Earning Your Arkansas High School Diploma!

Mar 15, 2018

Adults who have not earned a high school diploma may obtain the Arkansas High School Diploma by taking and passing the General Educational Development Exam (GED). This four-part exam tests skills in the subjects needed for high school graduation. Veterans who were honorably discharged may also qualify for a high school diploma in Arkansas.

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 is administered by the state. Candidates who pass this four-section exam are awarded the Arkansas 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 after having met certain adult education requirements.

All test takers must show a valid government photo ID and prove they are residents of Arkansas. They must also take and pass the Official GED Practice Test for each test section they intend on taking. 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 placement testing before students are allowed to begin a GED class.

Passing the GED

To obtain a passing score on the GED, you must obtain a score of 145 on each part of the test, with a total score of at least 580. Individuals who do not pass may repeat the failed section, but after failing 3 times in Arkansas a person has to wait 60 days if they want to retake the exam.

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.

GED Test

The GED test is composed of four sections, which include math, reasoning through language arts, science and social studies. GED testing centers provide a calculator for use in a portion of the math test. The GED Testing Service website lists general information on the GED subjects.

Preparation for the GED

Arkansas provides basic GED education for those preparing for the GED exams. Classes are generally open to those who are eligible to take the tests. 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 GED 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. 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. Visit the GED website (www.ged.com) for further information and to schedule the practice test and actual exam. Test centers may also be found on the website by using the test center locator.

Testing centers may be able to provide the GED test in 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.

Veterans Diploma

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 are a resident of Arkansas and served at least 18 months in the U.S. Armed Forces 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).

Why Get Your GED in Arkansas

It is beneficial to get your GED because many employers, colleges and training institutes will recognize it as an equivalent to a high school diploma. This credential can qualify you for jobs, the military and continuing education. You may also be setting a positive example for younger people in your family, whether they be your children or grandchildren.

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