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GED Test Information: Sections, Scoring & Registration

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Earning a GED can position you for post-secondary education and greater career opportunities. Read on to learn about the content of the GED tests, how they are scored, and how to register.

About the GED Test

The GED includes four separate subject tests that take a total of about seven and half hours to complete. You must pass all four tests in order to receive your GED credential. To be eligible to take the tests, you must be at least 16 years old and not currently attending high school.

Overview of the GED Test Sections

The GED comprises four subject tests: Social Studies, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Reasoning Through Language Arts.

Subject Time Allowed
Reasoning Through Language Arts 150 minutes (including a break)
Mathematical Reasoning 115 minutes
Science 90 minutes
Social Studies 70 minutes

For an overview of GED test prep topics, check out our course GED Study Guide.

Reasoning Through Language Arts

The Reasoning Through Language Arts test includes three sections measuring reading and writing skills, along with the ability to edit and contextually understand the English language. The test includes a range of texts at different levels of difficulty. About 75% are informational and 25% are taken from literature. To measure writing, test takers must complete an Extended Response writing task based upon a provided text or texts.

Study.com's online GED Reasoning Through Language Arts course is a one-stop prep resource for this test. The course has multiple chapters taught via short video lessons, along with quizzes and practice tests designed to help you master all the topics you will find on this GED test.

Math

The GED Mathematical Reasoning test measures both quantitative and algebraic problem solving skills. Quantitative problem solving accounts for about 45% of the test; algebraic-focused questions account for the remainder. Test takers are provided a calculator that they may use for a majority of the questions.

If you are preparing to take your GED math tests, Study.com's GED Math: Algebra, Geometry and Arithmetic online course is an excellent resource to help you study.

Science

The Science test measures a test taker's science reasoning skills. Questions focus on key concepts, scientific procedures, and the application of science in three areas:

  • Life science, which accounts for about 40% of the test.
  • Physical science, which accounts for approximately 40% of the test.
  • Earth and space science, which accounts for about 20% of the test.

The Science test includes two Short Answer questions, in which test takers will write paragraph-length responses.

To ready yourself for the science test, check out the GED Science: Life, Physical and Chemical course. Self-paced and online, this course lets you choose to study when and where you have time.

Social Studies

The Social Studies test measures quantitative and textual reasoning skills. The test's content focuses on the following topics:

  • Civics and government, which accounts for 50% of the test.
  • Unites States history, which accounts for 20% of the test.
  • Economics, which accounts for 15% of the test.
  • Geography and the world, which accounts for 15% of the test.

To help you prepare for the content you'll face in the social studies test, Study.com offers this comprehensive GED Social Studies: History, Geography, Economics and Civics online prep course.

GED Scoring Information

The minimum passing score for each GED test is 145. Passing scores are broken down into three categories:

Score Category Meaning
145 - 164 High School Equivalency Test taker's knowledge is equivalent to that of a high school graduate.
165 - 174 College Ready Test taker is ready for college-level courses and may be exempt from taking college placement tests.
175 - 200 College Ready + Credit Test taker has the skills and knowledge required to pass a college-level course and may receive college credit at some schools.

How to Register for the GED

To register for your GED tests, you will need to create an account online (ged.com), using your name as it appears on your identification. Some states have special eligibility requirements, and if your state has any such policies, you will be notified of them after you set up an account. Once your registration is approved, you may sign up to take your tests at your desired testing center. You may take the four GED tests in any order, and can choose to take one test at a time or take multiple tests on one day. The cost to take each of the four subject tests varies by state, but is typically $30 or less.

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 79 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

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