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High School Equivalency (HSE) Testing Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the GED®?

The GED® is a battery of five tests in the areas of Language Arts - Writing Skills, Language Arts - Reading, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematics. The questions in each of these tests require you to use general knowledge and thinking skills. Few questions ask about facts, details, or definitions.

What are the GED® Tests like?

With the exception of Language Arts - Writing Skills, which requires you to write an essay on the assigned topic; and the Mathematics Test, which has open-ended questions that require some of the answers be entered on to an Alternative Grid or a Coordinate Plane, all of the questions on the GED® Test are multiple choice with five possible answers given. The questions range in difficulty from easy to hard, and cover a wide range of subjects.

Am I eligible to test and receive a GED® credential in Massachusetts?

You are eligible to take the tests and receive the credential if you meet the following requirements:

Minimum Age For Testing: 18 with no qualifications; however, in order to register and be tested at 16 or 17, registrants must provide a letter from their last school of attendance attesting that they have officially withdrawn from school. (Letter of Withdrawal)

Residence: Applicant must be a resident of Massachusetts; last attended secondary school in Massachusetts; or proof of continued residence in Massachusetts while in the U. S. Armed Forces. (Military personnel assigned to Massachusetts or members of their families residing with them are also eligible through DANTES). Out-of-State resident may test if there is space at a Test Center; however, transcript of their test scores will be sent to their home state for issuance of the equivalency diploma or certificate.

School Status: Individual may not be enrolled in any elementary or secondary school program or have received a diploma or certificate indicating they have received a high school credential.

What scores do I need to past the GED®?

Minimum Test Scores: A standard score of not less than 410 on each of the five tests, and an average standard score of 450 on all five tests. The total standard score must be equal to or exceed 2250

How do I register for taking my GED® Tests?

Each Official GED® Test Center in Massachusetts sets their own test registration and test schedule. You must contact a test center directly to register for the test (List of GED® Test Centers).

How much does it cost to take the GED® in Massachusetts?

The cost is $65 payable at the time of registration ($60 per battery plus $5 processing fee for diploma). Each test center will tell you what form of payment they accept.

How should I prepare for the tests?

Classes are not required to take the GED® tests. Individuals may review and study on their own. Books and materials are available at local libraries or bookstores. Materials/ study guides may also be purchased at the following web site: McGraw-Hill Educatio . You can also go online to the Official GEDTS web site for Official Practice Tests.

However, should you decide that you want to attend a program for GED® preparation; your next step is to contact the Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline or call 1-800-447-8844 to receive information about adult education and GED® preparation programs near you. You may also check the Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS) web site at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for a list of Department of Elementary and Secondary Education funded programs.

Many adult education programs sponsored by local school districts, colleges, and even community organizations, provide the instruction you may need for the tests. You can talk to the teachers at these adult education programs, to decide whether you need to study for all of the tests, or if you only need to brush up on your skills in a few areas.

There is also a television series carried by cable television and most public television stations throughout the country. Check your Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) in your area. This television series may provide you with the preparation that you need.

What if I have a disability?

Every candidate for the GED® Tests should have a fair opportunity to demonstrate his or her knowledge and skills under appropriate test conditions. For some candidates, a disability may interfere with their ability to fully demonstrate what they know under standard testing conditions.

Accommodations in testing are available for adults with documented physical disabilities as well as learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and emotional or psychological disabilities. Each request is considered on an individual basis.

If I don't pass, what do I do?

Requirements for Retesting: Retest(s) must be taken in accordance with State GED® Retest Policy after the completion of the full battery. A candidate must retest first on any test on which he/she achieved a score below 410. The retest fee is $15 per test taken.

How do I get a copy or duplicate credential/diploma of my GED®?

We do not issue duplicate diplomas or copies of your GED®. Also, please note in Massachusetts, Official GED® Score Report/Transcripts do not indicate receiving a GED® certificate/diploma only that the five tests were taken and passed. To verify you received a GED® in Massachusetts, you must obtain either the Official Letter of Certification or a Simple Verification.

How can my employer get verification I have a GED®?

Employers, training programs, colleges or any individual you want can get a Simple Verification by completing the form and with a signed authorization from you faxed directly to the GED® Office.

How do I get a Copy of my Official GED® Score Report/Transcript?

If you are still interested in receiving the official score report/transcript of your scores, please contact the test center where you tested directly (List of GED® Test Centers).

A maximum fee of $8.00 may be charged by the test center for the official score report/transcript.

Last Updated: March 28, 2012
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