Getting Your Grade 12

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) offers a variety of free educational programs for adults across the province. There are two ways adults can obtain grade 12 certfication.

You must be:

→ 18 years of age or older

→ a permanent resident of Nova Scotia, a Canadian citizen, or refugee

To find out which route is right for you, make an appointment to talk with us: 

Phone: 902-863-3060



Adult Learning Program (ALP)

The ALP program can help you increase your reading, computer or math skills and obtain high school level credits towards the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults or prepare for your General Education Development (GED) test.

What is ALP?

Adult Learning Program Levels 1 and 2 are for adults who need to develop basic reading, writing, math and science skills.


Adult Learning Program Level 3 is for adults who need to improve their academic skills before entering Level 4. Many students use this program to prepare for the GED tests.

Adult Learning Program Level 4 focuses on courses required for to obtain a Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults. You need 12 courses in order to graduate and receive your diploma.

What if I want a high school diploma?

In order to receive a Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults, you must complete ALP Level IV through Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). Courses include: Communications (or Grade 11 and 12 English), Math, Science, Global Studies, and one additional social science, technology or math course. You must also take six elective courses of your choice. In some cases, you may be able to receive credit for high school courses that you have already completed.

For more information on ALP IV visit the NSCC website:


How do I get started?

Email or phone us (902) 863 3060 to make an appointment. We’ll help you decide which program is best for you, determine your level and find out about where, when, and how you can study.

What else do I need to know about ALP?

General Educational Development (GED)

The GED is an internationally recognized high school equivalency testing program for individuals who don’t have a high school diploma. The GED is made up of five tests: Math, Reading,  Writing, Science, and Social Studies.

Find out more about GED test subjects on the official Canadian GED websiteTo register, go to GED Testing Service You must have an email address in order to create an account.

What do the GED tests cover?

The GED Reading, Social Studies and Science tests measure your ability to understand, analyze and evaluate written passages. All the information you need to answer the questions is contained in the passage. You will need to use skills like:

  • Finding the main idea;
  • Looking for details;
  • Understanding different points of view;
  • Understanding the meaning of new words from context;
  • Being able to predict what will happen based on the information provided.

The GED Writing test has two parts. Part 1 asks you to identify grammar errors. In part 2, you will write a short three paragraph essay about a topic you are given.

 The GED Math test assesses basic skills, geometry and algebra, including word problems. In part 1, you use a calculator. In part 2, you do the calculations on your own.

Find out more about GED test subjects on the official Canadian GED website. 

How do I get started?

Step 1: Make an appointment to talk with us at ACALA  T (902) 863-3060   E:  We can help you decide which route is right for you and help you get started.

Step 2: Email for information on how to register.

Step 3: Then, create an account so you can book your GED online. You will need an email address. Once you have created an account, you’ll be given a choice of places where you can write, dates, and times. Register at least two weeks before you want to write your first test. You’ll also get access to additional information about the tests as well as a tutorial that shows you what the online GED test looks like.


Where do I write the GED test?

GED testing services are available at NSCC campuses: Strait Area Campus in Port Hawksbury, Pictou and Truro. Testing is generally scheduled from Mon – Fri. 8:30 am – 4 pm when the campus is in operation; closed statutory holidays and weekends.

GED Learning Resources

The authorized GED study guide we recommend is the Steck-Vaughn Complete Canadian GED Preparation (ISBN: 0-7747-1631-2). The GED Test Study Guide outlines some skills that will help you pass the GED.

Many GED resources are for the American GED test. Some online Canadian preparation resources, we recommend are Moving On Up for Communications and Math. See the ACALA Learning Links page for other subject focused learning materials.

You can  find GED practice tests on the web such as this GED Sample Test. More sample questions are provided on the offical Canadian GED website and on your “dashboard” once you sign up and create an account.


What else do I need to know about the GED?
  • GED tests are free.
  • You can complete the tests in any order.
  • All GED tests are computer-based. You will take the test on a computer, using a mouse to navigate the screen and choose your answers. If, for some reason, you need a paper-based test, you must apply for accommodations.
  • GED tests take about 90 minutes; this varies slightly depending upon the test. You can do up to two tests in one day but are allowed only a short, ten minute break between tests.
  • All GED test questions are multiple choice (with the exception of the essay component in the Writing test).
  • For the social studies, science, math, and reading tests, you will receive your score as soon as your test is finished. (Your score on the writing test will arrive later by maill or email.) A passing score on a GED test is 450 / 800. You must get above 450 on all five tests in order to receive your GED.
  • You can rewrite a GED test up to three times in a year but you must wait at least one month between each re-write.
  • If you need accommodations – for example, extra time to complete the tests, a scribe to help you record your answers, or a paper based test – you must apply at least two months before you write your test. Complete the Request for Accommodations form and attach a letter from a doctor explaining the reasons you need accommodations.