All About the GED: Pennsylvania

If you live in Pennsylvania and don't have a high school diploma, passing the General Educational Development (GED) tests are a way to earn your Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma. This is equivalent to a high school diploma and is accepted by almost all colleges and universities, as well as employers and the military.

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Answering Your Questions About Taking the Pennsylvania GED Test

Am I Eligible?

As an adult who's at least 18 years old, you must be a resident of Pennsylvania. You can't be a high school graduate, nor can you be currently enrolled in a secondary school. Individuals that are 16 or 17 years of age may be eligible to take the exam if certain criteria are met and required written statements are provided. You'll need to provide appropriate documentation to verify your identity.

How Is the GED Structured?

The GED consists of four subject areas that require about seven and a half hours to complete. The subject areas covered in the exam are:

  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Reasoning through Language Arts.

Sections are comprised of a combination of multiple-choice questions, reading tasks, short answer, and extended response questions. A calculator is provided for the math section of the test. The GED test is available in English and Spanish in Pennsylvania.

What Is the Minimum Score to Pass?

Pennsylvania requires that you score at least 150 on each individual test. Individuals who fail one of the subject area tests are able to retake the test two times without a waiting period between retakes. After the second retake, there is a 60-day waiting period before another attempt at the GED test can be made.

How Do I Register in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has over 80 certified testing centers throughout the state where you can register and take the GED test. To find a center near you, visit www.ged.com. Contact your center for test times, current fee to take the exam and registration details.

Can I Take the Test Online?

You can't take the GED test online in Pennsylvania or in any other state or jurisdiction. The test is given only in official testing centers.

How Can I Prepare for the GED Test?

If you prefer help from a teacher, consider taking a GED test preparation class. Pennsylvania Department of Education's Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE) program offers free classes in community colleges, school districts and learning centers throughout the state. The list of teaching agencies is available on the state's Department of Education website.

Pennsylvania offers the option of preparing for the GED test without having to come to a class. Test candidates can work with a teacher using the Internet, video and workbooks. The distant study program is also free but requires a separate enrollment and orientation. If you're interested in this option, contact the teaching agency nearest you by following the link on the Department of Education's website to the online application or call the toll free number. Other at-home and online preparation aids are available on the GED Test Service website (www.gedtestingservice.com).

Are There Special Accommodations?

Persons taking the GED tests can apply for special accommodations if they have a disability, including physical, mental or emotional, which would interfere with their best performance on the test. Call the chief examiner at your test center for the appropriate forms. You can also review the general procedure for special accommodations on the GED Testing Service website.

How Do I Get My Diploma and Scores?

Once you pass the GED tests, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sends your diploma to the address on your application. You only receive one diploma, so you can't get a duplicate diploma if you lose it.

To get your scores, Pennsylvania candidates need go to the Department of Education's website and fill out the transcript request form (online or by hand). Print it and mail it with the required money order to the state's GED office, where you can pick up your transcript if you have photo identification and the money order. Note that you can buy more than one transcript.

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