GED For Adults With Special Education Needs: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Editorial Team

The whole human population is not alike, hence, the ways to impart education cannot be the same. Of various differences, disorders form the most concerning point of differentiation. These disorders may interfere with the ability to learn at academic levels, perform tasks in daily life, and interact socially.

However, the truth remains evident that even differently-abled people possess skills; the only need is to assess the skills in a way that justifies the process. Probably this is the reason why GED (General Education Development) tests for special education adults were introduced in 1942.

Let’s explore in this post:

  1. What is a GED?
  2. Requirements to fulfill for GED
  3. Areas where GED scores matter
  4. What do GED scores imply
  5. Accommodations available
  6. Facilities to prepare for GED tests

Here we begin!

What is a GED?

A GED is a credential that people can attain in place of a high school diploma. It is referred to by other names such as General Equivalency Development or General Education Diploma. GED is similar to other high school equivalency exams such as HiSET or TASC.

It was started to help World War II veterans[1]. Using this test, they could get a job or join college courses of their choice. Owing to the prevalence of Government Initiatives such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the test continued to prove its relevance in giving opportunities for higher studies and jobs to differently-abled individuals.

A person may become qualified equivalent to a high school diploma by taking a GED test. This test is about 425 minutes long and is divided into four parts:

  • Reasoning through language arts: 150 minutes with scheduled breaks and 45 minutes with essay
  • Science: 90 minutes
  • Mathematics: 115 minutes with scheduled breaks
  • Social Studies: 70 minutes

Several states in the USA recognize the GED test and consider it as a qualifying criterion for civil services jobs and higher education courses. The test is designed to offer school drop-outs an opportunity to regain a foothold in the mainstream and join various jobs and courses as preferred.

Requirements to fulfill for GED

Can everybody take the GED test? Well, it is not true. The test is designed for adult school dropouts who could not continue conventional schooling at the high school or college level due to reasons like learning difficulties, etc. Having said that, the State faces the challenge of reducing dropouts from conventional schooling. Thus, the authorities have laid certain requirements that candidates need to fulfill to take advantage of GED tests, which are:

  • Age: The candidates need to be beyond the high school age pre-determined by the State (older than 17 or 18 years)
  • Prep courses: There are certain preparation courses that special education adults need to do as per the State’s regulation to be eligible for GED
  • Photo identification and residency proof: Passport/Drivers’s license and the residency proof of the State they are living in
  • No enrollment in high school: The candidate should not have enrolled in the high school for the State-specified time period

You must know that GED tests are not recognized by all states of the USA. These states consider HiSET or TSAC scores to ascertain a candidate’s eligibility. The states that don’t recognize GED for special education adults are Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Areas where GED scores matter

The GED test serves as a tool for leveling the playground for special education adults. The GED score helps determine if the candidate has the potential and educational competence required to complete a high school’s curriculum. It also assists in getting jobs that require high school equivalent proficiency. A few areas where GED scores help determine eligibility are:

  • College admissions
  • Scholarship grants
  • Certain military positions
  • Trade schools or vocational schools for the manufacturing sector, medical assisting, nursing, culinary, welding, electrical, etc.
  • Promotions at work

If you plan to transform your career or academic graph on a plus side, you can take the help of GED scores and turn your dreams into a reality.

What do GED scores imply

Special education students who aspire to attend college degree courses or to apply for jobs may prove their candidature using GED scores. At present, the minimum score for passing the GED test is 145. Students need to have this minimum score to prove high school equivalent proficiency. Depending upon the GED score range, test-takers may prove their readiness for a career or higher education.

  • Score 145: It is the minimum score required to pass GED. The score can help them get admission to higher education courses and be eligible for various earning opportunities.
  • Score range 165-174: The GED score range of 165-174 helps candidates earn exemption from placement tests and other non-remedial tests given to students at the college level. By having a score in this range, the students can make up for the years lost outside the campus and attain degree-equivalent qualifications quickly.
  • Score range 175-200: A GED score in the range of 175-200 helps adults attain college-level proficiency. They can earn exemptions from certain classes in the college degree program and get their graduation or post-graduation done sooner.

Students can send these scores to the institutions they intend to join and find what exemptions they can enjoy.

Accommodations available

GED test and preparation program centers can benefit the candidates if equipped with ADA-approved assistive features. Special education students or adults seeking admission to higher study programs or jobs need additional support. Using that support, they may have in hand fair opportunities at study and work. Some of the accommodations that the centers are legally bound to offer are:

  • Availability of audio format or a reader
  • Large-print study material or question paper
  • Facility to use a scribe
  • Extended time to take a test; scheduled breaks too
  • Distraction-free environment for taking tests required by ADHD or ADD students

In essence, the test centers or preparation classes can qualify for GED testing if they offer suitable accommodations to help candidates take tests or prepare for them independently.

How to benefit from the GED program for special education adults

Candidates are required to prove their eligibility for GED to get the benefits provided by the State that recognizes this test. They may apply for this arrangement by producing the requisite document provided by an approved diagnostician.

Some difficulty-assessment tests for adults are available that help the candidates understand the reason behind their inability to learn in an age-appropriate manner. These are called screening tests and may help adults find the accommodations needed precisely as per the disorder they need to manage.

GED tests are not available in a walk-in facility. An adult may need to apply for it in advance at the state’s GED office. This office coordinates with both the examiner and applicant and provides the date of the test that suits both parties.

Special education support seekers must look for adult educators’ availability. The adult educator fulfills several responsibilities to ensure the success of the GED test initiative. This educator can help understand the accommodations a person is entitled to. He/She may also provide the correct intervention strategies, course transcripts, and mock tests to prepare well. The educator also helps with the documentation process and guides the applicant through the documents needed and from where to get these.

Choose the sequence of tests as per convenience – it is important! GED tests comprise four tests. But, there is no fixed sequence to be followed. The test-takers may pick a sequence and also employ accommodations to finish those tests and prove their eligibility. It is imperative to understand that accommodations and all support do not guarantee qualifying for the exam; these are just the supports provided to ensure fair opportunities for differently-abled individuals.

Wrapping up,

GED tests come as a boon to individuals who lag in academics due to intellectual or physical shortcomings. These tests help individuals have academic qualifications sooner as the scores allow exemptions from several classes. Also, recruiters get the opportunity to assess an individual’s core competencies by looking beyond the disorder. It helps place a sizeable population grappling with learning difficulties at good posts and helps them live with a sense of self-fulfillment.


  1. University of Iowa & University of Iowa. (1942). Fall Testing Program for Iowa High Schools. University of Iowa.

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