If you never finished high school, you may have thought about taking the General Education Development test to get your GED. And for good reason--in this day and age, having a high school diploma or a GED is crucial for obtaining employment. Fortunately, testing for the GED is a fairly simple process. Here is what you have to do:
- Meet Eligibility Requirements -- GED applicants must be at least 17 years of age and a resident of Tennessee. Applicants must not have earned a high school diploma or GED in the past. Applicants who are 17 or 18 years old must obtain an eligibility form from their last high school's office. Nineteen-year-old students who have been enrolled in school during the current year must also obtain this form.
- Take a Preparatory Class -- In Tennessee, GED applicants are required to first take a GED preparatory class and practice exam. While there are many classes available--both online and in person, free and for a fee--Memphis City Schools offers a free class at Messick Adult Center. Call (901) 416-4840 to schedule a class.
- Register To Take the Test -- There are two testing sites in the city of Memphis. One is at Southwest Tennessee Community College and the other is at the Memphis City Schools Board of Education. Both sites require you to register in person and pay the $55* fee to take the test.
- Bring Required Documentation -- On the day of the test, you will need to bring these items to the testing site: a state-issued photo ID, a Social Security card, your practice test scores, two pencils, and a pen. Applicants who are 17 and 18 years old must also bring a certified birth certificate and the eligibility form from their school.
- Wait For Your Results -- It could take as many as three weeks before your test has been processed and scored. At that time, you will receive your results by mail. Applicants who passed the test will also receive their diplomas in the mail.
- In order to pass the test, applicants must have an average score of 450 or above on the entire test, scoring no lower than 410 on any single portion of the test.
- Tests are available in English, Spanish, French, and Braille. Specialized testing is available for applicants with documented special needs.
- If you do not pass the test the first time, you may test again in 30 days and you may test as many as three times in one year.
*Testing fees were accurate at the time of this article but are subject to change. Be sure to contact the testing site to verify fees before registering.