How to get GED

Many students want or need a GED (General Education Development) certificate, but are confused on how to get a GED.   The process for getting a GED is simple and outlined below.

Step 1: Understand your state requirements for GED

Each state or jurisdiction has slightly different requirements and processes for taking the GED.  But, in general, each state will require you to be at least 18 years old and not to be a high school graduate.  Detailed GED state requirements are available from

Step 2: Prepare for the GED

GED preparation is available in several formats.  You can take GED preparation classes in a classroom locally from many sources including your local community colleges.  GED preparation classes are also available online, but you need to be careful to avoid scams.  There are several free online GED practice tests available to help you prepare.

There are also several excellent self-study books to help you prepare for the GED. recommends the following books to help you prepare for the GED:
  • Kaplan GED 2009-2010 Edition: Complete Self-Study Guide for the GED Tests
  • Cracking the GED, 2010 Edition (College Test Preparation)
  • McGraw-Hill's GED w/ CD-ROM: The Most Complete and Reliable Study Program for the GED Tests (Mcgraw Hill's Ged)

Step 3: Register for the GED

The GED test must be taken in person at an official test center – and CANNOT be taken online. There are thousands of GED test sites across the US and Canada.  The tests are available in English, French, Spanish and Braille.

You need to contact your local test center to schedule your GED test.  You can find out your local test center by visiting your state GED resource page or by going to the test center locator at the American Council of Education website.

Each state and test center has a different registration process.  Most states charge between $10 and $70 to take the exam.  All states will require you to show an acceptable for of ID and proof of residency.

Step 4: Take and pass the GED!

All GED test facilities will have strict security measures in place.  You will only be allowed to bring pens, pencils and erasers into the testing area.  All of your other materials (including coats, purses, food etc.) may need to be confiscated and returned after the exam is over.  Some facilities will allow you to bring food and drink if you are taking all five portions of the exam in the same day.  As before, you should check with your individual test center for details.