Do GED Scores Expire?

If you took the GED® subject tests of the latest edition (computer-based) of the test, your scores do not expire. If you passed two parts of the computer-based GED test, for example, Social Studies and Science, your passing scores for these two subjects are valid all the time.

However, to receive the GED diploma, you need to pass all four GED subject tests.

Take Maria, for example. She passed Math and Science in 2016, but when her son was born she gave up learning and focused on her baby.

Three years later, she decided to sign up for an online course and was finally able to pass the Social Studies and Language Arts GED subtests.

All her scores were added, and she received the GED diploma from her state.

A few years ago, there were states that required test-takers to complete all four GED subtests within a specific time frame, usually two years. GED hopefuls who hadn’t completed the entire battery within that period of time had to start again from scratch.

Over the last few years, however, it seems like jurisdictions have harmonized their policies.

We can’t find information any longer about states that are still using this criterium. So it seems correct to state that in all U.S. states, individual test scores will not expire until a new GED test version will be rolled out across the nation. Check also this post about colleges that accept GED scores.

Old GED test scores

In 2014 the American Council on Education (ACE) and GED Testing Service launched the fifth and most recent, computer-based, version of the GED test.

If you had passed some of the individual GED tests before 2014, but you didn’t complete the entire GED battery, these scores are not valid any longer. You need to take all the GED subtests again.

The latest version of the GED test was introduced in 2014 and it requires a different skill set. To be successful on the computerized GED exam, you need to have well-rounded critical thinking and analytical skills.

To earn your GED diploma, you’ll have to understand the topics of the four subtests really well and demonstrate analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving capacities.

The GED test assesses skills and knowledge at the level of graduating high school seniors. If you received your GED many years ago and you apply for a job, chances are you need a copy of your diploma as the future employer will most likely run a background check on you. It used to be that this only happened for full-time positions, but today, more and more employers also run checks on freelancers and part-timers.

There are some colleges and trade schools that accept students that do not hold a GED or high school diploma, but usually, holding a secondary education degree is required to attend institutions of post-secondary education.

The requirements for passing the four GED subtests are set at such a level that forty percent of all high school grads would not be able to pass the four GED subtests at the first try.

Your GED diploma never expires

There’s no need to renew your diploma or take additional classes to maintain the validity of your diploma. Once you’ve passed all four GED subtests, you’ve earned your diploma that will retain its validity forever!

Just like a high school diploma, a GED certificate retains its value. This means once you’ve earned your GED, the credential can be used for obtaining better employment or to continue your academic education in college or university.

Practically all North American employers, governmental agencies, institutions of higher education, and the U.S. Armed Forces recognize and accept the GED diploma in the same way as a high school credential.

Can I retake the GED for better scores?

Yes, you are allowed to retake one specific GED subtest (module) to boost your score on that specif subtest.

The four subtests that the GED exam is made up of, are independent tests or modules. Be aware, though, again, that individual jurisdictions may have different policies on whether and how often you are allowed to retake portions of the GED exam.

If your scores are in the “college-ready” (165-174) and “college-ready plus credit” (175-200) ranges, additional college entrance requirements like taking the SAT or ACT or extra remedial classes may be waived. This depends on the school but more and more universities and colleges accept these college-ready GED scores in lieu of some other college-entrance test.


Last Updated on July 28, 2020.

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