GED TEST - Iowa High School Equivalency Diploma

About GED Tests

The GED Tests are rigorous. GED candidates' performance must meet or surpass the performance of 40 percent of traditional graduating high school seniors.

The GED Tests provide adults the opportunity to certify their attainment of high school-level knowledge and skills. In 2004, more than 700,000 adults worldwide took some portion of the GED Tests. Of that total 600,000 of the completers (approximately 70%) pass the GED Tests and earned their jurisdiction's high school diploma.

The GED Tests are demanding. To earn a credential, a candidate must complete a battery of five tests covering math, science, reading, writing and social studies. The five tests, which last for 7½ hours, also measure skills in communication, information processing, problem solving, and critical thinking.

What does earning a GED mean?

The GED Tests provide a uniform measure of high school achievement. Passing the tests means the same thing in every state in the United States, throughout Canada, and around the world.

The 2002 Series GED Tests reflect current high school curriculum standards while including content relevant to the workplace and community. The series is the fourth edition in the 60-year history of the program. The 2002 Series GED Tests reflect the standards developed at the national and jurisdictional levels and recommended by panels of experts representing the core academic disciplines of English-language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

The process of taking the GED Tests is demanding. Candidates must demonstrate competence in lifelong learning and problem-solving skills such as:

  • Solving problems and making decisions
  • Taking responsibility for learning
  • Learning through research
  • Planning
  • Reflecting and evaluating

How GED Tests are Developed

During the initial four-year design state (1997-2001), national panels of experts researched and developed the test specifications, a score scale, and passing score for the 2002 Series GED Tests. Each year thereafter, the GED Testing Service initiates a three-year process to develop three equated forms of the tests, which involve international committees of professional educators, subject matter experts, and test specialists in each content area.

Each test question undergoes multiple reviews by internal and external content and psychometric specialists. Test questions included on the GED Tests are reviewed for fairness using both judgmental and statistical procedures. Further, each question is screened through the use of trained GEDTS staff, through sensitivity review by panels of outside experts, and through differential item functioning (DIF) statistical analysis. Only questions that show evidence of meeting both content and statistical requirements that match the content specifications, have passed fairness and DIF reviews, and possess appropriate values for discrimination and difficulty are included on the GED Tests forms. This ensures that the tests are as free as possible from material that might be advantageous or disadvantageous to particular groups of individuals, and that each question truly measures the candidates knowledge and skills.

Further, these questions are pre-tested on high school seniors before becoming a part of final test forms. These final forms are then administered to a national stratified random sample of graduating high school seniors to set passing standards. Individual states, provinces, and territories may set a passing standard higher, but not lower, than the passing score established by the GED Testing Service. The GED Testing Service follows the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing established by the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education (1999).


The forms listed below may be filled in on-line, but must be printed and submitted with an authorized signature.  

GED Verification Letter Request Form GED Verification Letter Request Form
Request for Duplicate GED Diploma Request for Duplicate GED Diploma
GED Transcript Release Request GED Transcript Release Request


2006 GED Statistical Report
Iowa GED Statistical Report - 2006
Iowa GED Statistical Report - 2005 
Iowa GED Statistical Report - 2004

GED Testing Center Locator

For information on finding a GED Testing Center close to where you live, please use this link.

GED Contacts

For GED verification and information, please contact:

Sandra Jones, GED Records Specialist
Bureau of Community Colleges & Career and Technical Education
Division of Community Colleges & Workforce Preparation
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146
Phone: 515.281.7308
Fax: 515.281.6544

Helene Grossman, State GED Administrator
Bureau of Community Colleges & Career and Technical Education
Division of Community Colleges & Workforce Preparation
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146
Phone: 515.281.3640
Fax: 515.281.6544