GED Test Prep

What is the GED?

The General Educational Development Test, or GED, measures adult skill levels in five areas of high school academics. The GED test is used as a basis for issuing high school credentials, meaning it is widely accepted as an equivalent to a high school diploma. Over 98% of colleges and 96% of employers accept the GED as equivalent to a high school diploma. The GED test is available in the United States, Canada, and U.S. and Canadian territories.

GED - a short history

Initiated by the Armed Forces, the first GED tests were administered in 1942 to World War II military personnel who had not graduated from high school. In 1963, the GED program was expanded to serve civilians and non-veteran adults. In some states, the GED tests are jointly supervised by the GED Testing Service (GEDTS) of the American Council on Education and the State Department of Education.

What content is on the GED? What are its different test sections?

The GED consists of five tests, each of which are designed to measure skills and concepts associated with four years of regular high school instruction. Each of the five tests corresponds to the general framework of most high school curricula: Writing Skills, Social Studies, Science, Interpreting Literature and the Arts, and Mathematics. Each test is developed by adult and secondary educators and subject matter specialists. The GED is written at a 9th grade level.

Each of the five GED tests uses a multiple-choice format. Most test questions require the understanding of broad concepts and generalizations, rather than the ability to recall facts, details, or precise definitions. GED tests use practical and realistic settings in test questions, which adults will recognize and that are relevant to adults' lives.

Test No. of Questions Section Time
Language Arts - Reading
40 65
Social Studies
50 70
50 80
Language Arts - Writing Skills
Part 1 - 50
Part 2 - 1 essay
Part 1 - 75
Part 2 - 45
Part 1- 25 with a calculator,
provided at the test
Part 2 - 25
without a calculator
Part 1 - 45
Part 2 - 45

How long is the GED?

Individuals typically take the tests over two or three consecutive days or over two consecutive weekends. The total GED testing time is 7 hours and 5 minutes.

In what languages is the GED administered? What format?

GED tests are available in the following formats: English-language, Spanish-language, and French-language editions; Braille; large print; and audiocassette versions. The GED is currently paper-based, but GED Computer-Based Testing is being released in phases. It is expected that all test centers will computer-based by the end of 2014.

Spanish-language editions of the GED tests contain examples and test items drawn from Spanish language and culture, reflecting the language and cultural variety among adults of Hispanic origin. French-language editions contain examples drawn from French language and culture. Persons taking the Spanish-language or French-language versions must also take Test 6 - English Fluency, which is administered in a multiple-choice format. Candidates must demonstrate their fluency in English prior to taking the Spanish-language or French-language GED.

Who takes the GED?

GED tests are intended primarily for persons who, for any number of reasons, have missed their first opportunity to complete a high school program of instruction. The GED tests can be administered to those who:

  • Have not graduated from an accredited high school or received a high school equivalency certificate or diploma;
  • Are not currently enrolled in a regular high school;
  • Are at least 16 years of age and out of school (some states require special permissions for testers under 18 years of age);
  • Reside in the state in which they wish to take the test. All GED candidates need to show proof of residency at the time of test registration.

All GED candidates must provide valid identification at the time of registration and again before being admitted to the testing room. Candidates who are not citizens of the United States must meet all of the above requirements, including age requirements and regulations regarding withdrawal
from school.

How do I register for the GED? When is the test offered?

You must register with an official GED test center. Call 1-800-626-9433 or visit to find a test center near you.

How is the GED scored?

Each state establishes its own minimum passing score requirements to qualify for a high school diploma. The national average is a score of 450 on each section of the test. However, several states are higher and some are lower. Each state-specific GED testing service will be able to provide you with the appropriate passing score for that state. In addition, some states may allow students to retake only certain sections of the GED for which scores did not meet the passing requirements, while other states require students to retake the entire test regardless of the individual section scores.

  • Most states have two requirements for passing the GED: (1) earn the minimum passing score on each section of the tests, and (2) earn a total score of 2250.
  • Earning the required minimum score on each of the test sections does not necessarily guarantee the minimum total score of 2250. For example, a candidate who earns 2500 total points, but scores only 300 points on the Science test, does NOT pass the GED in states with the dual passing requirement.
  • If a satisfactory score is not earned, students may take one or more of the tests again. Many states have special requirements if you don't pass the GED Tests the first time. This may include being required to wait several months or show proof of attending a preparation course before being permitted to re-test. Huntington offers such preparation. You may also have to pay an additional fee. For specific regulations in your area, check with your local GED test center.
  • 98% of U.S. colleges accept the GED Credential as a high school diploma equivalent for admission into college.
  • Check with the appropriate state for specifics on GED administration and requirements in your area. Information and websites can easily be found by conducting an Internet search for "GED and [state name]".

Interested in preparing for the GED? Huntington can help! Call 1 800 CAN LEARN

Interested in preparing for the GED ?
Huntington can help! Call 1 800 CAN LEARN


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