The United State War Department originally developed the GED test in the 1940s for use only with military personnel. The first Alaska GED diploma was issued in 1948. By 1960, more civilians than military personnel were taking the GED Test. In 1966, the new Adult Education Act provided federal funding for ABE and GED programs through the State Department of Education.
The GED test was selected by the Alaska State Legislature as the official high school diploma equivalency exam. The test battery includes five separate timed tests, which are proctored under strict test security regulations. Testers must be at least 18 and not attending school. Under special circumstances a tester may test after his/her 16th birthday. By the early 1970s GED test versions in Spanish, Braille, large print, and cassette were developed.
On July 1, 1999, the GED program transferred from the Department of Education and Early Development to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The statutory authority for this program is the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy and Alaska State Statute 44 AAC 31.020: Delegations of Authority to Issue Diplomas in Connection with the Adult Basic Education Programs.
There are currently 19 GED Test Centers in Alaska. Each Test Center must sign an annual contract with the private company The American Council on Education. These Centers are administered by the State GED Administrator who is responsible for test security, transcript archival and retrieval, and the production of GED Diplomas and duplicate diplomas. The Alaskan GED Test program archives over 80,000 transcripts and responds to over 2,000 requests for official transcripts annually.