High School Equivalency Tests

The Canadian version of the General Education Diploma (GED®) Program will be discontinued and replaced by the new Canadian Adult Education Credential (CAEC) in the spring of 2024.

GED® tests are available to write in the Northwest Territories until March 31, 2024 with the program being discontinued on May 3, 2024.

There is no effect on the validity of GED credentials that have been completed. The value of your completed GED will not change.

For more information, please see below, or contact a Career Development Officer at your ECE Regional Service Centre.

The General Education Diploma (GED) test gives you the opportunity to earn a high school equivalency diploma. These tests are designed to measure the general knowledge, ideas and thinking skills that are normally acquired through three years of high school. Many acquire knowledge and skills through work experience, reading and informal training.

NWT residents can write the GED through the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) Regional Service Centres, the North Slave Correctional Complex, Fort Smith Correctional Complex, Tree of Peace Friendship Centre, and at the NWT diamond mines.

The General Education Diploma is delivered through the department’s Regional Service Centres. 

Contact your Regional Service Centre and ask to speak to a Career Development Officer.  

To write the General Education Diploma, you must:

  • be over the age of 18
  • have been out of high school for at least one year
  • have not received a Grade 12 graduation certificate from any institution, and
  • have been a resident of the NWT for at least six months.

The General Education Diploma is comprised of five exams:

  • English Language – Reading
  • English Language – Writing
  • Math
  • Social Studies, and
  • Science

You must pass all five exams to complete the General Education Diploma.

There are no General Education Diploma preparation courses offered in the NWT. Individuals are to self-study to prepare. Most public libraries have General Education Diploma prep manuals available.

Discontinuing GED tests

The Canadian version of the General Education Diploma (GED®) program will be discontinued and replaced by the new Canadian Adult Education Credential (CAEC) in the spring of 2024.

The GED was developed in 2002 by the American assessment firm Pearson and has long been used across Canada as the high school equivalency test. However, Pearson has informed Canadian jurisdictions that they can no longer support the test due to outdated technology.

The GED program will be discontinued in May 2024; GED tests will be available to write in the Northwest Territories until March 31, 2024, to prepare for the transition to the CAEC.

  • The CAEC is still in development in collaboration with Canadian provinces and territories that have opted in, including the NWT. It has been designed similarly to the GED, using the same breakdown for the exams, and will be available in paper format and online.
  • Individuals who have completed some, but not all of the five GED tests by March 31, 2024 will have three years to put those completed tests toward their Canadian Adult Education Credential.
    • For example, if you’ve completed Math, Science and Social Studies through the GED, you have until 2027 to complete the CAEC tests for Reading and Writing. If you do not complete them by 2027, you would have to write all five through the CAEC.
  • The GED and CAEC are high school equivalencies; however, they do not meet most prerequisites for post-secondary education programs. It is important that you research the post-secondary schools and programs you wish to apply for and ensure you have the necessary prerequisites and grades for admission.

ECE will provide more information about the requirements to write the CAEC and how to access the tests as it becomes available.

In the meantime, residents and adult learners can find more information by contacting a Career Development Officer at your local ECE Regional Service Centre.