GED/HSED Information

The state of Wisconsin offers multiple options to complete your high school equivalency. Madison College's General Education Development (GED) and High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) programs can help you earn either one. Whether you are earning your GED or HSED to maintain your current job, to get a new job that requires a high school diploma or to enter college to continue your education, the School of Academic Advancement at Madison College can help you get started.

To earn a GED or HSED in Wisconsin, you must meet certain criteria:

  • Be 18 1/2 years of age or older
  • Be a Wisconsin resident or have lived in the state for at least 10 days, or be a migrant worker or the child of a migrant worker
  • Not be currently enrolled in a high school
  • Not have a high school diploma

Accommodations are available. Please contact Disability Resource Services for more information. 

Get Started Today!

  • High School Completion Programs and Options

    Most employers today require at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. The GED and HSED are high school equivalency tests that meet this requirement. The GED/HSED test is a computer based, five high school equivalency exam that measures skills expected of high school graduates. The GED is accepted by most employers, technical colleges and community colleges. However, some employers, universities and branches of the military require a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED).

    Not sure which is the best option for you?

    Wisconsin offers other options for adults to complete their high school equivalency. Madison College offers advising and guidance for adults to ensure they choose the option that is best for them.
    Learn more about Wisconsin’s GED/HSED options at Madison College.
    For questions about which options might be best for you, please contact the School of Academic Advancement at 608-258-2440 Option 2 to get started!
  • Testing Identification Requirements

    When you register for your GED test, you will receive an email from Pearson VUE explaining ID requirements. Be sure to read the email carefully. You will not be allowed to test if you do not present your photo identification.

    Students are required to provide one valid form of identification:

    • must be government issued
    • must not be expired 
    • must include the student's name, address, date of birth, signature and a photo

    The following forms of ID are acceptable:

    • Passport
    • Driver's license
    • Learners permit
    • National or state ID Card 
    • Any other form of government-issued ID (national or foreign) including Marticula Consular.
  • Dual Enrollment for Adult Learners Program (DEAL)

    DEAL Program

    Want to attend college level courses but don’t have your GED or HSED yet? Madison College offers the Dual Enrollment for Adult Learners program that allows students to enroll in a Career Pathway program while concurrently completing the GED/HSED.  Students in this program are also eligible to receive student financial aid while attending as long as the requirements are met. Learn more here.

  • Cost

    GED and HSED classes are offered tuition-free to Wisconsin residents but may require the purchase of a textbook or other materials.

    The cost for obtaining your GED is $145, which includes four GED exams ($30 per test) and a diploma fee ($15). The HSED testing option has an additional cost for the health ($5) and required civics exam ($10). Retest fees may also be applicable if a passing score is not obtained the first time the test is taken. For the GED, fees are paid by voucher, credit or debit card when making your testing appointment online at

    GED vouchers are available if the payment of the test fees would present a substantial financial hardship. Financial hardships are determined by an application process and verified by the Testing Office. If you have questions about whether you would meet the criteria and qualify for financial assistance, please call the Madison College Testing Center at (608)246-5220, Option 3.

  • GED/HSED Transcripts and Diplomas

    To order a GED/HSED Transcript and Credential earned in Wisconsin, you may order your transcript through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction by completing their DPI form.

    Employers, colleges and universities that need to verify that a candidate has a GED or HSED from Wisconsin can receive this information directly from DPI.

    If your transcript is needed for Madison College admissions and you tested at any of the Madison College campuses, please contact the Testing Center at Madison College for verification at (608) 246-5220, option 3.

  • Learning Centers

    Our campuses have learning centers that provide GED/HSED students with individualized Pre-GED or GED/HSED instruction as extra support for structured classes or as an independent learning option.

  • Current Student Resources
    • To see how to log into blackboard, please visit the GED/HSED Portal here
    • To see how to recover your your Madison College Username and/or password, please visit here
    • To see how to create a account, please visit here
    • If you do not have a student account with Madison College, you can create watch this video on how to create a new Madison College User Name and Password.

  • FAQ's

    How long does it take to get my GED or HSED?

    It will depend on what grade you dropped out of, how long it’s been since you were in school, and what you have been doing in that time. How much time you dedicate to studying for the tests will also affect the total time it takes to obtain your diploma. Some students can pass all four exams in one month, while other students will take a year or longer to finish.

    Are keyboarding skills required to be successful on the GED tests?

    Yes. Typing practice is recommended as part of the study plan for the GED tests.

    What is a passing score on each test?

    Each of the four tests is worth up to 200 points. A minimum score of 145 on each of the tests is required for passing. On the 100 question Civics test, you will need a passing score of 65. On the 90 question Health test, you will need a minimum passing score of 55.

    How many retakes do I get if I don’t pass the first time?

    Students are allowed to retest if needed. For the first two retakes, students must wait 10 days between testing times. For every additional retake, students must wait 60 days between testing.

    Are accommodations available for the GED exams?

    Yes, a range of accommodations are available based on the needs of candidates with disabilities. The need must be documented by a qualified medical professional. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to: extra time, a private room, frequent breaks, an interpreter, a scribe, a calculator, etc. Please contact the Testing Center for more information.

    Who issues my GED or HSED Diploma?

    The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issues all GED and HSED Diplomas and Transcripts.

    What are the Five GED Content Areas?

    • Reasoning through Language Arts
    • Math
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Civics

    What are the health requirements? 

    There are three options for meeting the additional HSED requirement:

    1. 1/2 credit of high school health (grades 7-12)
    2. Successful completion of health course
    3. Pass the health exam

    About the Health Exam

    • The testing session takes approximately 1.5 hours and costs $5. You must make an appointment for a session by calling the Testing Center at (608) 246-5220 and select option 3. 
    • Payment is made at the Testing Center - checks and money orders should be made payable to 'Madison College'. Cash payments are not accepted.
    • Bring a valid photo ID to this session.
    • There is a 60-day waiting period before retesting is allowed.

    Can I take the GED test in Spanish? 

    Yes! Look at your options here.