Montgomery, AL — The Alabama Community College System joins the GED Testing Service today to announce major changes to the GED Test which will help to provide greater opportunities for those successfully passing the test.  The changes take effect immediately.

According to the GED Testing Service, there has been a recalibration to the GED test passing score and the addition of two new performance levels. The scoring enhancement is driven by a detailed analysis of educational outcomes of GED program graduates compared to high school graduates over the past 18 months, where studies found that GED students in some states were performing better in college than high school graduates.

The passing score for high school equivalency is moving from 150 to 145. The program will also include two optional levels above high school equivalency to signify college readiness, and for some test-takers the opportunity to earn college credits if the appropriate passing score is reached. Specifically, those achieving a passing score of at least 165 will be determined GED College Ready, used to signify readiness to enter credit-bearing college courses and those achieving a score of 175 or greater will be deemed GED College Ready + Credit, which may qualify students for up to ten hours of college credit. As always, the passing score of the GED test will continue to be used to measure high school equivalency and to award a state’s GED credential.

GED Testing Service recommends and anticipates that states will grandfather in test-takers who scored between 145-149 on the GED test prior to the new passing score change. Candidates who tested since January 1, 2014 and who earned passing scores at the new level will be eligible for their high school equivalency credential. More than 25,000 adults are expected to be immediately eligible to receive their state’s GED diploma, and almost 100,000 adults will earn a passing score on one or more GED subject tests (Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning through Language Arts, Science and Social Studies).

“The scoring enhancements are based on an extensive analysis of test-takers’ performance data from the past two years, conversations with state policymakers and elected officials, and external validation with experts,” said GED Testing Service President Randy Trask. “This is part of our ongoing commitment to make data-based decisions, and continually improve the efficacy of the GED program.”

After collecting and analyzing extensive data on test-taker performance and early outcomes, the GED program can now measure the full spectrum of a typical graduating high school class. A graduating class represents a range of ability and performance, from those meeting the minimum requirements to those demonstrating college readiness, and those who may even earn college credits during high school.

“As you might expect, we are extremely pleased with this decision by GED Testing Service and excited for the hundreds of students here in Alabama who could be positively impacted with the new scoring and performance levels,” commented David Walters, State Director, Alabama Adult Education.  “We have already seen increases in our passage rate in the last year, and with this change in calculating passing scores we should see this number rise,” added Walters.  Walters stated that over 500 Alabama students could be impacted by the change.

 “The GED program continues to be much more than a high school equivalency test. These scoring changes, coupled with the new support systems such as the recently released career pathways tools, or the other extensive resources available through MyGED, mean more adult learners will be prepared for the next step in their career pathway,” said GED Testing Service President Randy Trask.

“We applaud this recent decision by GED Testing Service because it will provide so many more of our very capable students the opportunity not only earn their high school equivalency but more importantly to more quickly move into career training programs or to pursue a college education,” commented Dr. Mark Heinrich, ACCS Chancellor.

GED Testing Service will continue to work tirelessly to help increase our nation’s educational attainment goals and economic competitiveness. The organization will continue to build programs and partnerships with employers like the recently announced GED Works and apprenticeship programs, and by working with colleges, and state agencies to strengthen the connections between the GED credential and jobs with family-sustaining wages.

For more information, please visit or  There you will find answers to frequently asked questions, graphics explaining the new scoring system, audio clips discussing the changes and more.



About Alabama’s Adult Education Program: Alabama's two-year colleges provide a vast array of programs and services for adult students in need of employment training, workforce training and education for career advancement. In many cases, these programs have been designed for special populations, including educationally and economically disadvantaged adults, individuals with disabilities, dislocated workers, single parents, and displaced homemakers.

Alabama’s adult education program provides quality adult education and literacy services to Alabamians at no cost. Adult education classes provide a second opportunity for adult learners committed to improving their academic and life skills. Instruction is based on individual student need and may range from one-on-one tutoring to group instruction. Computer-based and distance education instructional programs may be offered, as well as day and evening classes, in a variety of facilities conducive to adult learning.

The three program goals are to assist adults to:

  1. Become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency.
  2. Obtain the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children.
  3. Complete secondary school or complete the equivalent of a secondary school education.


About GED Testing Service:  The GED® test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 20 million graduates since 1942.  Virtually all U.S. colleges and employers accept the GED® test.  As the creator of the one official GED® test, GED® Testing Service has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma.