GED Test Overview
The GED tests are a set of 5 exams intended to assess whether a student has the academic skills of a typical high school graduate. GED candidates have not earned a high school diploma and are typically older than 16 years of age. GED is an acronym for General Educational Development Tests. The GED tests are developed by the General Educational Development Testing service (GEDTS) which is part of the American Council on Education. The GED testing program is a partnership between GEDTS and local jurisdictions (i.e., U.S. States, Canadian provinces etc.) The local jurisdiction set some requirements, administer the tests and award the high school credentials. The GED tests are only given in person at one of 3,400 testing locations.
Free GED Practice Tests - use Test-Guide.com's Free GED Practice Tests to prepare for your GED Exams
The GED credential is issued by the state (territory or province) that the student resides in. The GED credential is typically considered to be equivalent to a high school diploma.
GED Test Format
The GED Tests are made up of five subject area tests and one written essay. There are a total of 240 multiple choice questions and one essay. You are given a total of 425 minutes to complete the tests. The table below lists the sections of the test in more detail.
GED Test Areas
|GED Test Area||Time Limit||Number of Questions||Summary|
|Language Arts, Writing, Part I||75 minutes||50 questions||Evaluates student’s ability to revise and edit workplace and informational documents. Covers areas such as: organization, sentence structure, usage, and mechanics.|
|Language Arts, Writing, Part II||45 minutes||1 essay||Evaluates the student’s ability to write an essay that explains, clarifies, or informs. Topics are general in nature and require no specialized knowledge.|
|Social Studies||70 minutes||50 questions||Measures a student’s knowledge of key history, geography, economics and civics concepts. Covers areas such as: U.S. History, World History, Civics and Government, Geography, and Economics.|
|Science||80 minutes||50 questions||Measures a student’s skill in understanding the key concepts in physical sciences. Covers areas such as: Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science.|
|Language Arts, Reading||65 minutes||40 questions||Evaluates your reading comprehension. You will be given several passages and use your referring and reasoning skills to: identify main ideas, locate important details, understand sequences of events and make comparisons. Measures a student’s ability to comprehend, apply, analyze and synthesize information.|
|Mathematics||90 minute||50 questions||Covers basic mathematical skills that are typical for a high school graduate. You will be tested on: number operation and number sense; algebra, functions and patterns; geometry and measurement; and data analysis, statistics, and probability.|
Preparation is key to the GED tests. Students can learn at home, online or take a GED preparation course. To determine how much preparation you may need you should take a GED practice test to help pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. Local school districts and community organizations offer programs and support to individuals seeking their GED.
Video: What Do I Need to do to Pass the GED Test?
To pass the GED tests a candidate must receive a combined score of 2,250. Additionally, the test taker must receive a minimum score of at least 410 on each of the five individual subject tests. These passing scores are intended to signify that the GED candidate has demonstrated knowledge equivalent or greater than 40% of high school graduates. Approximately 700,000 candidates take one or more of the GED tests on an annual basis. Of these test takers, approximately 600,000 take the entire set of 5 exams. Approximately 73% of the test takers who take the entire set of GED exams receive a passing score.
The GED testing program begin in 1942 with the intent of helping returning World War II veterans. In 1947 New York state began offering the tests to civilians who were awarded a high school diploma if they passed. The test has been revised over the years, specifically in 1978, 1988 and 2002. The 2002 series of tests focuses on the role of the GED as a gateway to job advancement, occupational/career training and postsecondary education.