New Jersey Adult Education
Tests of General Educational Development (GED®)
Frequently Asked Questions About GED
Q:What are the GED tests?
A: The GED (General Educational Development) tests are designed by a national organization to measure skills and concepts associated with four years of regular high school instruction. Each test is developed by adult and secondary educators and subject matter specialists. Each of the five tests corresponds to the general framework of most high school curricula: writing skills, social studies, science, interpreting literature and the arts, and mathematics:
Candidates testing on the Spanish editions of the GED Tests are also required to demonstrate fluency in English by passing the GED English Proficiency Test 6 with a minimum score of 40.
Q: Who is eligible for the GED tests?
A: The GED tests are intended primarily for persons who, for any number of reasons, have missed their first opportunity to complete a high school program of instruction. The GED tests can be administered only to persons who are at least 16 years old; have not graduated from an accredited high school or received a high school equivalency certificate or diploma; and are not currently enrolled in a regular high school. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must complete a Certificate of Consent to Participate, verifying that you are not enrolled in school. If you have a legal guardian, you must bring a copy of the court document awarding guardianship. Written confirmation of eligibility must be provided by all candidates. You must bring two pieces of identification: (1) The primary identification must be government-issued with a date of birth, photograph, address, and signature, such as a drivers license or valid passport. (2) The secondary identification must be a document that verifies the government identification, including your name and address, such as automotive registration or auto insurance ID.
Q: How do I sign up for the GED tests?
A: GED tests may be taken only at the GED Testing Centers and at other sites approved by the New Jersey Department of Education and GED Testing Service. There are certain restrictions on testing, and special accommodations are available for qualified persons. You must contact the testing center where you wish to take the GED tests to find out when the tests are scheduled and how to register for them.
Q: How do I request special accommodations for GED testing?
A: If you are a qualified candidate with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD), a physical disability, or a psychological disability, you can ask for a special edition of the GED tests, or modifications to the test administration that will help you to take the GED tests. The passing score requirements are the same for all candidates. Ask a local GED Testing Center for the correct form and return the completed form to the chief examiner at the local GED Testing Center where you intend to take the GED tests. Further information regarding special accommodation for GED testing can be found on this Web site.
Q: What are the GED test scores?
A: In order to qualify for a New Jersey state-endorsed high school diploma, candidates must meet the minimum test score requirements. There are three different periods of time during which the requirements differed slightly. The most recent set of requirements was adopted by the New Jersey State Board of Education effective April 1, 2005 in order to align New Jersey's requirements with national standards. Prior to April 1, 2005, the scores were based on those adopted January 1, 2002. Preceding those, the 1988 to 2001 requirements were in effect. Test scores are kept as part of a person's permanent GED testing record and all scores are confidential.
Q: How do I obtain a copy of my transcript?
A: An official GED transcript provides the GED testing scores and also verifies whether a person has qualified for a New Jersey state-issued high school diploma. To obtain a transcript, the person who took the test must submit a written request containing name at time of testing, date of birth, SS# , date of testing (if available) and signature. No information can be released without the written consent of the record holder. Submit all requests to:
NJ Department of Education
PO Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625
Q: Where can I take the GED test?
A: All of the GED Testing Centers in New Jersey are listed by county on this Web site. Individuals must phone or visit the center of their choice to find out when the tests are given and how to register.
Q: Why are changes being made to the GED/Adult education in New Jersey?
A: Major changes in the national GED Program, mandated to take effect as of January 1, 2014, will result in a more rigorous GED Test aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and designed to ensure college and career readiness. The non-profit company that develops the GED, the American Council on Education (ACE), has formed a limited liability corporation with the for-profit company Pearson VUE in order to continue to be able to offer the test. As a result of the changes by ACE and Pearson VUE, New Jersey has determined it will be in the best interest of students that we try to offer multiple assessments that students can select. This will help to keep the cost of testing down, and will provide students with more options and formats to take the test.
Q: I have heard that the GED is being phased out. What will replace it and how much will it cost?
A: Since the GED test is being aligned to the CCSS, Pearson VUE will no longer be a sole source provider for the adult education assessment. This shift affords the Department the opportunity to perform an in-depth analysis of alternative assessments with the goal of offering a range of testing options to New Jersey residents – with an eye towards the highest quality assessments and the lowest possible testing costs. Pearson VUE has changed the design of their GED assessment, which will only be offered as a computer-based test with a price set at $120.00. ETS and CTB – McGraw Hill now also have alternative assessments that New Jersey may use in addition to the new GED. The price for these tests has not yet been finalized, but they both will be less expensive than the Pearson VUE GED test.
Q: Some test takers have passed one or more of the subjects on the current 2002 series GED test. Will those scores be honored after January 1, 2014?
A: No. Per ACE and Pearson VUE (the designers of the GED test), , once a test series ends, a student who has not passed all portions of the test and achieved the total score of 2250 will have to take the new assessment.
Q: I provide adult education services and help prepare students for the GED. How should I change my services in order to prepare students for the new assessments?
A: The new GED and the other assessments being considered are all aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Teachers should prepare and teach towards these more rigorous standards. Preparation materials and professional development will be offered by the test vendors.
Q: When will the final decision be made about what options will be available as replacements for the GED?
A: The Department of Education is issuing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Test Vendors this summer. Test Vendors that reply and are approved by the State Board of Education will be placed on a list of approved test vendors. Test Centers will be able to select any or all test vendors and contract with each vendor. We plan to release the list of approved vendors in the fall.
Q: Will employers, colleges, the military and others recognize and accept the new assessments as a replacement for the GED? How will the change be communicated to them?
A: ETS and CTB-McGraw Hill have already started marketing their test to Colleges, Employers, the Military and others about their new assessment. The New Jersey Department of Education will also be issuing a press release and will work with the Department of Labor to educate the public about why these tests should be accepted.
Q: Who can become a test center, and how?
A: High Schools, Community and Four Year Colleges, State-agencies, and Non-Profit companies are currently permitted to be test centers by Pearson VUE. In 2014, the State Department of Education will allow for-profit companies, apprenticeship programs, libraries, and others to become test centers as well. Test centers will contract with whichever test vendor(s) they desire. Other approved vendors will be required to publicize their testing venues and any procedures for becoming a test venue.
Q: In 2014 will test scores from the different assessments be combined, or do students need to finish whatever test they start to earn the State-issued diploma?
A: Starting in 2014, when a student takes one of the approved assessments it will be added to the state database and combined with any other assessment the student has taken. If a student doesn't pass the entire assessment and retakes it or any other, it will be combined as well.
Q: Will the new assessments be offered on paper and computer?
A: The Pearson VUE GED will only be offered on the computer starting January 1, 2014; the ETS and CTB McGraw Hill tests will be offered on paper and computer.
Q: Will special accommodation be offered by all the test vendors?
Q: Will special accommodation be offered by all the test vendors?
A: Yes. Students wishing to apply for special accommodations will contact the test center for the application, and the test vendor will determine if the student is eligible for the accommodation.