All About the GED: Alabama

If you're an adult in Alabama without a high school diploma and are considering attending college or would like to increase your employability, you might consider taking the General Educational Development (GED) exam. To prepare for the GED in Alabama, you may enroll in GED classes.

Taking the GED in Alabama

The General Educational Development (GED) exam, which measures your high school level academic knowledge, is made up of five sections: writing, social studies, science, reading and mathematics. In addition to completing a written essay, you will answer 240 questions. Each section has a time limit and the entire GED takes about seven hours to complete.

The GED is available in the English, Spanish and French languages in Alabama. If you'd like to take the GED in Spanish or French, you might also consider taking an English proficiency exam because a passing score will be noted on your official transcript. The Alabama Community College System has created a listing of official GED testing centers with contact information (www.accs.cc). On testing day, you must provide a government issued photo identification as well as your Social Security card or your federal Taxpayer Identification Number.

Scoring Information

The Alabama Community College System states that you must earn at least 410 points on each section of the GED to pass. However, you must receive an average score of 450 points on all sections to earn the minimum passing total standard score of 2,250.

If you fail a portion of or all of the GED, you must wait six weeks to retest in Alabama. You can retest up to two times per calendar year. Your new total standard score will include the replacement scores of each of the sections that you chose to retest on.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to take the GED, you must meet the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education requirements (www.accs.cc). You should not be enrolled in a high school program, private or public. Also, you should not have a high school diploma as recognized by the Alabama Department of Education. You may take the GED at age 18 without any restrictions; individuals ages 16 or 17 must satisfy certain requirements. These requirements include:

  • Providing an official withdrawal form from your previously attended school
  • Submitting a notarized letter of permission from a parent or guardian
  • Possessing proof of an exit interview or exemption certificate from your previously attended school
  • Documenting proof of residency within the state of Alabama

Preparing for the GED

You can prepare for the Alabama GED through preparation classes, watching a GED program on TV or through independent study. Preparation classes are offered through the adult education section of the Alabama Community College System. To locate a class, you can take advantage of the America's Literacy Directory made available by the Literacy Information and Communication System (www.literacydirectory.org).

The GED Testing Service, a section of GED-creator the American Council on Education, offers sample questions as well as an official practice test (www.gedtestingservice.com). GED Connection, a division of PBS LiteracyLink, is a program televised on your local access TV station. Also, your local library or bookstore may have GED study books available.

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