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How Long Does it Take to Get a GED?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The GED is a high school equivalency credential acquired after passing tests in four basic subject areas. Learn about the time needed to prepare for and take the GED exams and explore some of your study options.

Preparing for the GED

The majority of individuals who earn their GED spend under three months preparing for and taking the exams, according to the GED Testing Service. You may register and take the exams at any time, but individuals who study for the test have a greater chance of passing.

The length of time it takes you to earn this credential will largely depend on how you decide to prepare for the exam and how many times you need to take each subject test.

Study Options

Many community colleges offer in-person classes that last anywhere from eight weeks to an entire college semester. Other schools offer self-paced instruction that allows students to begin and end their studies whenever they feel ready for their test. Both options can focus on individual subject tests or offer a comprehensive review of exam content and test-taking strategies.

If you're seeking self-paced preparation courses, online study options are also readily available. Study.com offers courses that allow individuals to complete eight-minute video lessons and take practice quizzes and exams at their own speed. The following resources can be completed in a matter of weeks:

Taking the Exams

The entire GED exam takes approximately seven hours to finish and must be taken at a GED testing center. Students can take all four subject tests at once or spread the individual tests across multiple visits to a testing center. If a student does not pass a subject test in three attempts, there is a 60 day waiting period before they may take the exam again.

Each section of the GED test is individually scored on a scale of 100-200 points, with 150 being the minimum passing score.

Section Description Time Allowed
Social Studies Geography, civics, economics and U.S. history 90 minutes
Science Earth, space, physical and life sciences 90 minutes
Math Quantitative math and algebra 115 minutes
Reasoning Through Language Arts Reading comprehension, writing and editing 150 minutes

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 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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