The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) recognizes that today’s workplace presents numerous opportunities and challenges for adults in West Virginia. Employers need workers with strong basic skills and an ability to adapt to change. Today’s families are faced with multiple responsibilities as they address their children’s educational needs as well as their own. Special populations, such as the homeless and incarcerated, must deal with additional challenges in order to lead safe and productive lives.

To effectively serve the foundational learning needs of these diverse groups, a learning system that is flexible and responsive is necessary.

The WV Adult Education programs build skills for success by providing adults with the opportunity to acquire and improve functional skills necessary to enhance the quality of their lives as workers, family members, and citizens. These programs play an important role in fostering productive employment, effective citizenship, personal and family growth, self-esteem, and dignity for adult learners.

Individuals eligible to receive services must be at least 16 years of age and not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under State law. Additionally, an eligible individual must meet at least one of the following criteria: 1) be basic skills deficient, 2) not have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or 3) be an English language learner.

Educational services are available at no cost to adult learners and are designed to meet the educational needs of each individual. Certified adult education instructors provide instruction.

The West Virginia Department of Education’s (or state department) approved high school equivalency (HSE) assessment offers adults a “second opportunity” to prove acquisition of the contemporary high school skills and life skills. For the thousands of West Virginians who have not completed high school, the issuance of the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma provides them with the opportunity to demonstrate academic skills at a high school level of competency.

The first step is to locate the nearest adult education classroom and contact the instructor to schedule an appointment. At that time the instructor will work with you to determine the specific steps you need to achieve your goal.

Next, is to work on the steps of the education plan which you and your instructor developed. This can include in-person instruction, virtual instruction, and distance education methods.

Then, you’ll take the High School Equivalency (HSE) official practice test (GED Ready®) to determine your ability to pass the actual HSE exam.

Once you are ready, your instructor will assist you to register for the HSE at a nearby testing center.

Finally, take (& pass) your HSE exam!

West Virginia’s adult distance education program provides a flexible learning opportunity for West Virginia adults who need to prepare for the high school equivalency test, or who wish to brush up on their basic academic skills in preparation for an upcoming test for entrance into a college or into the workforce. And it’s free! You can now study any time of the day or night on a computer or mobile device with Internet access. *

Some of the approved software programs for distance education in West Virginia Adult Education include Edgenuity®, GED Academy®, Computer Essentials, and Burlington English®. The content of these programs varies from courses in healthcare occupations to information technology to courses in Accuplacer® Exam Preparation and to learning English as a Second Language.

In order to participate in the distance education program, you must be a West Virginia resident and be able to go to an onsite class to take the assessment test and enroll.

*Distance Education is available in limited areas. Call the Adult Education Hotline at 800-642-2670 or contact Elizabeth Jarrett at ejarrett@k12.wv.us to find the nearest adult learning center in your area which offers distance learning opportunities.

All candidates must be at least 16 years old to be admitted to HiSET testing.

  • There are specific guidelines for 16, 17, and 18-year-olds. Contact your local adult learning center.
  • 16, 17, and 18-year-olds who are still enrolled in school may qualify for the Option Pathway program, which enables students to take the High School Equivalency exam while still enrolled in school as part of their program of study. Students must meet program guidelines and must be referred to the Option Pathway by a teacher, counselor or school administrator.
  • All candidates must pass the HSE official practice test. All adult education programs are authorized to give the HSE official practice test.
  • The Adult Education or Option Pathway instructor will assist with the online registration and scheduling for the High School Equivalency exam.

Residency Guidelines 

  • West Virginia does not have a residency requirement, but if you decide to take the High School Equivalency exam test in West Virginia, your diploma will be issued as a State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma.
  • If you wish to take the High School Equivalency exam in another state, you must contact the state of your choice for its guidelines on testing out-of-state residents.
  • West Virginia honors High School Equivalency test scores from other states.


  • Students must present a current, valid, and original photo ID on the day of testing. Students who arrive without their photo IDs will not be permitted to take the test and are required to reschedule.
  • Only the following types of primary photo IDs are to be accepted:
    • Passport
    • Driver’s license
    • Learner’s permit
    • State-issued Photo ID (non-driver’s license)
    • National/state/country identification card
    • Alien Registration Card (Green Card/Permanent Resident/Visa)
    •  *WV Alternate Photo ID for GED® Testing, Appendix 17, Option Pathway Organizational Manual (Option Pathway and WVSDT juvenile residential students ONLY) – must contain the student’s legal name and be signed using their legal name as it appears on the form.
  • The examiner has the authority to require additional identification for positive verification.
  • The GED®exam is a national high school equivalency (HSE) assessment that allows adults to show the same academic knowledge and skills as high school graduates to allow adults to pursue postsecondary opportunities and expand their career paths. This exam is administered by GED Testing Service LLC and the exam is aligned with the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education used in our adult education classrooms.
  • The GED®exam assesses knowledge and skills in four subject areas: Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. Test items are reviewed yearly by expert analysts to assure that each item is valid, accurate, and continues to reflect the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education.
  • The GED®exam is available in English and Spanish. The four sections take approximately seven and one-half hours to complete and may be taken separately on different days (depending on the testing center’s schedule).
  • Passing GED®, TASC™, and HiSET®will be combined for the 2014 series of these tests via our vendor, DiplomaSender and their Total Transcript program.

The GED® exam covers four subject areas: Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. To pass the following must be met:

  • Each subject test is scored on a scale of 100-200.
  • The minimum passing score is 145.
  • Although there is no separate essay score, the written essay (Extended Response) comprises 20% of the Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) score.
  • A credential is awarded once the student has achieved a minimum passing score of at least 145 on each of the four subjects.

GED® Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA)

The RLA test measures your ability to read closely, write clearly, edit and understand written English; to understand, interpret, and answer questions based on text; use evidence to support an argument; and show an understanding of basic English skills at a level needed to succeed in college or a job. Reading passages are 75% informational and 25% literary and range in length from approximately 400 to 900 words.

  • There is a limit of 150 minutes to complete the multiple choice and other question types (drag and drop, select and area, and dropdown) and the extended response.

GED® Mathematical Reasoning

The Mathematical Reasoning test measures your algebraic-solving abilities (55%) and quantitative problem-solving abilities (45%). A calculator guide and math formula sheet are provided.

  • There is a limit of 115 minutes to complete the multiple choice and other question types (drag and drop, fill in the blank, select and area, and dropdown).

GED® Science

The Science test measures your scientific reasoning skills in three areas: reading and writing in science (30%), science concepts (40%), and mathematical reasoning in science (30%). These skills apply to real world situations in the context of life science (40%), physical science (40%), and earth & space (20%). A calculator is available in this section.

  • There is a limit of 90 minutes to complete the multiple choice and other question types (drag and drop, fill in the blank, select and area, and dropdown).

GED® Social Studies

The Social Studies test measures your reasoning skills in three areas: reading and writing in social studies (33%), social studies concepts (33%), and mathematical reasoning in social studies (33%). These skills focus on real world situations in the context of civics & government (50%), US history (20%), economics (15%), and geography (15%). A calculator is available for this section.

  • There is a limit of 70 minutes to complete the multiple choice and other question types (drag and drop, fill in the blank, select and area, and dropdown).

Individuals must take and pass all four subject area tests of the high school equivalency assessment (currently the GED® exam) to receive the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma. The state of West Virginia has provided funding for individuals to take the high school equivalency assessment for free. In order to get the free testing, examinees must go to an Adult Education (AdultEd) classroom to take the state-approved high school equivalency (HSE) practice test (currently GED Ready®) and receive a passing score in each subject area. Individuals may also choose to attend classes at an AdultEd center to brush up on skills to help them prepare for the GED® exam.

GED Testing Service LLC is committed to providing students with full access to the GED® test for anyone with disabilities and support the intention of the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA). Test accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis and include things such as extra testing time, extra breaks, and a separate testing room.

Instructors can assist students with the process to apply for accommodation which can take up to 30 days for the request to be evaluated by GED Testing Service. More information on accommodations can be found at Accommodations – GED.

Unofficial GED® Scores

Transcript Of Official HiSET Scores, TASC Scores or GED Scores

  • Official scores of your HiSET, TASC, or GED results are kept by DiplomaSender.
  • Your original diploma and transcript will be mailed to you at no charge upon creation of a DiplomaSender account and verifying the mailing address.
  • Colleges, universities, and employers require a transcript of your official scores.
  • You may obtain an additional transcript, replacement diploma, or verification by completing the online request at DiplomaSender – www.diplomasender.com – Copyright © 2014 Lilac, LLC. Detailed directions can be downloaded here.

The English Language Acquisition (ELA) program addresses the needs of adult English Language Learners (ELLs) including immigrants, temporary residents, and citizens of the U.S. whose native language is not English or who live in a family or community environment where a language other than English is the dominant language.

For more information please contact the WVAdultEd Hotline at 1-800-642-2670 and they will help you locate the closest program to you.

The goal of Integrated English Language and Civics Education (IELCE) is to prepare adults who are English language learners for, and place such adults in, unsubsidized employment with in-demand industries and occupations that lead to economic self-sufficiency.

For more information please contact the WVAdultEd Hotline at 1-800-642-2670.

Some counties have local volunteer literacy programs. If there isn’t a volunteer literacy program, the adult education instructor can schedule one-on-one tutoring.

For more information please contact the WVAdultEd Hotline at 1-800-642-2670.

WV Adult Education classes serve adults with disabilities. Instructors are trained to assist with special accommodations that might be needed for testing situations. Instructors can help in accessing accommodations for adult learners.