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General Educational Development (GED®)

A high school degree or high school equivalency offers a strong foundation to build your future. In the chart to the right, see how earnings rise along with education levels, and how workers with less education experience more unemployment.

The General Educational Development (GED®) Test provides the opportunity to earn a high school equivalency diploma. This credential is recognized as a key to employment opportunities, advancement, further education, and financial rewards.


NOTE: Requirements are established by South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) 13-27-1.

Attending School:

A student who attends public or private school and is 16 or 17 years of age may take the test if one of the following apply:

  • Verification from a school administrator that the child will not graduate with the child's cohort class because of credit deficiency;
  • Authorization from a court services officer;
  • A court order requiring the child to enter the program;
  • Verification that the child is under the direction of the Department of Corrections; or
  • Verification that the child is enrolled in Job Corps as authorized by Title I-C of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, as amended to January 1, 2009.

If the above is true, for a student in school, then:

  1. Create GED account at
  2. The parent/guardian should work with the school district to develop a plan
  3. The school district will complete the Authorizing Institution and Institution/District Verification sections of the Underage GED Testing Waiver. The school district will need a parent/guardian email address to send the waiver to the parent/guardian for permission.
  4. Parent/guardian will complete the Parent/Guardian Permission section of the waiver and click submit.
  5. The waiver will automatically be emailed to

Receiving Alternative Instruction

Parents/guardians who choose to provide alternative instruction pursuant to SDCL 13-27-3 are required to first file an Alternative Instruction Notification with the South Dakota Department of Education.

If the above is true for a student receiving alternative instruction, then:

  1. Create GED account
  2. Complete and submit Underage GED Testing Waiver for Alternative Instruction. Before submitting the waiver, the student must have an account created at

Foreign Exchange Student

A foreign exchange student who is 16 or 17 years old may take the GED® test if he or she is no longer enrolled in the host district and presents signed permission from a parent. Permission from the host parent is insufficient unless the host parent is also the legal guardian. The written permission from the legal parent or legal guardian must be properly notarized by either a notary public in the United States or a comparable entity in the parent/guardian's country of origin.


There is not a requirement for someone to be a resident of South Dakota to take the GED tests in South Dakota.

Verification of Identity

At the time of each testing session, the tester must present a government-issued (national or international) identification that shows name, date of birth, photograph and signature.

General Information

  • Registration: All applicants must create a profile at Scheduling and payment are completed at this site.
  • Other languages: The GED® Test and GED Ready Official Practice Test are available in both English and Spanish. When they schedule, testers can choose to test in either English, Spanish, or a combination to earn a credential.
  • Fees: Each of the four subtests costs $50, paid at the time of registration. Two re-tests per content area are available at a cost of $20 each. Minimum scores: Testers must score a minimum of 145 (out of a possible 200) points on each of the four subtests to earn a credential.
  • Retesting: After the initial testing attempt, the test-taker may re-test up to two times in each content area with no wait time between re-tests. After the third attempt, each re-test in an individual content area must be preceded by a 60-day waiting period.
  • Transcripts: Original transcripts and certificates are supplied without charge by GEDTS. Duplicate documents are fulfilled through GEDTS Credentialing Service and can be requested by accessing and selecting "Grads and Transcripts".
  • Individuals with disabilities: Accommodations are made for test-takers who have physical, mental, sensory, or cognitive disabilities and who provide appropriate documentation of their impairment and its effect on their ability to take the test under standard conditions. Documentation justifying the accommodation must be generated by a professional who is qualified to diagnose and assess the disability. GED Testing Service will review and make the final decision regarding all accommodations requests. Learn more about accommodations on the GED Testing Service website.

Preparation for the Tests

Candidates are not required by the State to take any courses or to prepare in any way for the GED® test.
However, high schools and adult education centers may require proof of readiness by means of GED®Ready (previously known as the Official Practice Test) or other benchmarks.

Scheduling to Test
In order to register for and schedule a test, examinees must create an account at

Accommodations Test-takers with documented disabilities will be able to use approved accommodations when taking the test. Adult education staff or school officials can help the examinee complete the necessary accommodations request forms. Once an individual has approved accommodations, his or her testing appointment will reflect those accommodations (including being a longer appointment if extended time is an approved accommodation). The test-taker will receive most accommodations directly from the computer interface, generally without additional human intervention.

Refer to the GED Testing website to learn if an accommodations request is appropriate for you and to download forms.

Required Tests

Reasoning Through Language Arts

  • Focus is on the ability to read closely, write clearly and understand the use of standard written English
  • 150 minutes
  • Includes a 45-minute written response

Reasoning Through Mathematics

  • Focus is on quantitative problem solving and algebraic problem solving
  • 115 minutes
  • On-screen calculator will be provided for use on most of the test


  • Focus is on the fundamentals of science reasoning and the ability to apply those fundamentals in realistic situations
  • Two themes
    • Human health and living systems
    • Energy and related systems
  • 90 minutes

Social Studies

  • Focus is on the fundamentals of social studies reasoning and the ability to apply those fundamentals in realistic situations
  • Two themes
    • Development of modern liberties and democracy
    • Dynamic responses in societal systems
  • 90 minutes


Initial test: $50 per subtest; $200 for the complete battery

Re-test: $20 per subtest

Scoring Requirements
GED® Performance Levels
Below Passing 100-144
Passing/High School Equivalency 145-164
Passing/GED® College Ready 165-174
Passing/GED® College Ready + Credit 175

Examinees who fail any portion of the test may re-take the test twice with no waiting period. After the third (and subsequent) failed attempts, examinees must wait sixty (60) days before another attempt.

Online Testing

An Online Proctored (O.P.) GED® test is available for South Dakota testers. Eligible testers need to have a computer, web cam and internet, quiet and private workspace, a government-issued ID, and "Green" GED Ready score within the last 60 days.

Testers can find information about eligibility, an overview of the testing process, exam rules, FAQs and more on the online testing webpage.


Examinees receive their initial transcript and certificate for free after completing the test. The State no longer fulfills any transcript requests. If you are a seeking a duplicate transcript or diploma and you are an:

  • Individual
  • Employment verification firm
  • Employer

You must do so by using the state's fulfillment service, GED CredentialingTM. If you have questions or need to contact the transcript fulfillment service, please use the self-service portal. For more information regarding credentialing, please refer to the GED CredentialingTM Frequently Asked Questions sheet

Testing Centers

Career Learning Center of the Black Hills
730 E. Watertown St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Cornerstones Career Learning Center
33 Third St. SE
Suite 201
Huron, SD 57350

Cornerstones Career Learning Center
904 East Cherry
Vermillion, SD 57069

Lake Area Technical College
1201 Arrow Ave.
Watertown, SD 57201

Lower Brule Community College
137 Sacred Circle Dr.
Lower Brule, SD 57548

Oglala Lakota College–Cheyenne River College Ctr.
113 Lincoln St.
Eagle Butte, SD 57625

The Right Turn, Inc.
115 E. Sioux Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501

SD Department of Labor and Regulation
3113 Spruce St.
Suite 124
Yankton, SD 57078

Sinte Gleska University
PO Box 105
1355 West Spotted Tail Dr.
Mission, SD 57555

Sinte Gleska University - Gregory Learning Center
621 Main St.
P.O. Box 432
Gregory, SD 57533

Southeast Technical College
2000 N. Career Ave.
Ed Wood Center - Room 103
Sioux Falls, SD 57107

Yankton Sioux Tribe Education Programs/Adult Education
110 SE 1st St.
Wagner, SD 57380

Contact Information

South Dakota Department of Education
800 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: 605-773-3134