California GED Information and Courses

The California GED certifies that an individual has the skills equivalent to a high school graduate in four subject areas. There are some eligibility requirements specific to California that test takers must know. While they aren't a requirement, various study guides and preparation options are available.

What is the California GED Test?

The California General Education Development (GED) test assesses individuals in four subject areas: reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, social studies and science. According to the American Council on Education (ACE), this test is intended to measure a person's knowledge of these subjects in comparison to a high school graduate (www.acenet.edu). While the GED is primarily a multiple-choice test, some other types of questions are also included, such as fill-in-the-blank, short answer and extended response. In order to pass the GED, candidates must score a minimum of 150 points out of a possible 200 on each subject test and have total score of 600 or better.

Eligibility Requirements for the California GED

While there are general eligibility requirements for the GED, California maintains some additional standards. In order to take the GED test in California, a candidate must be a resident of the state who is older than 18 or within 60 days of their 18th birthday. Those who are under 18 must provide documentation to prove that they withdrew from high school at least 60 consecutive days prior. A letter from the military, a college or an employer requesting the early registration must also be provided. Should an individual not pass the GED, that person is eligible to retake it immediately up to three times, at which point a 60-day waiting period is imposed.

Preparing for the California GED

While studying is recommended, there are no prerequisites for taking the GED in California. Many libraries and book stores carry GED preparation materials and many adult education centers offer preparation courses. Practice tests are available through these and other testing centers. Individuals who create an account on the GED website (www.ged.com) will have access to a list of resources.

GED Courses

Adult education courses are offered that help prepare individuals to take the GED. In California, adult education courses are available through many local school districts; libraries, community organizations and other entities may also offer training. The Califonia Department of Education's website (www.cde.ca.gov) has an Adult Education Provider Directory with a zip code locator to help adult learners find the closest and best options for them. Some courses may cover the entire test while others focus on a specific subject area. An individual may be given a practice test and then, based on their performance, given a personalized study plan. They may also take the official GED practice text, referred to as GED-Ready, which is offered online.

Taking the GED in California

The CDE maintains a list of GED testing centers in California, and the ACE and GED websites both offer a testing center locator which searches by zip code. The test is taken on a computer. Each of the four exam modules costs $35, but re-takes are discounted under certain circumstances. Upon successfully completing all four sections of the California GED, an individual is presented with the California High School Equivalency Certificate. Individuals who are 17 will receive a letter of intent but won't receive the certificate itself until they turn 18.

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