Pennsylvania GED Requirements

To earn your high school equivalency diploma in Pennsylvania, you will have to take and pass the four-test GED exam or the five-test HiSET exam.

These two options are available to Pennsylvanians who did not complete their regular HS curriculum.

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The GED® and HiSET® exams offer them one more chance to acquire a diploma (in Pennsylvania called the CSSD – Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma) that’s all across the nation accepted in the same way as a common high school degree.

Pennsylvania GED testing requirements

  • In Pennsylvania, the minimum age is 16.
  • 16 and 17-year-olds must meet additional criteria. They must, for example, hold parental consent and have permission from their school boards.
  • Pennsylvania requires test takers to be state residents.
  • Applicants cannot have a high school or equivalent diploma.
  • Applicants can also not be registered for another school program.
  • Applicants are not required to attend a GED prep course or attain passing scores on the GED Ready® practice test.

Pennsylvania GED online

In Pennsylvania, you can sit for the four GED subtests in an online format or at one of Pennsylvania’s official test centers.

If you want to qualify for online GED testing, you need to score in the “green” (likely to pass) zone of the GED Ready practice test.

There is one GED Ready test for each GED subtest and you can purchase them on for $6.99 each. When you get a “green” result on the GED Ready practice test, you’ll be able to schedule your online GED subject test.

If you take the GED exam at a test center, there’s no requirement to take the GED Ready practice test.

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Pennsylvania GED price

In Pennsylvania, the price for GED testing is $30 per individual subject test when taken at a test center (so in total $120). When taken online, the GED exam costs $36 per subject test (so in total $144).

When taking the exam online, you should also add $28 to your total cost since you are required to buy and reach sufficient scores on four GED Ready tests ($6.99 each).

Pennsylvania HiSET price

The Pennsylvania HiSET exam is also available at test centers and in an online format (the HiSET-At-Home option). The entire HiSET exam costs $93.75 if you take it in a computer-based format or $115 when done on paper. Bear in mind that for online testing, additional fees may apply so get well-informed!

How do I register for the GED test?

To be able to schedule your GED tests, you need to register on the website. You are asked to set up your account and at the portal MyGED you can schedule and pay for your test appointments.

A similar procedure applies to the HiSET exam. The GED exam is (regardless of whether you take it at a testing site or online) only available in a computer-based format whereas the HiSET exam (when taken at a test center) is in most states offered on paper and on a computer.

What’s on the GED exam?

The GED exam includes four separate subtests in the fields of Social Studies, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Reasoning through Language Arts. The HiSET comes with five subject tests because the Language section includes separate writing and reading tests.

The GED and HiSET exams are modular. You can register for, pay for, and take one of the modules at a time.

GED scoring

The GED subtests are scored on a scale that runs from 100 to 200 and the minimally required score is 145. 145-164 is the high school equivalent result; 165-174 is the college-ready score and if you manage to score in the 175-200 range, you will additionally receive up to 10 college credits, depending on the college or university and the subject.

HiSET scoring

The five HiSET tests are measured on a scale from 0 to 20 and the passing score is 8 for each test. Your essay must have at least a 2-score (out of 6) and your total result cannot be less than 45. Not all testing sites administer both testing options, so contact a testing center in your area to find out about their policy.

Prepare well

In Pennsylvania, you are not required to first take a GED prep course. But as the GED and HiSET are rather challenging exams, you are strongly advised to become optimally prepared and sign up for a good and well-structured online GED course such as the Onsego GED program or in a physical class. In Pennsylvania, there are numerous locations where HiSET and GED prep classes are offered, often at no charge at all!

Holders of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma can be sure to qualify for better employment and the credential allows for a college education.