What is the difference between the GED and OSSD?  To help you make a decision, read on about both options.

General Education Development (GED) - Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate

The GED is an international secondary school equivalency examination program for adults who are 18 years of age or older and have not completed their high school diploma requirements.  The tests covers what high school graduates are expected to know in the following subject areas: mathematics, writing, science, literature, and the arts. Candidates who successfully complete the tests can earn the Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate.

The GED program is offered through TVO's Independent Learning Centre, and is the only organization authorized by the Ministry of Education to deliver the GED.  To qualify for this program, you first attend a GED Readiness Assessment to see how close you are to passing the GED with your current skills learned through your original and your life and/or work experiences.

For more information, visit the TVO Independent Learning Centre.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

The OSSD is also known as the Grade 12 diploma.  It is awarded to students who achieve 30 credits, a literacy requirement and 40 hours of community service.  The OSSD gives students the most post secondary education and training options.

Adults who are 18 years of age and older may be eligible for Mature Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (MPLAR), which is a formal evaluation and credit-granting process that allows mature students to obtain credits for knowledge and skills gained outside of school.  MPAR can help students earn the credits they need to graduate. For more information, visit our PLAR webpage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does every employer require a high school diploma?
A: No, but more employers are asking for one.  Finishing your high school with the OSSD can help you get a better job.

Q: Will finishing my OSSD take a long time?
No, you can achieve your diploma in less time than you'd expect.

Q: Will finishing my high school diploma be hard to fit into my schedule?
No, there are many flexible options to suit your schedule.

For more information about the benefits of earning your Ontario Secondary School Diploma, visit: or contact our Ajax or Oshawa Campus to speak with a guidance counsellor.