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Earning a High School Diploma in Vermont
Vermont offers two pathways to a diploma for people who did not finish high school. The state's High School Completion Program allows you to work with educators to earn credits for a traditional diploma. Vermont also offers the General Education Development or GED test which allows you to earn a Vermont Secondary School Equivalency Certificate by passing a comprehensive set of tests that show you have the skills and knowledge expected of a high school graduate.
High School Completion Program
Vermont's High School Completion Program is now available to anyone 16 and older. This program, which is administered by Vermont's Adult Education and Literacy network allows participants to work with local high schools and a local Adult Education and Literacy center to design an individualized graduation plan that can include a wide variety of different educational and training experiences. It is intended as an alternative to the usual credit-based graduation program. Credits earned in high school may be applied toward graduation requirements.
Individuals will initially need to take tests in writing, math and reading to assess their skills level. The program uses all types of training, including workshops, courses, work-based projects, internships, classwork and mentoring. Upon completion, students earn a diploma from a partnering high school.
The GED Test
The GED Test is a seven-an-a-half hour exam that has four separate test sections in language arts, math, science and social studies. The GED test is taken on computer at an official testing center, and cannot be taken online. The test is offered in English and Spanish, and you can take it all in one day if scheduling allows, or you can take the following test sections one at a time, in any order:
- Reasoning Through Language Arts - This is a 150-minute test that assesses your reading ability and your writing skills. Some of the questions will require you to analyze and interpret literary and informational texts. Other questions will ask you to revise written selections and correct problems with grammar, organization and word usage. The test includes an essay that you have 45 minutes to plan, write and edit.
- Mathematical Reasoning - The math portion of the GED tests your problem-solving skills and covers topics in arithmetic, algebra and geometry. There are a variety of question formats and specific items may include fractions, decimals, percents, ratios, polynomials, linear equations and calculating the area, perimeter and volume of geometric figures. The test is 115 minutes and you can use a calculator and a formula sheet for most of the questions.
- Social Studies This 90-minute test section assesses your ability to understand, analyze and interpret different types of social studies-related ideas and information. The test content covers U.S. history, civics and government, geography and economics. Questions are based on reading selections, graphs, maps charts and illustrations. The Social Studies test section also requires you to write a 25-minute essay.
- Science The 90-minute Science test section measures your ability to understand, interpret and express scientific ideas and information. Questions cover life sciences, physical science and Earth and space science. The test includes two extended-response questions that may ask you to summarize information and evaluate data.
Passing the GED
You must score 150 on each of the four test sections and have a total score of 600 to pass the GED Test. If you earn 170-200 points on any test section you will receive and Honors score. If you score below 150 on a test section, you can retake it up to three times within a year. There is no set waiting time between retests.
Vermont GED Eligibility Requirements and Fees
In Vermont, you can take the GED test if you are 18 or older. The test is also available to candidates who are 16-17, if they have a consent form signed by a parent or guardian.
The fees for GED testing in Vermont are $30 for each test section, or $120 for the full battery of four tests. The GED Testing Service website, GED.com, has a database of testing centers in Vermont and you can register and schedule your tests online. Your can also find sample questions, practice tests and other study resources at Ged.com.