Offenders getting GEDs
Offenders getting GEDs

General Education Development (GED)

The General Education Development (GED) program is offered to inmates/students who possess neither a high school diploma nor a high school equivalency certificate. Inmates/students receive instruction in language arts, mathematical reasoning, science, and social studies. To achieve the GED certificate, inmates/students must achieve a minimum score of 150 in each section and a total score of 600. Inmates/students must meet test requirements based upon their Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) results.

In January 2015, all CDCR institutions began delivering the GED 2014 test. Currently that test is computer-based. Due to custody constraints, some inmates may be allowed to take a paper and pencil version on a case-by-case determination. The GED 2014 test is taken on a computer which delivers test data directly to the scoring site. The test is scored and results are returned immediately. A passing score on the GED 2014 test ensures that an adult's high school equivalency credential signifies he or she has the skills and knowledge necessary to take the next critical steps, whether entering the job market or obtaining additional education.

Inmates/students are placed into the GED program after completing Adult Basic Education (ABE) III or achieving the required TABE score and do not possess a high school diploma or a high school equivalency certificate. Inmates/students who are accepted into the GED program are provided educational support in completing the specific subject matter that will allow them to successfully pass the GED 2014 exam.

This prison-based program is part of the Office of Correctional Education. Note: Offenders on parole seeking a GED should refer to our Community Literacy Learning Centers.

Locations Available:

All institutions

Length of Program:

Inmates/students progress at their own pace, reflecting their effort and desire to learn.


Inmates may be assigned to a GED program or voluntarily enroll in a Voluntary Education Program (VEP) to obtain a GED.

Eligibility Requirements:

Eligibility is based on inmate's score on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). Institutions also set other various requirements based upon assessment testing, housing, physical layout, custody level and space availability.

Download fact sheet about program