In September, GED® (General Education Development) tests are free. As the usual cost to take a test is $58, first-time test-takers, however, who register in September will pay nothing to take the test. Chesterfield County Public Schools is able to offer free tests for a limited time due to a grant from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
A GED certificate is equivalent to a high school diploma; tests cover reading, writing, social studies, science and mathematics. In 2010, about 1,000 adults took a GED test in Chesterfield County. According to the VDOE, by 2012, 70 percent of job opportunities will require a technical skills certificate. Also, entry into various certificate programs requires a high school diploma or a GED.
To register for a GED test, people must do a number of things: preregister at www.ged123.org  and print out the verification form; bring that verification form and a driver’s license or other government-issued ID to the Adult Continuing Education Office at the Chesterfield Technical Center, 10101 Courthouse Rd., during registration hours, which are 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Tests are offered each week through December, and GED seekers will select a test date during the registration process.To pursue a GED, adults must be at least 18 and officially withdrawn from school. There is no prerequisite to taking the GED test, but classes and a learning lab are available for GED seekers who need preparation. Registration for the learning lab costs $30; prep classes cost $70. Adults who complete 60 hours of preparation will also receive a free GED test.
For more information about GED tests or instruction, call 768-6140 or go online to chesterfield.k12.va.us to see the Adult Continuing Education program guide.