Each correct answer is worth one point. For each individual GED® test, these points are totaled and then converted to a standard score, which ranges from 200 to 800. Candidates need a standard score of 410 in order to pass each of the individual GED® test content area and an overall average score of 450. To receive a 410 standard score on a content area of the GED® test, candidates generally need to answer 60 to 65 percent of the questions correctly.
The GED® test is developed using specifications established by experienced secondary school and adult educators and are reviewed by subject matter experts. Every test question is subjected to multiple reviews by test specialists and external content specialists, and is pretested before becoming part of a final test form. The GED® test is also standardized and normed using a national stratified random sample of graduating high school seniors. In order to pass the tests, the GED® candidate must demonstrate a level of skill that meets or surpasses that demonstrated by approximately 60 percent of graduating high school seniors.
You can take one or more of the tests again. However, note that many jurisdictions have special requirements for candidates who don’t pass the GED® tests the first time. You may be required to wait several months or show proof of attending a preparation course before you’re permitted to re-test. You may also have to pay an additional fee. For the specific regulations in your area, check with your state, province, or territory’s contact person for GED® testing.
Letter grades (A, B+, C-, etc.) are not standardized across every high school; an A student at one high school may be a C student at a more rigorous high school. Therefore, we cannot equate GED® test scores to a GPA. We can provide a national percentile rank that tells you where a GED® candidate stands in relation to graduating high school seniors.
The GED® test is designed to measure the skills and knowledge equivalent to a high school course of study. The five content areas that comprise the GED® test are mathematics; language arts, reading; language arts, writing (including essay); science; and social studies.
The GED® test must be taken in person at an Official GED Testing Center™.
In order to pass the GED® test, an examinee must have a combined passing score of 2250; in addition, each individual subject area test score must be 410 or greater. Those passing the GED® test have demonstrated a level of knowledge equal to or greater than 40 percent of graduating high school seniors.
Among the many benefits of the GED® testing program, passing the GED® test provides an opportunity for adults to continue their education. In fact, 95 percent of U.S. colleges and universities accept GED® graduates who meet their other qualifications for admission, according to the College Board.
A GED® credential documents that you have high school-level academic skills. About 96 percent of U.S. employers accept the GED®credential as equal to a traditional high school diploma, according to recent studies.
You may take the GED® test if:
- You are not enrolled in high school
- You have not graduated from high school
- You are at least 16 years old
- You meet state, provincial, or territorial requirements regarding age, residency, and the length of time since leaving school
If you are considering leaving high school, the GED Testing Service recommends that you first meet with your high school counselor to talk seriously about your decision and the level of academic skill needed to pass the GED® test.
You have to be able to read, compute, interpret information, and express yourself in writing on a level comparable to that of 60 percent of graduating high school seniors. If you are uncertain whether you have the level of skill needed to successfully complete the tests, you can find out more about your abilities in several ways. Many programs are sponsored by local school districts, colleges, and community organizations. Teachers and tutors in these programs can tell you whether you need intensive preparation or a quick brush up.
The battery of five GED® content-area tests takes seven hours and five minutes to complete. In some areas, you must take the entire battery of tests in one or two sittings. Other places permit you to take a single test each time you come to the testing center and may offer testing in the evenings. It may take up to several weeks for your scores to be reported back to you.
There are approximately 3,400 Official GED Testing Centers in the United States, Canada, and their territories. They are usually operated by local school boards, adult education centers, and/or community colleges.
- Check your local telephone listings under the headings listed above
- Call (800) 62-MY GED (800-626-9433) for pencil and paper testing questions; call 877-EXAM-GED (877-392-6433) for information about testing on computer.
- Check with your state, province, or territory’s contact person for GED® testing
Contact the regional registration center nearest you for specific information about testing locations and procedures.
The cost of taking the GED® test varies widely from no charge in some U.S. states to as much as $80 in others. Check with your state, province, or territory’s contact person for GED® testing or your local GED® testing center to find out about how to register for testing.
Your official GED® transcript contains two sets of numbers: standard scores and percentile ranks. The standard scores make it possible to compare scores across tests and test forms. This is necessary because some tests contain a different number of questions and there are many forms of the GED® test in circulation, all of them equally difficult.
The percentile rank makes it possible to compare your performance on each one of the tests with the performance of graduating high school seniors. The higher the percentile rank, the better your performance.
Example: Kelly’s total score after completing all five of the GED® test content areas is 2,850; her average standard score is 570. The percentile rank for that score is 77. The percentile rank of “77” means that Kelly has outperformed 77 out of 100 graduating high school seniors. Such a score places Kelly in the top 25 percent (100-77=23) of graduating U.S. high school seniors in terms of her general academic skills and knowledge.