GED TEST - Colorado High School Equivalency Diploma

State GED Testing Program Office

The State GED Testing Program Office at CDE is responsible for the oversight and supervision of GED Testing Centers, issuance of Colorado High School Equivalency Diplomas, granting of age waivers for GED tests, review of requests for GED test accommodations, and the issuance of transcripts and duplicate diplomas.

The office is located at the Colorado Dept. of Education, 201 E. Colfax Ave., Room 100, Denver, CO 80203. 

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:55 p.m., closed for lunch from 12:00  - 1:00 p.m. daily. 

Contact: Charlotte Wolcott, 303.866.6613


GED Preparation Programs

Preparation programs offer instruction aimed at successful completion of the GED Tests.  For more specific information about what each program offers, contact the program directly.  Many of these programs, in addition to providing GED instruction, offer Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, and other adult education and family literacy services.

GED Testing Centers

GED Testing is conducted under secure conditions at official GED Testing Centers.  Testing Centers are approved by the National GED Testing Service and the State GED Testing Office, monitored by the State GED Administrator, and staffed by approved qualified examiners. 

GED Testing is not conducted or available through correspondence or the Internet. Valid GED testing is available only through official GED Testing Centers.

GED Records

Two kinds of official records are available to persons who have tested and/or received a GED high school equivalency diploma in Colorado:  transcripts and duplicate diplomas. Both are official documents and bear the State Seal. To obtain a transcript and/or a duplicate diploma, submit either a completed GED Request Form or a written request containing the following information:

  • Name at the time the test was taken and current name, if different
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Where and when the GED Tests were taken
  • Specify type of record--transcript and/or duplicate diploma--and the number of copies
  • Address to which the record(s) should be sent
  • Signature of the GED candidate or recipient
  • Write YES or NO in the upper right hand corner of the request in answer to the following question: Were you ever a student in a Colorado public school?

For assistance contact:
Charlotte Wolcott, 303.866.6613

GED Forms

  • Duplicate GED diplomas and copies of GED transcripts
    To obtain either of these, submit a written request or GED Request Form  to Colorado Dept. of Education, GED Testing Program, 201 E. Colfax Ave., Room 100, Denver, CO 80203.  
    The fee for duplicate diplomas and transcripts is $15.  

For assistance contact:
Charlotte Wolcott, 303.866.6613


GED in Spanish 2004

As of January 1, 2004, the Spanish-language GED Tests match the content, skills, and levels of proficiency assessed by the English-language GED Tests (2002 series). Candidates who did not successfully complete all five of the Spanish-language tests before January 1, 2004, will have to start again with the new tests to qualify for a GED credential.


Combining English- and Spanish-language Battery Scores

It is psychometrically sound to combine individual tests scores from the English-language and Spanish-language GED Tests (2002 series) to create a candidate's battery score. Colorado GED candidates may take one or more of the individuals tests in one language (English or Spanish) and the remainder in the other language. Candidates may not test in a content area more than three times a year and may not repeat a test form across languages.



The following information on accommodations is from the GED Examiner's Manual for the Tests of General Educational Development, 2002 Series, General Educational Development Testing Service, a Program of the American Council on Education.  For information on requesting accommodations for GED candidates.

  • Not Allowed
    The following accommodations are not allowed during administration of the GED Tests
    • Computers
      Computers represent “unreasonable accommodations” for the GED Tests since computers present the risk that test items may be stored on hard drives. Should such violations occur, the cost to test security would be great. For this reason, computers may not be used to write essays or record test answers except as described below.
    • Word-processing and Spell-checking Programs
      Word-processing and spell-checking programs may never be used on the GED Tests. Exceptions to the prohibition on the use of computers may be granted by the GED Testing Service under extreme circumstances. Such cases are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In the past, computer use has been permitted for quadriplegic individuals who were unable to move any parts of their bodies or speak but who could communicate with the assistance of a computer controlled by eye contact. In some instances, GED candidates with visual impairments have written their essays using a Brailler connected to a computer that prints the essay in regular type. Other computer-controlled reading machines have also been allowed. These accommodations require approval from both the GED Administrator and the GED Testing Service.
    • Rulers
      Measuring devices such as rulers and scales may not be used because they may serve as an unauthorized aid in certain portions of the test.
  • Allowed
    The GED Chief Examiner may permit the use of certain adaptations and devices without prior approval from the GED Administrator, the GED Testing Service, or GEDTS-trained and GEDTS-certified personnel. These adaptations and/or devices include
    • Colored Transparent Overlays
      These devices, which resemble tinted overhead transparencies, are widely used by persons with visual impairments and those with learning disabilities who have difficulty decoding written words and symbols.
    • Clear Transparent Overlays and a Highlighter
      The combination of clear (untinted) overlays and a highlighter can be used with the candidate who needs to use a highlighter while reading. The highlighting takes place on the clear overlay and protects the test booklet from becoming marked. All used overlays must be collected at the end of each testing session.
    • Temporary Adhesive (for example, Post-it® Notes) with Spatial Directions
      GED candidates can affix temporary “sticky” notes on the answer sheet to accommodate a disability affecting spatial orientation. For example, the candidate might flag the sheet for top, bottom, right, and left. For security reasons, the Official GED Testing Center must supply these adhesive notes to a GED candidate.
    • Earplugs
      GED candidates may use earplugs as an aid in concentration. Some large-volume or busy testing centers routinely distribute disposable earplugs to all candidates.
    • Large-print Test
      GED candidates may use the large-print edition of the GED Tests under normal time limits, upon request to the GED Chief Examiner or Examiner. It is recommended that each Official GED Testing Center order at least one large-print test battery per year for this purpose.
    • Magnifying Device
      GED candidates may use their preferred type of magnifying device during test taking. If a GED candidate uses a magnifier during a standard testing session, the GED Chief Examiner or Examiner should take additional care to stagger test forms and must seat the candidate in a way that precludes other candidates from seeing that candidate’s test materials.
    • Priority Seating
      GED candidates may request to be seated near the front of the room in order to better hear instructions, or in some other location to avoid distractions.
    • Fluorescent Lighting
      GED candidates may request permission to wear hats or caps to limit the effects of fluorescent lighting.
    • One Test Per Day
      GED candidates may take one GED Test per day upon arrangement with the GED Chief Examiner or Examiner at the designated Official GED Testing Center.
    • Straightedge
      GED candidates may use a plain, unmarked straightedge made from any safe material as an aid in spatial orientation and reading. If the straightedge is an additional piece of scratch paper issued by the GED Chief Examiner or Examiner, it must be collected at the end of the testing session and must be destroyed along with any other scratch paper.
    • Other Devices as Deemed Appropriate
      The GED Testing Service allows all other devices without permission as long as they compensate for the disability, do not provide an unfair advantage, and do not compromise the validity or reliability of the GED Tests.
    • Other Adapting Devices
      GED candidates are allowed to use other adaptive devices such as pencil holder, wrist braces, and graph paper, so long as the device does not provide an unfair advantage to the test-taker. Because the Official GED Testing Center may not have the candidate’s preferred device on hand, the candidate may be permitted to bring his or her own magnifier, overlays, or the like, to the testing session. It is the prerogative of the GED Chief Examiner or Examiner to examine these materials to ensure that the materials do not contain any unauthorized testing aids. The GED Chief Examiner or Examiner is responsible for tracking the use of these aids by candidates. All requested uses of the large-print edition, including those not requiring documentation of a disability, are to be counted in the Official GED Testing Center’s Annual Statistical Report.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the GED Tests?
    • The GED Tests measure the major academic skills and concepts associated with four years of regular high school instruction. They provide an opportunity for persons who have not graduated from high school to earn a high school equivalency diploma.
    • The GED Tests measure competency in five subject areas: Language Arts-Writing, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts-Reading, and Mathematics.
    Test Area Number of
    Time Limit
    Language Arts Writing Part I 50 75 min.
    Language Arts Writing Part II 1 essay 45 min.
    Social Studies 50 70 min.
    Science 50 80 min.
    Language Arts Reading 40 65 min.
    Mathematics 50 90 min.

    Test Content: Language Arts Writing Part I
    Organization 15%
    Sentence Structure 30%
    Usage 30%
    Mechanics 25%

    Test Content: Social Studies  
    National History 25%
    World History 15%
    Economics 20%
    Civics and Government 25%
    Geography 15%

    Test Content: Science  
    Life Science 45%
    Earth and Space Science 20%
    Physical Science 35%

    Test Content: Language Arts Reading  
    Fiction, Poetry, and Drama 75%
    Non-fiction 25%

    Test Content: Mathematics  
    Number Operations 25%
    Measurement and Geometry 25%
    Data Analysis, Statistics, Probability 25%
    Algebra, Functions, Patterns 25%
    Part I with calculator 25 items, 45 min.  
    Part II without calculator 25 items, 45 min.  


  • Who is eligible to take the GED Tests?
    • Residents of Colorado. Residency is defined as having a Colorado address.
    • Adults 17 years of age or older.
    • Persons who are not enrolled in an accredited high school.
    • Those who have not already graduated from an accredited high school nor received a GED high school equivalency diploma.


  • What documentation is required to take the GED Tests?

    When GED candidates register to take the GED Tests, they must provide current photo identification that includes name, address, date of birth, and signature. Acceptable current photo identification includes:

    • Colorado Driver's License
    • Photo ID cards issued by Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles
    • Passport
    • Military ID
    • Other forms of national or foreign government ID


  • Where are the GED Tests offered?

    GED Tests are administered only by GED Testing Centers that have been authorized by the national GED Testing Service and approved by the Colorado Department of Education.  No unauthorized sites may administer the GED Tests.  There are currently 34 official GED Testing Centers in Colorado, and an additional 83 sites ("addendum sites") that are affiliated with GED Testing Centers and authorized as GED testing locations.  Each Testing Center's testing schedule varies.  To find out when the GED Tests are administered and how to register at a Testing Center, contact the Center(s) of your choice.

  • What are the passing scores for a GED high school equivalency diploma and how can they be interpreted?

    The GED Diploma is awarded when a candidate receives a score of at least 410 on each of the five tests with an average score of 450 (or 2250 total points) on all five tests.

    • The score scales for the GED Tests are referenced to the performance of graduating high school seniors on the GED Tests.
    • To ensure that scores reflect the performance of contemporary high school seniors, the tests are periodically checked.
    • Scores range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of 800 points for each of the five GED tests.
    • Only an estimated 60% of high school graduates would pass the GED Tests at the minimum scores of 410 on each test and an average of 450 (2250 total points) on all five tests, according to the 2001 Norming Study.


  • Can GED candidates retest if they don't pass the first time?

    Yes. Retests are administered using a form of the GED test/s different from the form/s the candidate has already taken.  Candidates do not have to complete the full battery of five GED tests before they can retest on any single test.  Candidates that did not receive the minimum passing score of 410 points may retest on any of the five GED tests in order to bring the score up to the minimum.  
    When candidates have received the minimum passing score of 410 points on each of the GED tests and still have a total score of less than 2250, they may retest on whichever tests they choose, as long as the form of the particular test is different from the one that they took earlier.
    If a candidate retests on the same test form, the retest score will be automatically invalidated. Since there are only three test forms available in the state each year, a candidate may test only three times during any given year.


  • What is the GED Practice Test?

    The GED Practice Test is a shortened form of the GED Tests designed to indicate whether or not a person is ready to take and pass the GED Tests. Administered under timed conditions, it is a good predictor of success for the English version of the GED Tests.
    For information about taking the GED Practice Test, contact a GED Testing Center.


  • Is there a fee for taking the GED Tests?

    Most testing centers are supported primarily from fees charged for testing. Since each testing center sets its own fee schedule, candidates should contact the center where they plan to test. In some instances, testing centers or preparation programs also charge a fee for taking the GED Practice Test.


  • Are testing accommodations available for candidates with special needs?

    Adult learners with special needs may apply for special testing accommodations if they can document that they are capable of passing the GED Tests but are prevented from doing so because of a disabling condition.
    Candidates with learning or physical disabilities may request modifications of standard testing conditions based on documented special needs. Modifications include extended testing time, assistance from a scribe, use of a calculator, use of an audiocassette, testing in a private room and/or frequent supervised breaks. Special editions of English-language GED Tests are available in Braille, and large print formats when need is documented.

    To receive testing accommodations, candidates must complete a request form that fulfills these criteria:

    • Documentation of ability to pass the GED Tests
    • Documentation of the disabling condition
    • Relation of the requested accommodations to the documented disabling condition
    • Completion of the request forms in their entirety
    In addition to the listed criteria, requests for accommodations for specific learning disabilities and/or ADHD must provide recent documentation of academic achievement. Request forms are available at all Colorado GED Testing Centers and may be downloaded form this Web site.
    Completed request forms must be reviewed by the testing center where the candidate plans to test. Incomplete requests will be returned to the candidate for completion. After review by the testing center, the request must be sent to the State GED Testing Office for review and decision. In unusual cases, the request will be forwarded to the national GED Testing Service for review.


  • How are GED test scores related to rank-in-class?

    Grade point average cannot be determined from GED test scores. However, GED percentile ranks can be viewed as approximate class rank. 

    GED percentile rankings represent the GED graduate's performance related to the performance on the GED Tests of a representative group of graduating high school seniors.

    GED Standard Score and Estimated Class Rank of Graduating High School Seniors
    GED Score Est. Class Rank GED Score Est. Class Rank
    700 Top  1% 550 Top 25%
    670 Top  2% 530 Top 33%
    660 Top  3% 520 Top 40%
    640 Top  5% 500 Top 50%
    610 Top 10% 460 Top 55%
    580 Top 15% 450 Top 60%
    570 Top 20%    


  • Can GED scores be used for college admission?

    Nearly all colleges and universities in the U.S. accept the GED diploma as a high school equivalency credential.
    GED Tests cannot be used as a substitute for placement or admission tests.


  • Can GED test scores be upgraded by retesting after a diploma has been awarded?

    Passing GED scores for candidates that have qualified for a GED diploma can be upgraded ONLY if higher scores are required by an employer, a college or a university. To upgrade scores, a candidate must have a letter from the college or workplace, on its letterhead, identifying the minimum average score required for employment or enrollment. The letter must be submitted to the State GED Administrator for approval. The candidate will receive a letter from the State GED Administrator either approving or not approving the request. The candidate MUST receive approval BEFORE the tests are retaken.