General Educational Development

General Educational Development (GED) is an internationally recognized high school equivalency testing program. It’s a series of 5 tests for people who don’t have a high school diploma. When you pass all 5 tests, you get a GED Certificate. The GED is free for Nova Scotia residents.


You can take the GED tests if you:

  • are 18 years old or older
  • are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or refugee or protected person
  • live in Nova Scotia
  • are not currently in school
  • do not have a high school diploma recognized by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

GED tests

There are 5 GED tests. The subjects are:

  • English language arts reading
  • English language arts writing
  • math
  • science
  • social studies

To pass the GED, you need a score of at least 450 in each of the 5 tests. Your official GED transcript and certificate is mailed to you within 4 weeks of when you pass your last test.

Retake policy

If you don’t pass a GED test, you need to wait 30 days to try again. If you don’t pass a test the second time, you need to wait another 30 days before trying again. If you don’t pass a test the third time, you need to wait until the next calendar year. You can’t take the same GED test more than 3 times in a calendar year.

Test locations

GED tests are taken on a computer at a testing centre. Testing centres are located at Nova Scotia Community College campuses throughout Nova Scotia.

Accommodations for testing

Accommodations are available if you have a documented medical condition or disability that could keep you from taking the GED tests in the way they’re usually given. Requests for test accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis.

To request accommodations, complete an Accommodations Request Form (PDF) and submit it, along with supporting documentation, to the GED Testing Service by mail or email.

Once your request is received (including all supporting documentation) the GED Testing Service provides a decision in 2 weeks. If your request is granted, you’re responsible for following the instructions to finalize your accommodations request and schedule your tests.

Preparing for the GED

Many Community Learning Organizations (PDF) offer free courses to help you prepare for your tests. There are also books and online resources to help you study for the 2002 Canadian GED test series.

How to register for the GED

When you’re ready to schedule your GED tests, you can register online through the GED Testing Service.


You need to create an account if you don’t already have one. If you have questions or have trouble registering, contact the GED Testing Service.

Replacement transcripts and certificates

If you need a replacement transcript or certificate, complete Transcript or Certificate Replacement Form (PDF) and submit it to the GED Testing Service by email or mail.

It should take 1 or 2 weeks for your request to be processed.

If you passed all 5 GED tests and didn’t receive your transcript and certificate within 4 weeks of your last test, contact the GED Testing Service.

Canadian Adult Education Credential (CAEC)

The Canadian Adult Education Credential (CAEC) is a new program developed in collaboration with provinces and territories across Canada. It will replace the GED after May 3, 2024. The CAEC offers a high-quality, Canadian-made education credential meeting high educational standards, serving as a reliable indicator of educational achievement for Canadian adults without a high school diploma.

The CAEC is designed for individuals who need an education credential to open doors to employment or educational opportunities or validate existing diplomas or skills. It caters to those aiming to meet educational requirements for employment or qualify for post-secondary programs like apprenticeships, college, or workplace training.

While the GED won't be available after May 3, 2024, the 2002 GED tests will still be recognized. People starting the GED are encouraged to complete the series before the deadline, but those passing some of the 2002 GED tests can count those tests toward the CAEC until May 2027.

CAEC will be accessible from spring 2024, and a dedicated website with more information about tests, preparation, and registration will launch in early 2024. General inquiries about the CAEC and the GED can be directed to


Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration
GED Testing Service
Adult Education Division
PO Box 697
Halifax, NS B3J 2T8

Toll-free: 1-877-466-7725