Homeschoolers and the GED

The GED is a high school equivalency exam that tests four subjects: reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, science, and social studies. The trademark is owned by the American Council on Education and the test was developed in a joint effort with Pearson. It is aligned with Common Core standards and not the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

Students who take and pass the GED are emancipated from the compulsory attendance requirement.

Age Requirements for the GED

Historically, students who wished to take the GED in Virginia had to be at least 18 years old and out of high school. However, thanks to legislative efforts by The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, homeschooled students in Virginia between the ages of 16 and 18 were allowed by Virginia law to take the General Educational Development (GED) exam if they could show proof that they had completed their home instruction program. VDOE Superintendent’s memos from 2000 (INF #36 (2000) and 2007 INF #68 (2007)) clarify this section of the law.

In 2018, HB 803 extended participation to all students who are at least 16 years old. Passage of this bill affects the homeschooling community both directly and indirectly.  It should eliminate the need to show completion of a home instruction program by students under age 18. More broadly, it provides another education option for older high schoolers who turn to homeschooling to complete their studies outside of public school; they now have an option to begin GED preparations two years earlier.

Frequently Asked Questions

How and where do I take the test?

To schedule a GED exam, create a MyGED account. Visit the GED Testing Service website for test information, practice exams (GED Ready), and teacher guides. Taking a pretest may be required before you can schedule your exam.

You must take the test at an official GED testing center.

Do I have to use a computer to take this test?

The GED is a computer-based test. Each test taker should be able to type at least 16 words a minute and should be able to use a computer mouse proficiently. If this is a problem, testing centers can make accommodations if you contact them ahead of time.

This information is provided as a courtesy of The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. It is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a licensed attorney.

VaHomeschoolers is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status; your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.