You are eligible to take the GED test if you are a resident of California and meet any one of the following criteria:
- The individual is 18 years of age or older, or within 60 days of his or her 18th birthday (regardless of school enrollment status).
- The individual must be within 60 days of when he or she would have graduated from high school had he or she remained in school and followed the usual course of study (please note that examinees testing under this criteria may not be enrolled in school).
- The individual is 17 years of age, has been out of school for at least 60 consecutive school days, and provides a letter of request for the test from the military, a post-secondary educational institution or a prospective employer.
- The individual is 17 years of age and is incarcerated in a California state or county correctional facility; persons testing under these conditions must meet all of the following criteria:
- The examinee does not have a realistic chance of completing the requirements for a high school diploma.
- The examinee has adequate academic skills to successfully complete the GED test battery.
- The examinee understands the options available regarding acquisition of a high school diploma, the high school equivalency certificate or the high school proficiency certificate, and the requirements, expectations, benefits, and limitations of each option.
- The examinee has sufficient commitment time left to complete the entire GED test battery; however, if released before the test is completed, the examinee may complete testing at an authorized testing center.
Persons who pass the GED test at age 17 will not receive the equivalency certificate until their 18th birthday; a letter of intent is issued which states that the certificate is being held pending the examinee's 18th birthday.
Testing schedules are determined by local testing centers; the State GED Office does not maintain detailed scheduling information for individual centers. However, testing centers usually offer the test several times each month over a one- to three-day period (the entire test takes about seven-and-a-half hours to complete).
Remember, though, that schedules are based on testing demand--some centers in large urban areas may offer testing every day, while other centers in more isolated areas only test a few times annually.
Testing fees are also determined by local testing centers; the State GED Office does not maintain fee information for individual centers. On the average, though, testing centers will charge approximately $100 to take the entire test, though some centers will charge a higher or lower amount. Most centers will also charge a fee if all or part of the test must be re-taken.
Testing center fees include state and national fees plus the cost of materials, the cost of scoring the essay portion of the test, and some of the costs of test administration.