as defined in §290-3-1-.02(8)(g) of the Alabama State Board of Education Administrative Code are eligible to take the GED Tests.
4. Meet one of the following requirements:
5. Eighteen (18) years of age or older.
6. Sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age, exited a public school or a private school, [Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28-1(1)], registered with the State Department of Education or a similar agency of another state and present to the GED Examiner at the time of application.

  • A notarized letter from a parent / legal guardian that the applicant has permission to be administered the GED Tests.
  • Documentation from a city / county local education agency or private school, as appropriate, verifying that the applicant has withdrawn. This may be a letter (on letterhead stationary) from the local superintendent, principal, or headmaster, as appropriate. NOTE: If the candidate has never enrolled in an Alabama K-12 school, the candidate shall submit a letter from the city / county board of education. The letter must verify that the candidate is eligible to enroll, but has not.

7. Sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age, incarcerated, and have the written permission of the legal custodian exercising authority over the candidate.
8. Sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age, institutionalized, and have the written permission of the legal custodian exercising authority over the candidate
9. Sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age, taught at home by private tutor, and present to ED Examiner at the time of application:

  • A notarized letter from a parent / legal guardian that the applicant has permission to be administered the GED Test and
  • Written verification, on letterhead, from the city / county superintendent of education that the private tutor had fulfilled the requirements of the Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28-5, by filing a statement showing the name of the child to be instructed, the subjects to be taught, and the period of time such instruction is proposed to be given.

10. Sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age, attending a church school that is not a private school registered with the State Department of Education in accordance with the Code of Alabama (1975), §16-28-1(2), and present to the GED Examiner at the time of application:

  • A notarized letter from a parent / legal guardian that the applicant has permission to be administered the GED Test.
  • Written verification, on letterhead, from the church school principal / headmaster that the candidate is attending or has attended the church school, but has exited.

11. Sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age, participating in the alternate Adult High School Diploma (AAHSD) Program (AAC Rule 290-3-1-02) and present to the GED Examiner at the time of application a properly completed GED Options for Selected Students Enrolled in Secondary Schools GED Testing Authorization From and a copy of the parent's / legal guardian's letter granting permission for the student to participate in the AAHSD Program.
12. Sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age, enrolled in an adult education program funded by the Department of Postsecondary Education, not be a Alabama resident, and present to the GED Examiner at the time of application the documentation described in paragraphs ii, v, or vi, as appropriate. The applicant must also present a letter from the Adult Education Director verifying participation in an adult education program.
13. Eighteen (18) years of age or older, enrolled in an adult education program funded by the Department of Postsecondary Education, not be an Alabama resident, and present to the GED Examiner at the time of application a letter from the Adult Education Director verifying participation in an adult education program.

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Contact Information:
Director - Donnie Sweeney
dsweeney@nwscc.edu
(256) 331-5438
Secretary - Sandra Mitchell
smitchell@nwscc.edu
(256) 331-5440


Testing / Advising Specialist - Kem Grissom
kgrissom@nwscc.edu
(256) 331-5443
GED Online Instructor - Betty Stone
bstone@nwscc.edu
(256) 331-8175

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