P.O. BOX 2120



January 11, 2008



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Minimum Age for Taking the GED Test


The purpose of this memorandum is to share with you the results of a Leadership Summit conducted March 22-23, 2007, by the General Educational Development Testing ServiceTM (GEDTS) and its parent agency, the American Council on Education (ACE), to consider recent developments and media attention concerning the age of GED Test takers. The participants at the summit reached consensus on policies that address minimum testing age. ACE/GEDTS accepted the recommendations, and through correspondence from Sylvia E. Robinson, executive director of the GEDTS, I received the following policy statements.


1.     ACE/GEDTS reiterates their position that the GED credential should not be a first choice option as our organizational leaders believe strongly that high school age students should be encouraged to pursue and complete the traditional high school diploma whenever possible. The GED credential should, however, continue to be a second chance option for adults who have dropped out of high school and for high school age students 16 years and older, after all attempts to obtain a high school diploma have been exhausted.


2.        ACE/GEDTS will rigorously enforce the current testing age policy and restrict testing to those 16 years and older, with absolutely no exceptions.


3.        ACE/GEDTS will allow students under age 18 to take the GED Tests.


Virginia allows 16- and 17-year-olds to take the GED Tests under specific circumstances. These are stated and described in Informational Supts. Memo No. 68, dated March 23, 2007, available at

Please note the link in Supts. Memo No. 68 referencing GED Regulations dated March 15, 2005, has been moved and is located at


This memo does not alter or revise any of the information in Supts. Memo No. 68. Rather, this memo serves to stress the importance of careful examination of those students who are released from compulsory education and, subsequently, allowed to take the GED Tests.


If you have questions about the impact of these restrictions, please contact Mike Nusbaum, ISAEP specialist, via e-mail,, or telephone at (804)786-7644.