South Dakota

Earning a GED® credential in South Dakota opens the door to countless future opportunities. Whether pursuing further education or improving your career prospects, this credential is a valuable asset that helps you build a strong foundation for your future. This guide walks you through the steps to getting your South Dakota GED® certificate.

FAQs for Earning a GED in South Dakota

Top Policies

How old do I need to be to take the test?

You must be 18 years old to test in South Dakota.

In South Dakota, you can be 16 and take the GED® test if you

  • Have alternative instruction, or
  • Have been attending an in-school GED® prep program
  • Submit to the state office an underage testing waiver signed by your parent/guardian and a school official
    • Click here to be directed to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation website to access the Underage GED Testing Waiver.


For those testing on the Online Exam:

  • A parent or guardian must be present at the pre-test check-in to give consent and authorize the underage tester to be recorded during testing. If the parent or guardian is not present, the exam session will be revoked.

You do not need to be a resident to test in South Dakota.

Some states allow people who don’t live there to take the GED® test and others don’t. You’ll need to check the residency requirement for the state that you’re interested to test in.

No, South Dakota doesn’t require you to prepare for the GED® test in an adult education classroom.

For those testing in-person at a Testing Center: 

  • No, you’re not required to take the GED Ready® practice test before taking the official GED® test. 

For those testing on the Online Exam: 

  • Yes, you are required to take the GED Ready® practice test before taking the official GED® test online. 

Price & Payment

What is my cost if I test at a Test Center?

  • Starting July 1, 2023: South Dakota charges $50 per subject for the GED® test at a Test Center.


What is my cost if I test Online?

  • Starting July 1, 2023: South Dakota charges $50 per subject for the GED® test taken online.

You will pay for the test online with a debit or credit card when you schedule your test.

Don’t have a credit or debit card? Some students use American Express Bluebird. Register for a free Bluebird card online and add funds with cash at a Walmart location. Learn more about Bluebird.

Test Retake Policies

For those testing in-person at a Testing Center 

  • In South Dakota, there is no waiting period for your first two retakes. After taking a test subject 3 times, you'll have to wait 60 days before retesting. There's no limit to how many times you can test in a year.

For those testing on the Online Exam: 

  • The Online Proctored Exam allows for one retake before a 60 day waiting period. After taking a test subject two times online, you’ll have to wait 60 days before retesting.  

For those testing in-person at a Testing Center: 

  • Starting July 1, 2023: You will receive one discounted* retake for every GED® test subject you purchase but don’t pass. You have 365 days after your full price test to use this retake. This retake offer (1 full price:1 discount) repeats until you pass the test. GED Testing Service waives its $26 testing fee, however additional testing fees may still apply in your state.
    *In South Dakota, there is a $20 test center fee for GED® test retakes.
  • Note: We have extended the limited-time offer of up to 2 discounted retakes for exams taken in test centers, as long as both retakes are completed by June 30, 2024.  

For those testing on the Online Exam:

  • Currently the Online Proctored Exam costs $37.50 for a retake in South Dakota. Discounted retakes are not offered on the Online Proctored Exam. 
  • Starting July 1, 2023: The Online Proctored Exam costs $50 for a retake in South Dakota. Discounted retakes are not offered on the Online Proctored Exam. 

Transcripts & Diploma

South Dakota has partnered with GED Testing Service for fulfillment of requests for GED® transcripts and diplomas.

After passing the GED® test, you will automatically receive one free electronic diploma, one free electronic transcript. You must take action to receive one free printed diploma.

Electronic Diploma and Transcript

The electronic diploma and transcript download links will be e-mailed to the e-mail address associated with your GED® account once you have passed all GED® test subjects and earned your diploma.

  • Links are only available for a limited time, so be sure to download your electronic documents right away.
  • Follow the instructions provided in the e-mail. These PDF documents are very valuable since they can be forwarded to employers and colleges that accept electronic credentials.
  • The PDF documents are verified by GED Testing Service/Parchment each time they are opened using Blue Ribbon Security. The blue ribbon symbol displayed in the PDF is assurance that the digital credential is valid, the document is authentic, and the contents of the credential have not been altered.

Printed Diploma

The printed diploma can be ordered in your GED® account at After logging in, go to My Scores and select Order Duplicates. Select Diploma option and then select the Printed Diploma – Free option.

  • You will then be asked who and what address you want the diploma to be mailed to.
  • The free diploma link will only be available until it has been used and can only be used one time.
  • Carefully follow the instructions presented during the ordering process.

You can request your transcript and diploma here.

In South Dakota the credential is called the GED® Certificate.


For those testing in-person at a Testing Center:

  • Yes, in South Dakota you can take all test subjects in the same day if you can find a testing center with hours that accommodate it.

For those testing on the Online Exam:

  • No, you must schedule your test appointments separately, one at a time. After you complete one online exam you may schedule another, based on appointment availability.

Yes, in South Dakota, you can take the GED® Test in English or Spanish and you can combine the two languages to earn your credential.

It depends on whether or not that state has a residency requirement. Check the residency requirements in that state and don’t hesitate to in that state with questions.

Barb Unruh
GED Administrator
Department of Labor and Regulation
123 West Missouri Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
Phone: (605) 773-5017
Fax: (605) 773-6184

How to Get a South Dakota GED® Credential

Follow these steps to earn your GED® credential in South Dakota.

1. Check Your Eligibility

To enroll in the South Dakota GED® program, you must first meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Age: The student must be at least 18 years old. If you are under 18, you can still take the exam if you attend an in-school GED® prep program, have alternative instruction, or provide a waiver signed by your parent/guardian and a school official.
  • Enrollment Status: You should not be enrolled in high school or have received a high school diploma.
  • Residency: You don't have to be a South Dakota resident to be eligible.
  • Identity Verification: You must present government-issued identification showing your name, date of birth, photograph, and signature at the time of the exam.

2. Create a GED® Account

To register for the GED® exam, you must create an account on the GED® website. Your GED® account will enable you to schedule test appointments and access study resources.

3. Prepare for the GED® Test

The GED® test covers four subjects: math, science, social studies, and reasoning through language arts. You can use the study resources available through your GED® account to prepare for the GED® exam. The resources include online courses and practice tests. Also, consider enrolling in GED® classes or programs at your local adult education center or community college.

4. Schedule and Take the Test

Once you feel prepared for the GED® exam, schedule your test appointments on your GED® account. You can take the South Dakota GED® exam at several testing centers throughout the state. You’re not required to take all four tests simultaneously; you can schedule them on multiple days depending on your preference and the testing center's availability.

5. Receive Your GED® Credential

After passing all four GED® tests, you’ll receive your GED® credential. This credential is recognized as a high school equivalency certificate by the state of South Dakota, opening up new opportunities for further education or career advancement.

Getting Your GED® Credential Online in South Dakota

South Dakota students may also take their GED® test online on the official GED® website. This flexible option is for students who can’t easily access testing centers or prefer the convenience of taking the test from home. To schedule the online GED® test, you must sign up for an account on the GED® website and select the online testing option. Students must meet the following additional requirements aside from the standard eligibility criteria:
  • You must have a computer with a webcam, microphone, and a stable internet connection.
  • You must have a private, quiet, and well-lit testing environment.
  • You must score “green” in the GED® Ready® practice test within the last 60 days for each test subject you want to take online.
Additionally, the online GED® test requires a proctor to monitor the test-taking process. You can earn your GED® credential online by preparing adequately and ensuring a reliable testing environment.

Start Your Journey to Earning a South Dakota GED® Credential

Ready to earn your South Dakota GED® credential? Explore the GED® test centers near you today, or check out the GED® classes available in South Dakota.