The Tennessee GED

About this article
Tennessee residents who do not have their General Education Development (GED) credential could be missing out on several opportunities--a higher wage, a college education, and a sense of accomplishment. This article answers many questions you may have about acquiring your TN GED.
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What is the Format?

The GED exam is broken down into four subject areas: Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA); Social Studies; Science; and Mathematical Reasoning. The RLA has three sections, one of which requires that you write an essay in 45 minutes. In one part of the two-part Mathematical Reasoning section, you are permitted to use a calculator that is provided. The exam questions require a variety of responses, including multiple-choice, extended response, short answer, fill in the blank, hot spot and drag and drop. This is a computer-based examination, so the test-taker will be expected to demonstrate keyboard and computer skills.

How is the GED Scored and What Happens If I Don't Pass?

To pass the GED exam, you need a minimum score of 150 on each test (total score of 600); however, you can earn an honors credential by scoring 170 or better. The scores range from a low of 100 to a high of 200.

You will be allowed to take the GED a total of three times in one contract year. There is no waiting requirement between retakes, but after three retakes, you must wait 60 days before testing again. Some exceptions may apply; contact your local testing center (explained below) if you have any questions about retaking the GED exam.

Who is Eligible?

  • You are at least 18 years of age.
  • You haven't received any high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate.

Candidates who are 17 years of age may take the test if they fulfill other requirements, including obtaining an age waiver from the superintendent of the student's school and are not presently in high school.

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

You need to register at the GED Testing Service Website ( Once you are registered, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website ( offers a list of official testing centers throughout the state of Tennessee. The testing fee is $30 per module or $120 for the entire battery of tests.

Before you can take the actual test, Tennessee requires test-takers to successfully complete the official GED practice test.

How do I Prepare?

Prepare for the GED by either studying independently or by taking a preparation class. Your local library offers GED study materials, which is a great free way to prepare independently. Otherwise, go online and look for websites that offer free GED lessons and practice tests, or purchase your own study materials from your local bookstore or online. If you'd like to take a preparation class, visit to find a preparation class near you. These preparation classes are low-cost or free to Tennessee residents and are located in every county.

Are There Other Testing Options?

Tennessee also offers the HiSET exam for adults who want to obtain their high school equivalency diploma. The fee for the HiSET is $75 for the entire battery. The HiSET is offered both as a computer-based test or a paper test. The test is administered at an official HiSET testing center, and prospective applicants must successfully complete the HiSET practice test before taking the full exam. You may contact the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development for more information about the HiSET exam.

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