All About the GED: Illinois
If you're an Illinois resident with questions about the General Educational Development test, or GED, you've come to the right place. Read on for information about succeeding at the GED and earning your High School Equivalency Diploma in Illinois.
Overview of the GED in Illinois
The General Educational Development test is an option for those who wish to fill the gap that can result from the lack of a high school diploma. According to the American Council on Education (ACE), 98% of universities and colleges accepted the GED credential in lieu of a traditional high school diploma as of 2007 (www.acenet.edu). Most employers who require a high school diploma will recognize the GED credential, which also meets the standard for joining the armed forces. In Illinois, the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) administers the test.
Who Is Eligible to Take the GED?
According to the ICCB, you must be at least 17 years of age to take the GED. In addition, if you have been enrolled in any type of school - even a home school environment - in the past 12 months, a letter of withdrawal from that school will be necessary. At least 30 days of Illinois residency is also required to take the test in Illinois. Individuals with certain documented disabilities can request and receive accommodations in order to complete the exam. The test is not available online, but can only be completed at official testing centers.
How Do I Register in Illinois?
To register for the GED, you'll need to find your county's Regional Office of Education (ROE). Illinois' ICCB website offers an ROE locator link to find the nearest office and its website (www.iccb.state.il.us). Information on test-taking sites will then be available through that local office. An application fee will cover the registration and the equivalency certificate for test-takers who receive a passing score.
How Do I Prepare?
There are many ways you can prepare for the GED. If you choose to work independently, you can order study books and might be able to access television programs offered for GED candidates through your local public television station. Videos, sample questions, an official practice test and practice activities are also available online, many of which are free. You could also consider taking a preparation class at an adult education center or community college.
What Is the GED Test Like?
Once you have prepared and registered, you'll go to a testing center at the scheduled time to take the GED. You will be tested in five subjects:
- Language arts - writing
- Social studies
- Language arts - reading
The entire GED test generally takes a little more than seven hours. The test can be taken in English, Spanish or French, but non-English test takers may need to complete an additional English proficiency test. Illinois also requires its residents to complete the Illinois State Constitution Exam if they haven't previously passed it.
The math, science and social studies sections of the GED consist of 50 questions each. The language arts - reading section has 40 questions, while the language arts - writing section is divided into a 50-question section and an essay question. Time allowed for each portion varies slightly, but ranges from 45 minutes for the essay up to 90 minutes for math. You are allowed to use a calculator (which is provided at the testing center) for the first part of the math section, but not the second.
How is the Test Scored?
The GED test questions that are answered correctly are tabulated and converted into a standard score and a percentile score. You must receive a score of 410 or above on each of the five tests, plus a bit more on one or more sections to reach a total of 2250 overall. For individuals who don't pass all of the sections, retakes are an option for an additional fee; retaking the constitution test is free.
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