Earn your High School Diploma in Arkansas
The GED Test
Adults in Arkansas who do not have a high school diploma may take the General Educational Development (GED) examination to earn their state diploma. The GED is the main statewide option available for adults in Arkansas to earn their high school credential. The GED was created by the American Council on Education (ACE) and administered by the state. Candidates who pass this four-section exam are awarded the Arkansas State High School Diploma. Most employers and institutions of higher learning accept the GED credential as a high school diploma equivalent.
Individuals age 18 and older are eligible to take the GED test in Arkansas if they are not enrolled in any secondary education program and do not have a high school diploma. If you are ages 16 or 17 you may take the test if you have a waiver letter from your last high school stating that you have officially withdrawn from school.
All test takers must show a valid government photo ID and proof they are residents of Arkansas. They must also take and pass the Official GED Practice Test. You may schedule a practice test through an official GED testing center or as part of an adult education GED class. Adult education centers may require additional testing to prove a candidate has at least an eighth grade education before he or she is allowed to take the practice exam.
The GED test is composed of four sections, which include reasoning through math, reasoning through language arts, science and social studies. The writing test includes an essay, and some of the math questions must be answered on a grid. These tests are multiple-choice. GED testing centers provide a calculator for use in a portion of the math test. The Arkansas Department of Career Education website lists general information on the GED subjects. The ACE website (acenet.edu) provides detailed information about the answer grids, calculator and the content of all the tests.
Preparation for the GED
Arkansas provides basic and GED education for those preparing for the GED exams. Classes are open to adults 18 and over. You may locate adult education and GED classes on the Arkansas Department of Career Education website (ace.arkansas.gov) under adult education.
Individuals who prefer to study at home or online may utilize resources on the ACE website, including a practice test and sample questions with answers. Other resources include the PBS Literacy Link's GED Connection course (litlink.ket.org/) and sample questions and workbooks from the Steck-Vaughn Company (secure.practice4ged.com). These books as well as other resources may be available at your local public library or bookstore.
Individuals ages 16 or 17 may take the GED classes with the agreement of their parents or guardians and the GED program administrator. Test takers may have to attend the classes for a specific amount of time per week.
Taking the GED
The GED is neither available online nor by correspondence course. The official test is only given at state-approved testing centers. Contact the nearest testing center for further information and to schedule the practice test and actual exam. Test centers may be found on the ACE website by using the test center locator or on the state Career Education website under GED.
Testing centers may be able to provide the GED test in French or Spanish. These centers may also accommodate persons with learning, mental, physical or emotional disabilities if a qualified professional provides documentation. Contact your test center for more information.
Passing the GED
To obtain a passing score on the GED, you must obtain a score of 150 on each of the tests, with a total score of at least 600. Individuals who do not pass may repeat the failed section, but may have to wait for a specific time period to retake the exam. They may also be required to undergo additional preparation work. Be aware that a test candidate who does not pass the essay portion of the GED writing test must retake both the essay and the multiple-choice section to pass.
Test takers who pass the GED test may receive a diploma and copies of their transcript by contacting the state GED office. The appropriate form is on the Department of Career Education website.
Veterans who do not have a high school diploma because they left school for military service in the Vietnam or Korean wars may be eligible to receive a high school diploma. If you served in the U.S. Armed Forces, are a resident of Arkansas and served at least 18 months or were discharged with a duty-related disability, the state will award you a high school diploma. For more information, contact your local school district through the Arkansas Department of Education website (arkansased.org).