The Illinois GED

About this article
Taking the Illinois GED is a great way to increase your salary, raise your position in a company, continue to college, or just feel good about yourself. This article lays out the main points of the IL GED exam.
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Illinois' State Board of Education is responsible for providing the GED Testing Program to Illinois. The following sections outline important information Illinois residents should know about the GED.

What is the Format?

You are tested on four subject areas in the GED exam:

  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Reasoning through Language Arts

The exam consists of multiple-choice questions, reading tasks, short answer, and extended response questions. On the mathematics exam, you will only be allowed to use a calculator for the first part. In total, the GED exam takes about seven and a half hours to complete.

Illinois also requires GED candidates to pass the state's Constitution test. There is no fee for the Constitution test. The website for the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) offers additional information regarding the Constitution test, including online lessons (

How is the Exam Scored and What if I Don't Pass?

To pass the GED exam, you need a minimum score of 150 on each of the four subject area tests.

If you do not pass, you may retake a section of the exam 2 times without waiting. After the third attempt, a 60-day waiting period is applied.

Who is Eligible?

To sit for the GED exam without restrictions, Illinois requires candidates be residents of the state for at least 30 days prior to the test date and be at least 18 years of age.

Individuals who are 16 or 17 years old may be eligible for the exam if certain criteria are met. Seventeen year olds must provide an official letter of withdrawal from the last school attended. Students who are 16 must be enrolled in the state's Lincoln challenge program or the Alternative Learning Opportunities Program (ALOP).

How do I Register for the GED and What Does it Cost?

Registration for the exam is completed online at In Illinois, the fee is $30 for each of the four subject area tests.

How do I Prepare?

There are many ways to prepare to take the GED exam. For example, the GED Testing Service ( offers a Marketplace with a variety of test preparation material. The ICCB website provides information on online learning programs as well as contact information for the state's network of adult learning centers. You may also find GED preparation books at local libraries or book stores; however, you will need to make sure the prep material is current to the latest version of the GED exam.

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