Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

New state regulation reduces wait period for GED test

Release Date: August 26, 2005
Contact: Sue Patrick
Phone: 502-573-1555 ext. 308

A revised state regulation allows Kentuckians ages 16-18 to take GED tests 90 days after withdrawing from high school providing they meet other eligibility requirements.  The previous wait period was up to one year after leaving school.

Cheryl King, the Council on Postsecondary Education’s vice president for Kentucky Adult Education, said the former regulation forced young Kentuckians to put their lives on hold.

“The goal is to keep students in high school,” King said.  “But once a person has made that decision – for whatever reason – we believe the option of a GED should be available as soon as possible.”

The revised GED regulation aligns with the 90-day period in which school districts must contact students voluntarily withdrawing from school to encourage them to re-enroll in a regular program or enroll in an alternative program or GED program.

Kentucky’s GED regulation, 785 KAR 1:130, spells out all GED test eligibility requirements and is in compliance with the national GED Testing Service requirements.  The general requirements are:

  • Those at least 19 years old must have a Kentucky address and pass the Official Practice Test.
  • Those 16-18 years old must wait 90 days after officially withdrawing from high school, have a Kentucky address and pass the Official Practice Test.  A county school superintendent may waive the waiting period for a postsecondary enrollment deadline, condition of employment, medical reason or family circumstances.
  • Students enrolled in a Kentucky Department of Education-approved GED Secondary Program may take the tests upon superintendent approval.
  • Exemptions to requirements are made for those who are at least 16, have a Kentucky address and are incarcerated, in a Job Corps program, are considered a state agency child or are in juvenile detention or a juvenile holding facility.

Kentucky Adult Education provides funding for adult learning centers in all 120 counties.  At learning centers, Kentuckians can study for a GED, enroll in family literacy programs, take skills upgrade classes necessary for employment or postsecondary education and learn to speak English.  Kentuckians can also access adult education online.  Information about adult education is available at

Over 15 million people worldwide have received the GED high school equivalency credential since the tests were initiated in 1942.  The GED tests provide a second chance for individuals who were unable to complete high school for a variety of reasons.  The tests are normed on current high school students and are designed so that only 60 percent of current high school students would pass the tests. 


Kentucky's postsecondary education system includes eight public universities, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, numerous independent institutions and Kentucky Adult Education. The system represents 231,612 students, 538,866 Kentucky alumni and 294,896 GED recipients. When Kentuckians earn postsecondary degrees, their skills improve and their wages go up; they are more likely to lead healthy lives and be engaged in their communities; and they build better futures for themselves and their families.


Last Updated 9/1/2005