General Educational Development (GED)

General Educational Development (GED)

The GED® Tests are a battery of national tests by which individuals are able to certify that they have mastered the skills expected of today's high school graduates. Worldwide, about one million adults take the GED Tests each year. One out of seven adults in the United States has earned his or her high school credential by means of the GED Tests.

**New GED Testing Information**

Starting in 2014, there will be a new GED® test. The current version of the GED® test is expiring at the end of 2013 and your scores will expire too if you don’t finish and pass the test by then. Finish the test now so you won’t have to re-take the parts you’ve already passed.Finish Your GED

General Overview

The five standardized tests in the GED Test battery are:

  • Language Arts, Writing Test
  • Language Arts, Reading Test
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies

For more information about the GED Tests, see GED Testing Service® Website:

GOAL (Goal Oriented Adult Learning) classes provide instruction for individuals preparing to take the GED Tests. The record shows that over 90% of individuals that attend Western GOAL classes successfully complete the tests. This is about 20% over the national average. A little preparation goes a long way. In addition, the pre-testing orientation (required by the state for Wisconsin residents) can be completed by attending GOAL classes.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction sets the requirements for Wisconsin residents.

GED Classes

Day and evening classes are offered to potential GED test-takers at GOAL centers throughout the district. There is no charge for these classes.

All examinees are required to complete the pre-testing and orientation prior to registering for testing. For more information and class schedules, contact the GOAL Center near you.


Frequently Asked Questions PDF

GED or HSED: Which One is Right for You?

Wisconsin residents have a choice of two high school credentials based on the GED Test. They may choose between the GED and the HSED credential.

"GED" stands for General Educational Development. To earn a GED credential, a candidate must:

  • Be 18 1/2 years old (or the class that the candidate entered in 9th grade has graduated)
  • Have completed the state-mandated Orientation/Careers/Employability Skills class,
  • Pass the GED Tests

HSED stands for High School Equivalency Diploma. To earn the HSED, a candidate must meet further requirements related to coursework in health, civic literacy and employability skills.

GED Testing

Please read attached listing of Student Responsibilities.

Students testing must present a photo identification on the day of testing. Please do not bring cell phones on test day.

A student who does not show up for testing will not be able to test for 30 days. If a student fails to show up twice for testing, that student will wait for 90 days.

You may usually get your GED scores online the day after testing. GEDWizard instructions.

How to Order GED/HSED Transcripts and Credentials

If you earned your Certificate of General Educational Development (GED) or your High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) in Wisconsin (while a resident) and need a duplicate, or you need a Certified Transcript of your GED/HSED scores sent to a school, employer, etc., you must contact the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Click here for more information and a convenient order form

Note: GED® and the GED Testing Service® are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education and may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the American Council on Education.

High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED)

The State of Wisconsin offers Wisconsin residents a variety of ways to earn a Wisconsin High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). The most common way of earning the HSED is to complete the GED test. In addition to this, candidates must meet further requirements related to coursework in health, civic literacy and employability skills.

Competency Based HSED Option 5.09

The 5.09 competency based HSED program offers students an alternative method for earning the HSED without taking the GED test. The program is for individuals who can, in a classroom setting, demonstrate mastery of skills expected of Wisconsin high school graduates, but who would be unable to demonstrate those competencies in a formal, timed, testing environment. The program is open to Wisconsin residents with limited English proficiency or those who have been referred by their classroom instructors. 5.09 students must make a serious commitment to attending classes. On average, it takes two years to complete the program.

Western's 5.09 option is a flexible, modified open-entry, competency-based program designed to award a High School Equivalency Diploma to students who meet competencies in the following required areas:

  • Applied Reading and Study Skills (general science, social studies, and geography content)
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Quality of Life: Consumerism, Career Awareness and Employability, Computer Literacy and Basic Word Processing, Health and Civics

Adult High School Program

The Adult High School Credit program allows individuals to earn their high school diploma from the last high school attended. This program is for students who are near completion of the high school diploma. Students earn credits by attending classes at Western and completing courses of study that their high schools will accept for graduation requirements. Before a student can begin the program, the student's high school must enter into an agreement with Western to honor the credits earned here. Not all high schools participate in this program.


English 9, 10, 11 and 12, Literature & Composition, Modules 1, 2 and 3.


Biology, Environmental Science, Physical Science.


General Math I & II, Senior Math, Algebra I & II, Geometry.

Social Studies

United States History I & II, World History I & II, Government, Economics, Geography.

These classes are also available summer and evenings for current high school students who are referred by a high school participating in Partnering for Success.

Alternative High School, Wisconsin Statute 118.15

Students between the ages of 16 and 18 who are at risk of not graduating from their local high schools may attend Western as an alternative high school.

These students may either earn credits that will apply to their graduation requirements, or work toward completion of their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED).

It is necessary that a parent or guardian, a representative from the sponsoring high school and representative from Western enter into a written agreement that defines the services that will be provided to the student.

Evening & Summer School for High School Students (Partnering for Success)

High School Credit Courses are designed as refresher classes for high school students. Local high schools grant credit for these classes upon completion of coursework at Western Technical College. Students are able to access these services through a formal contracting protocol between their high school and Western. Western offers the following under Partnering for Success.

High schools interested in accessing the Partnering for Success should contact Western Technical College at 608.785.9474.