What is the GED Test?

The GED Test or popularly known as the General Educational Development Test is designed to measure a student’s knowledge and proficiency when it comes to standard high-school subjects. The GED is made up of four tests and the exam is open for anyone 16 or older who are not enrolled in high school. Unlike other tests, the GED requires test-takers to demonstrate applied knowledge and skills related to some specific situations rather than letting them focus on memorizing concepts and ideas. If one successfully passes the GED test, he/she will earn a high-school equivalency diploma.

Getting Started with the GED Test

How to go about getting a GED?

If you are planning to take the GED test, there are a lot of things that you need to consider before taking the exam. One of these is the GED registration process.

GED Registration

Now that almost everything can be done online, registering for the GED test has become quite manageable. To successfully register for GED, you can do the following things below:

  • Create an account on and select a Test Center near you (there are 3,000 available testing centers across the United States)
  • Call 1-877-392-6433 or go to and click the “Locate a Test Center” found at the bottom of the page.
  • If you reside outside the U.S. you have the option to take the GED test at an examination facility administered by Pearson VUE.

GED Registration Cost

The GED test registration fee varies from state to state. If you want to know the registration fee in your location, it is advisable to get in touch with GED customer service for more information or visit the GED website. Also, keep in mind that if you fail to pay the fee, you will not be allowed to take the test. To make sure that you will not encounter any problems on your test day, it is highly recommended to bring your receipt with you.

Note: The registration receipt is your proof that you did register. We suggest you take it anyway in case of an unwanted problem. It’s light and it doesn’t take up much room in your pocket.

GED Test Structure and Format

Please refer to the table below for the GED Test Structure and Format:

GED Section Time Format
Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) 150 minutes Part I: 50 multiple-choice questions.

Part II: Essay

Mathematics 115 minutes Part I: 25 questions (with a calculator)

Part II: 25 questions (without a calculator)

Social Studies 70 minutes 50 multiple-choice questions in four content areas namely: Geography, US History, Civics and Government, and Economics.
Science 90 minutes 50 multiple-choice questions covering the areas of Physics and Chemistry, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science.

GED Test Scoring System

The GED scoring system is based on the number of points an examinee earns in each test section rather than on the total number of points he/she answered correctly. Each test section is composed of questions that have a unique point value. In other words, the GED test is not merely acquiring a passing or a failing score. Since the scores are classified into four categories, it simply means that each section represents a different result. For instance, you may pass on the Mathematical Reasoning section but fail on Social Studies.

After the results are up, the total score for each of the four categories is then summed and converted to a standard score that ranges from 100 to 200. Your percentile ranking will then determine if you passed or not. To provide you with a good overview as to what your standard score indicates, we’ve outlined some information below for your reference.

GED Below Passing Score Range: 100-144

If your total score for the four GED test sections falls around 100-144, you cannot pass the GED. This is regardless of what your GED scores are on the other subjects. For example, you may have a high score on Mathematics but if you got a failing score on the other subjects, that will surely impact your overall score for the GED test.

GED Below Passing Score Range: 145-164

Getting a score of 145-164 means that you successfully passed the GED test. This also means that you will be able to earn a GED High School Equivalency because you have demonstrated high-school knowledge and skills throughout the test.

GED College Ready Score Range: 165-174

If you’re planning to go to college once you pass the GED test, this score range should be your goal. A score of 165-174 will grant you a higher result—GED College Ready. Being able to attain such scores indicate that you have successfully exhibited college readiness. This will help colleges admit you without any problem.

GED College Ready + Credits Score Range: 174-200

A score in the highest range will give you more advantages if you decide to go to college. Acquiring a score between the 174-200 range is an indication that you possess a higher level of knowledge and skills that are taught during the first year of college. Some colleges and universities provide credits for test-takers who were able to attain this score range. In other words, you will be allowed to skip certain subjects in your chosen college curriculum that will save you time and money.

Important Reminder: What’s good about the GED test is the fact that you don’t have to take all four subjects at the same time or even pass all of them at the same time. To simply put it, you can retake the ones you fail without having to retake the sections that you passed. Also, your score from each of your attempts will be summed up in order for your total score to qualify for the GED.

GED Frequently Asked Questions

There are several questions that are often asked by people on the internet about the GED test. To serve as a guide, we decided to compile these questions below:

Can I get into a good college with a GED?

To simply answer the question, ”Yes, you can.” There are a lot of people who took the GED test who successfully got into college. As long as you earn a high score on the GED test, there is a big chance that you will get into a good college.

Can I get into a technical school with a fake GED?

You may be able to do so but we don’t recommend you to cheat your way through it. If you can’t pass the GED, that signifies that you are not yet prepared to go to college or a technical school. You might just waste your money if you’ll do it that way.

Is dropping high school in favor of a GED actually bad?

Some people drop high school thinking that the GED will be easier to handle, but that’s not really the case. For the record, the GED is not a shortcut to get into college. In fact, the academic standards needed to pass the GED are higher than the standards to pass high school. That says a lot about how challenging GED can be. 

Should I drop out of high school and pursue a GED?

If you’re certain that you possess strong academic skills, try to take the GED. But then again, you need to get a specific score in order to become college-ready. Keep in mind that passing GED will not automatically grant you access to a college education.

Do colleges accept a GED instead of a high school diploma?

Yes, some colleges and universities accept GED instead of a high school diploma. However, you need to research well to make sure that the college you’re planning to go to accepts GED since not all colleges all across the United States accept GED.

Is a GED truly equivalent to a diploma?

The fact that not all colleges in the U.S. accept GED indicates that the latter is not “truly” really equivalent to a high school diploma. However,  you can still use the GED for your employment just like a high school diploma (if the job requirements ask you to)

What do I need to study for my GED?

We’ve already mentioned the sections that the GED test consists of. We highly recommend that you focus on those subjects since the test will circle around those topics. You can also make use of GED practice test materials, attend GED classes online or GED programs and courses, etc.

Which part of the GED should I take first?

Many test-takers start with the Reasoning through Language Arts and take Mathematics last. However, it really depends on you. If you think you need to prepare more on Science and Social Studies, you can take the ones you’re more comfortable with first.

What are the easiest ways to get a GED?

There’s no easy way to get a GED but to prepare and study for the test. There are study guides and preparation tips that you can follow to increase your chances of getting a high score though. Aside from books and study materials, you can also take advantage of GED classes online.

Can GED be taken online?

You can only take GED prep courses but you cannot take the GED test online. The GED is administered inside a GED test center. This is to make sure that there will be no forms of cheating materials that test-takers can access during the exam.

GED Study Guide and Preparation

You can utilize a lot of study guides found on the internet to maximize your preparation for the GED test. Like we’ve mentioned earlier, you can take advantage of free GED classes online or other free GED classes and study materials.

Here is a checklist of the study guides that we suggest you should use:

  • GED Math practice test
  • GED Language Arts practice test
  • GED Social Studies practice test
  • GED Science practice test

Other than these study materials, you can also make use of GED prep test reviewers and GED books. When you decide to take the GED test, you need to maximize all the help you can get from these free study guides.

GED Preparation Tips

In addition to the study guides and other GED practice test materials, we’ve also provided a few preparation tips that can help you develop a good strategy when taking the test.

#1 Strictly follow instructions. The most common reason why some test-takers fail the GED test is not following correct instructions. This is why it is very important to read and understand all the directions before you start answering the test.

#2 Answer the easiest questions first. Never let yourself get stuck on a question. If you don’t know the answer, mark the item and leave it. Come back to it once you have answered all the easy questions. This is one way of maximizing your chances of getting a high score on the test.

#3 Be mindful of the time. It is okay to take your time reading and understanding the questions on the test. However, you should not lose sight of the fact that your time is limited. As much as possible, try to manage your time efficiently when you answer the test questions to make sure that you’ll finish it within the given timeframe.

#4 Don’t leave an item unanswered. If you really don’t know the answer, try your best to come up with the best possible answer. A wild guess is not helpful, but a logical one surely is. Instead of relying on your luck, try to choose the closest option.

#5 Organize your preparation. The most effective preparations are the ones that are planned well. You can’t expect to do good in one subject if you will randomly study each GED test subject. It is better to set a schedule for each subject to give room for proper knowledge consummation.

GED Test Sample Questions

Question #1

A passage states: “He was notorious for making decisions on the spur of the moment…”

Which of the following words, if substituted for the word “notorious” would introduce the LEAST change in the meaning of the sentence?

O Evil

O Disturbed

O Famous

O Despised

O Excited

Question #2

Burrowing animals create spots of bare earth in the meadow. On the basis of the experimental results, one would predict that over several years the wildflowers would:

O not grow or reproduce in the meadow

O not grow in the meadow but their seeds would be found in the meadow

O grow in the meadow and reproduce in the cleared areas created by animals

O grow in the meadow and reproduce only in the areas containing woody plants

O grow only in the meadow

Question #3

The Simpsons paid $212.95 for 100 gallons of heating oil. To the nearest cent, what was the price per gallon of the heating oil?

O $2.95

O $2.19

O $2.15

O $2.13

O $2.10

CTA: Following the sample questions above, do you think you’re ready to get your GED certificate? If not, now’s the time to start preparing for the test!

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GED Mathematical Reasoning