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State Board of Education Approves CDE Recommendation to Lower the GED Passing Score

Posted on 04/08/2016

GED drawing

At the March 9, 2016 California State Board of Education (SBE) Meeting, the SBE heard and approved a recommendation submitted by General Educational Development Testing Service (GEDTS®) to lower the passing score for the General Educational Development (GED®) test from 150 to 145.

California Education Code Section 51420 requires that the SBE establish the score a pupil must achieve to earn their California High School Equivalency Certificate. The score, determined by the SBE, must be equal to the standard of performance expected from high school graduates.

This action applies retroactively to all persons who achieved a score of 145 or higher on the 2014 version of the GED® test since January 1, 2014. GEDTS® anticipates that it will take 2-4 days to update their data systems and will formally notify test takers of their passing status.

If you have questions regarding this information, please contact GEDTS® by phone at 866-895-8860 or by e-mail at help@GEDtestingservice.com.

You can also view the agenda item presentation and vote at the SBE archive webcast at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/ag/ag/sbewebcastarchive.asp External link opens in new window or tab. The agenda item appears at approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes in the webcast.

The GED Testing Service has decided to lower the pass rate for its high school equivalency exam, a move brought on by its recognition that students who passed the latest, tougher version of it were doing better in college than high school graduates.

The move, first disclosed Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, will allow states to lower the passing score on the GED from 150 to 145. The GED Testing Service projected that if all states choose to use the new lower passing score, 100,000 people could pass one or more subjects of the test, and 25,000 could be eligible for a GED credential by passing all four sections.

The company issued a recommendation that states grant retroactive passage to those who failed with the previous score of 150, but each state can make its own decision.

California has approved the use of three high school equivalency tests (GED®, HiSET®, and TASC™) for students 18 years old and older, and 17 years old in some instances, for the purpose of receiving a California High School Equivalency Certificate.

For more information on the testing services in California, including an update External link opens in new window or tab from the California Department of Education (CDE) regarding the proposed GED passing score, please visit the CDE High School Equivalency Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/gd/ External link opens in new window or tab .