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End of GED testing in Canada leaves people with fewer options


The clock is ticking on General Educational Development (GED) testing in Canada.

The certificate will no longer be available starting spring 2024 – and that’s raising concerns about how adults will get their high school diploma or equivalent.

The Ontario Ministry of Education says testing in Canada is done by a U.S.-based company, which has decided to end the service in Canada.


Jim Barlow provides GED preparation training in Waterloo Region through his company Legacy 5 Consultants. He was also part of the team that brought the testing to Canada from the United States in the late 1990s and is the consulting editor on the book test-takers use to study.

He says the change has left him feeling “empty.”

“All the work we put together to get an option for adults. And now we're back to square one,” Barlow said. “What are you doing? Have you really thought this thing out?

The GED exam is composed of five tests. A GED certificate shows that a student has high-school level knowledge and skills without having to complete a formal secondary school program. (Pexels/Andy Barbour)


The countdown is now on for anyone looking to complete the series of tests, which measure writing, reading, math, social studies and science at a Grade 12 level.

Ontarians have until Jan. 31 to register to write the GED and must schedule their test dates before March 31.

“After this date, Canadians will no longer be able to schedule a test date for the current version of the GED, based on a decision by Pearson Vue GED Testing Service (GEDTS) to no longer provide the testing service in Canada,” said the province in an email to CTV News.

All exams must be completed by April 15. Certificates will be distributed by June 30.

Because of the significant change, Barlow isn’t taking on new clients for his course, because there’s no guarantee they’ll complete the exam by the deadline of mid-April.


So what's the alternative?

“The only option I see right now is the PLAR through school boards. But that's a lengthy process,” Barlow said.

The Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition requires students to complete full courses based on prior educational experience.

The province told CTV News, the ministry is working with other Canadian jurisdictions regarding possible future opportunities.

There’s also the Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate which is a Grade 12 equivalency program for adult learners delivered at Ontario public colleges through Academic Upgrading and online with ACE Distance Delivery.

It is a tuition-free program for Ontarians 19 or older.

In Kitchener, ACE programming is delivered by Conestoga College. 

More information about the ACE certificate can be found here. Top Stories

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