What is a GED in Canada? A Complete Guide (2024)

If you’re considering further education or entering the job market in Canada, you may have heard of a GED.

A General Educational Development (GED) credential is an alternative to a high school diploma for individuals who did not complete high school.

By obtaining your GED, you’ll achieve a certified Canadian high school equivalency qualification.

Your dedication to advancing your education and career could make a life-changing difference, so learn more about the GED below here!

What is a GED in Canada

High School Equivalency

A GED, or General Education Development, is a high school equivalency diploma in Canada. If you didn’t complete high school, obtaining a GED can be an alternative to a traditional high school diploma.

This credential demonstrates that you possess the same skills and knowledge as a standard high school graduate, and it can improve your career opportunities or help you continue your education at colleges or universities.

GED Diploma

The GED comprises five tests that cover different subject areas, including language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics. When you pass all five tests, you earn your GED diploma.

This high school equivalency diploma may function similarly to a typical high school diploma when you apply for jobs or pursue further education.

However, keep in mind that there are some distinctions between a GED and a high school diploma, such as educational requirements.

Provincial or Territorial Department of Education

In Canada, each province or territory has its specific department of education that oversees the GED testing process and awards the GED diplomas.

Typically, it is necessary to register for the GED tests through your provincial or territorial department of education to apply for the GED certificate.

Keep in mind that you should check with the organization you’re applying to, as some organizations may require a high school diploma instead of a GED.

However, a GED still offers an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and skills in various subjects, even if you haven’t completed high school.

GED Test Format

GED Test Format

Subject Areas

The GED test in Canada consists of five main subject areas, which aim at evaluating your knowledge and skills equivalent to a traditional high school diploma. These subjects include:

  • Mathematics: This section covers number operations, number sense, geometry, and measurement.
  • Science: Topics range from life science, earth and space science, to physical science.
  • Social Studies: This area focuses on history, geography, economics, and government.
  • Language Arts – Reading: In this section, you’ll encounter fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama texts.
  • Language Arts – Writing: This part is divided into two sections; Part 1 consists of multiple-choice questions, and Part 2 requires you to write an essay.

Testing Requirements

You must physically attend a testing centre, as the Canadian GED is not offered online. However, you don’t have to take all five tests at once; instead, you can space them out and go at your own pace.

The five sub-exams can be taken one at a time when you’re ready and in any order.

Each subject has a designated test duration:

  • Mathematics: 90 minutes
  • Science: 80 minutes
  • Social Studies: 70 minutes
  • Language Arts – Reading: 65 minutes
  • Language Arts – Writing: Part 1 – 75 minutes; Part 2 – 45 minutes

By knowing the format and requirements of the GED test in Canada, you can prepare effectively and make informed decisions about your testing schedule to achieve your desired results.

Preparation for the GED

Preparation for the GED

Study Materials

You can find numerous resources, including textbooks and online courses, to help you prepare for the exam.

For example, Pearson’s GED® Prep+ for Canada is a comprehensive, self-paced online program offering a wide range of practice questions to aid in your learning.

It’s crucial to choose materials that match your learning style and provide ample opportunities for practice and feedback.

Free Practice Tests

These tests allow you to gauge your knowledge and understanding of the various subjects and can help identify areas where you may need further study.

Several websites offer free GED practice tests, including Canadian GED Practice. By taking these tests frequently, you can track your progress, build your confidence, and develop test-taking strategies that work for you.

Preparation Classes

GED preparation classes are typically offered at various educational institutions, adult learning centres, and community organizations.

These classes can help you improve your skills in areas such as mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies.

It’s important to choose a class with experienced instructors and support services that will help you achieve your goals.

Application and Fees

When you decide to pursue a GED in Canada, you need to be aware of the fees and the process of applying for the test.

The fees for taking the GED vary by province, so check with your local GED centre for more accurate information on their fee policy. However, here’s a rough outline of fees you can expect in various provinces:

  • Alberta: $200
  • Manitoba: $75
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $30
  • Nunavut: $175
  • Ontario: $100
  • Quebec: $175

The application process might vary slightly from one province to another. Generally, you’ll have to provide personal information, like your name and contact details, and proof of age and residency. To be eligible for the GED test, you usually need to be at least 18 years old and not enrolled in a high school program.

To apply, visit the official GED website for Canada, where you will find detailed instructions about the application process as well as information about testing centres, schedules, and province-specific requirements. Register online, choose your desired testing location, and pay the required fees.

As you prepare for the GED tests, be aware that you must achieve a passing grade of 450 out of 800 on each of the five tests to receive your GED certificate, which denotes your attainment of knowledge equivalent to a high school graduate.

Importance of a GED in Canada

Importance of a GED in Canada

Educational Opportunities

A GED in Canada can open doors to several educational opportunities for you. It’s an internationally recognized test for adults who haven’t completed secondary school but want to continue their education or improve their career prospects.

With a GED certificate in hand, you can have access to the following:

  • Further education: Your GED certificate can be your ticket to enrolment in colleges and universities across Canada, providing you with an alternative pathway to higher education.
  • Continuing education: Gaining a GED demonstrates your commitment towards improving your knowledge and skills. This qualification can help you to access continuing education courses that enhance your skills and keep you up to date with the latest developments in your chosen field.

Job Opportunities

Having a GED in Canada has a positive impact on your job prospects. Employers value a GED certificate as it shows that you have the knowledge and skills equivalent to high school graduates. Here are some ways a GED can improve your job opportunities:

  • Basic knowledge: Possessing a GED ensures that you’re equipped with knowledge in basic academic areas such as maths, language, science, and history, which can be applied in various career paths.
  • Employer preference: A GED is a recognized credential that can make your CV stand out to potential employers. Many employers prefer hiring candidates with a GED, as it demonstrates commitment, determination, and the ability to achieve goals.
  • Versatility: The GED is a standardized test that measures your knowledge and skills in various subjects including language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics. This breadth of knowledge can make you a more versatile employee, adaptable to a range of job opportunities.

Provincial Differences

Keep in mind that not all post-secondary institutions may accept the GED, so research your desired schools before deciding on the GED as your path to higher education.


In Ontario, the high school diploma you’ll receive is called the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). While the GED (General Education Development) certificate is a high school equivalence credential, the OSSD is earned by completing the requirements of the Ontario secondary school system.


In Manitoba, the GED testing system assesses your knowledge and skills in subjects equivalent to a high school diploma. GED testing centres are located throughout the province, making it accessible for those who didn’t graduate from high school.


Alberta residents seeking their high school equivalency can pursue the GED exams. The GED is acknowledged as the equivalent of the Alberta High School Diploma by many employers and post-secondary institutions in the province.


In Saskatchewan, the GED certificate provides an opportunity for individuals who did not complete high school to earn a credential comparable to a high school diploma.

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Immigration and Career Training administers the GED testing across the province, and many post-secondary institutions accept it as an equivalent qualification.

British Columbia

For British Columbia residents seeking a high school equivalent credential, the GED is an option. The GED testing examines your skills in subjects like reading, writing, mathematics, and more.

Successful completion of the GED tests in British Columbia earns you a GED certificate, demonstrating that you possess high school-level knowledge and skills.


In Canada, a GED (General Education Development) serves as a valuable alternative to a high school diploma for those who couldn’t complete their secondary education.

By obtaining a GED certificate, you showcase your high school-level knowledge in various subjects like maths, language, science, and history.

Aiming for a GED makes sense for your career advancement, as it opens up more job opportunities and potentially leads to higher pay. Moreover, it paves the way to further your education at colleges or universities.

Remember, GED tests in Canada cover five different subject areas, and you must pass all of them to receive your certified Canadian high school equivalency.

By obtaining your GED, you demonstrate your dedication to self-improvement and your commitment to reaching your full potential. Keep in mind that not only will a GED boost your credentials, but it can also provide you with a sense of accomplishment and personal growth.

Pursuing a GED in Canada can greatly enhance your career prospects and improve your overall quality of life. So, if you’re ready to take control of your future, go ahead and start preparing for your GED tests today!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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