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Table 127. Number of people taking the general educational development (GED) test and percentage distribution of those who passed, by age group: 1971 through 2011
Year Number of test takers (in thousands) Percentage distribution of test passers, by age group1
Total2 Completing test battery3 Passing tests4 16 to 18 years old 19 to 24 years old 25 to 29 years old 30 to 34 years old 35 years old or over
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
19715 377 227    
19725 419 245    
19735 423 249    
1974 294 35 6 27 6 13 9 17
1975 340 33 6 26 6 14 9 18
                     
1976 333 31 6 28 6 14 10 17
1977 330 40 6 24 6 13 8 14
1978 381 31 6 27 6 13 10 18
1979 426 37 6 28 6 12 13 11
1980 479 37 6 27 6 13 8 15
                     
1981 489 37 6 27 6 13 8 14
1982 486 37 6 28 6 13 8 15
1983 465 34 6 29 6 14 8 15
1984 427 32 6 28 6 15 9 16
1985 413 32 6 26 6 15 10 16
                     
1986 428 32 6 26 6 15 10 17
1987 444 33 6 24 6 15 10 18
1988 410 35 6 22 6 14 10 18
1989 632 541 357 22   37   13
1990 714 615 410 22   39   13 10 15
                     
1991 755 657 462 20   40   13 10 16
1992 739 639 457 22   39   13 9 17
1993 746 651 469 22   38   13 10 16
1994 774 668 491 25   37   13 10 15
1995 787 682 504 27   36   13 9 15
                     
1996 824 716 488 27   37   13 9 14
1997 785 681 460 31   36   12 8 13
1998 776 673 481 32   36   11 7 13
1999 808 702 498 32   37   11 7 13
2000 811 699 487 33   37   11 7 13
                     
20017 1,016 928 648 29   38   11 8 14
20027 557 467 330 38   36   10 6 11
2003 657 552 387 35   37   10 7 11
2004 666 570 406 35   38   11 6 10
2005 681 588 424 34   37   12 7 11
                     
2006 676 580 398 35   36   12 6 11
2007 692 600 429 35   35   12 7 11
2008 737 642 469 34   35   13 7 11
2009 748 645 448 31   36   13 8 12
2010 720 623 452 27   37   14 9 14
2011 691 602 434 27   37   13 9 14
—Not available.
1 Age data for 1988 and prior years are for all test takers and may not be comparable to data for later years. For 1989 and later years, age data are only for test passers. The less than 1 percent of people who failed to report their date of birth--136 of the 434,126 test passers in 2011--were excluded from the calculation.
2 All people taking the GED tests (one or more subtests).
3 People completing the entire GED battery of five tests.
4 Data for 2002 and later years are for people passing the GED tests (i.e., earning both a passing total score on the test battery and a passing score on each individual test). Data for 2001 and prior years are for high school equivalency credentials issued by the states to GED test passers. In order to receive high school equivalency credentials in some states, GED test passers must meet additional state requirements (e.g., complete an approved course in civics or government).
5 Includes other jurisdictions, such as Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa.
6 For 1988 and prior years, 19-year-olds are included with the 16- to 18-year-olds instead of the 19- to 24-year-olds.
7 A revised GED test was introduced in 2002. In 2001, test takers were required to successfully complete all five components of the GED or else begin the five-part series again with the new test that was introduced in 2002.
NOTE: Data are for the United States only and exclude other jurisdictions, except where noted. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: American Council on Education, General Educational Development Testing Service, the GED annual Statistical Report, 1971 through 1992; Who Took the GED? 1993 through 2001; Who Passed the GED Tests? 2002 through 2005; and GED Testing Program Statistical Report, 2006 through 2011, retrieved July 15, 2012, from http://www.gedtestingservice.com/educators/historical-testing-data. (This table was prepared July 2012.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education