FAQ about the GED® in South Africa

The GED® testing programme serves the equivalent purpose of a secondary school leaving certificate. It has been in existence since 1942.

The term “GED” is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education (“ACE”), which is part owner of the GED Testing Service, who administers the GED® testing programme globally. Originally, the initials “GED®” stood for “General Educational Development,” and the term shows that the GED® test measures the lasting outcomes from a secondary school programme of study.

A GED® test credential shows that the recipient has the same general level of academic achievement as a typical high school graduate.

SAQA evaluates the GED® as an NQL4 and this is useful for getting a job or studying further locally. Our GED® graduates have gone on to study further both overseas and in South Africa.

The GED® diploma is recognised as a Grade 12 equivalent in South Africa and can be used to study both at college or university and can be used to get job promotion.

The test is completed on a computer and cost $80 each. There are 4 exams to complete in order to get a GED diploma.

The test is aligned with today’s high school standards. The difficulty level needed to pass the GED® test is the same difficulty level as needed to pass high school today.

The 2014 GED® test is scored by computer. The passing standard on each content area has been set at a score of 145 on a scale of 100 to 200 scaled score points for each of the four content areas.

Scores will be returned from the test within 24 hours of completion of each subject.

No prior grades are necessary to qualify to write the GED® test. A good knowledge of English comprehension is highly recommended and basic Maths skills. The gaps will be filled in by the program and you can take as long as you like to write the GED® exams one by one as you are ready.

The GED® test is accepted as an equivalent to a high school diploma by approximately 98% of colleges and universities in the U.S. and 95% of employers because they recognise the GED® test as a rigorous examination equal to or exceeding high school proficiency. The GED® test is aligned to the career and college readiness content standards in use throughout the U.S., and the test is standardised and normed using a national sample of recent high school graduates. In addition, the Office of the State Superintended of Education in Washington DC has reviewed the test and determined that it meets their requirements in order to be granted a High School Equivalency Credential from Washington DC.

See the steps on how to book a GED exam


Log onto ged.com and create a brand new account filling out your profile as an international student.

Choose which test subjects you are taking.

Select a day and time at one of the official GED® test centres.

Pay for the test using your credit or debit card.

The cost to enroll is R2900 for a full year on the GED Academy – See full details here.

You can pay off the Enrollment fee over 12 months if you use Mobicred as a payment method- See information on Mobicred.


To graduate test-takers must earn a minimum score of 145 on each test subject to pass and earn the high school equivalency credential. In the event a candidate fails, they may retake the exam two additional times at any time. Should they fail a third time, they would have to wait 60 days before the next attempt. There is no minimum grade criterion to qualify for such a rewrite opportunity but it will attract a test fee.

The GED® Testing Service has implemented a  new 17 year old age requirement for testing in South Africa as of 1 April 2019.
For students who have already started studying the GED®, there will an exception process to make the new policy implementation fair for those who are already in the system. Any student who is 16 years old and will have passed at least one test subject before 1 April 2019, will be allowed to continue and finish all four GED® tests without being affected by the new age requirement.If you turn 16 after 1 April and wish to write exams at age 16 you can apply for an exemption to the age requirement. Please contact us to avail yourself of this process when your student has turned 16.

Students aged 13-15 that want to study online before GED® or complete their IGCSE exams can visit out sister site Cambricollege for more information.

The GED Testing Service permits you to test the same subject two additional times without a wait, and then requires a 60-day wait period between additional attempts. There is no minimum grade criterion to qualify for such a rewrite opportunity but it will attract a test fee. The GED® test score report will provide you with detailed feedback to address the skills you need to work on.

On successful completion of all tests you will be issued an electronic version of your GED® High School Equivalency Credential issued by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington, DC. You can also order a hard copy of the GED diploma or transcript with Fedex after completing your GED diploma.

The new test forms do not specify numbers of test questions—they are based on raw score points, since all items are no longer worth just one point each. The final raw score point totals are as follows:

  • Reasoning Through Language Arts – 65 raw score points
  • Mathematical Reasoning – 49 raw score points
  • Science – 40 raw score points
  • Social Studies – 30 raw score points

Remember that scores from the 2014 GED® test are transformed to a common scaled score metric, to make the scores easier to use and interpret across the content areas.

If there is a power outage during your test, the testing centre will log a case with Pearson VUE. Once they have reviewed your case they will email you their decision. Should a resit be approved, you will need to contact Pearson VUE directly to rebook your test. To rebook you will need to call 0800 995 044. The testing centre is not able to rebook test dates on your behalf.

 Candidates are required to provide one valid form of identification (“ID”). The ID must be government issued and non-expired. It must also include the Candidate’s name, date of birth, signature, and photograph.

We are delighted to confirm that the majority of foreign nationals should now be allowed to write GED® tests at Boston VUE Testing centers in South Africa.
PLEASE NOTE: Foreign nationals cannot simply book, arrive and expect to be allowed to write their exam. A letter of permission needs to be obtained before writing the exam.
Please allow at least 5 working days for the application to be reviewed. 


Social Studies



All these subjects are extensively covered on the Pass GED® Academy and you will be fully prepared to write the exams after passing the online program.

There are many options to study further in South Africa.

Below is a short list of a few institutions that have recently accepted a GED and SAQA letter.

Please see this link: 

Please see where to buy a GED Ready Test in preparation for the GED Exam.

Please see how to redeem your GED Ready Test Voucher.

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