The GED (General Education Development test) is a high school equivalency exam administered by the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). The GED exam consists of 4 separate subject area tests: Reasoning through Language Arts (reading and writing), Math, Science and Social Studies. The GED tests are normed to the knowledge and skill level of graduating high school seniors; thus, passing all four parts of the GED exam and earning a GED certificate or credential will demonstrate to colleges and employers that the credential holder has the same level of career and college readiness as recent high school graduates.
GED (General Education Development)
According to WAC 131-48-110 on High School Equivalency, eligibility for taking the GED exam in order to be awarded a high school equivalency certificate in Washington State is limited to those who are:
- residents of Washington state; and
- nineteen years of age or older on the date of issuance; or
- have been adjudged by a district as possessing a substantial and warranted reason for leaving the regular high school education program; or
- currently enrolled in the state options (open doors 1418) program; or
- have completed a program of home-based instruction in compliance with RCW 28A.225.010(4) and chapter 28A.220 RCW; or
- are active members of the military, national guard, or reserves; or
- are adjudicated youth under the director of prisons, jails, detention centers, parole and probation offices, and other corrections facilities and so ordered by a court or officer of the court.
The passing score on each part of the GED exam is 145. In order to pass the entire GED exam, a test taker must earn a 145 on the Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies portions of the exam, which would total 580, in order to earn the high school equivalency certificate. Each of the four parts of the exam may be taken separately, and there are options to take the exam online or at a local testing center. The tests are measured on a 100-200 scoring scale. Scoring above 165 (on any test subject) indicates readiness for college level courses and potential waivers from placement testing or developmental education requirements once in college. A score above 175 (on any test subject) potentially qualifies a test taker for up to 10 college credit hours. The exams are administered by SBCTC, and further information can be found on their website.
According to WAC 131-48-030, upon passing the GED exam, a high school equivalency certificate will be issued jointly by the SBCTC and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) indicating the attainment of standard scores at or above the minimum proficiency level prescribed by the SBCTC on the high school equivalency test.
No, a person who passes the GED exam will be issued a high school equivalency certificate, which is not the same as a diploma. In fact, according to WAC 131-48-140, the receipt of a high school equivalency certificate shall not preclude anyone from returning to high school to obtain a regular high school diploma if changes in the person's personal situation allow for the completion of a regular high school education program or the enrolling in an adult high school completion program at one of the state's community or technical colleges.
According to Chapter 180-96 WAC (General Education Development WACs), SBE may establish the process and criteria for determining whether persons between 16 and 19 have a warranted reason for leaving the regular high school program as a condition for taking the GED test and receiving a certificate of educational competence. If eligible, the person may then pursue taking the GED test in accordance with rules of the SBCTC (chapter 131-48 WAC). Though SBE has authority to govern this process, it is the local school district that makes this final determination.
According to WAC 131-48-110, you must be unenrolled from high school in order to take the GED. Exceptions are made to students who are in Open Doors programs or institutional education facilities.
Yes, but you must have exited from your high school program and meet certain criteria. Chapter 180-96 WAC identifies the process and criteria for determining whether persons between 16 and 19 have a warranted reason for leaving the regular high school program as a condition for taking the GED test and receiving a certificate of educational competence. If eligible, the person may then pursue taking the GED test in accordance with rules of the SBCTC (chapter 131-48 WAC).
Yes. Under WAC 180-51-050, high school credit can be awarded for satisfactory demonstration by a student of proficiency/competency/mastery, as defined by written district policy, of the state's learning standards. This mastery or competency can be demonstrated when a person successfully passes the GED exam.
Under Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) Model Policy 2413 (Mastery/Competency-based credits), students may obtain 1 mastery-based credit for passing a district-created assessment that is aligned to state learning standards and course equivalency requirements adopted by OSPI. This model policy may be used by districts to award credits for passing any part of the GED exam.
For dropout reengagement students in Open Doors programs, WAC 392-700-137 states that a maximum of 1.0 high school subject area credit will be awarded when a student passes a standardized high school equivalency certificate test in the subject matter. Additional credits may be awarded if the student has completed a course(s) of study to prepare for the test.
According to E2SHB 1295 (reenacting and amending RCW 28A.320.192 and 2017 chapter 166 section 1 and 2017 chapter 40 section 1), school districts must award at least one high school credit to students upon meeting the standard established by the State Board of Education. Earning a 145 on each subtest (Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies) of the GED exam will allow a student to earn at least one high school credit in that subject area.
Students must score at least 145, which is the GED passing score, on each subtest of the exam to earn high school credit.