What Does GED Stand For?

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What Makes Up the GED?

The GED includes four subject tests: language arts, math, science and social studies. These tests are designed to ensure successful examinees have the same subject area knowledge as high school graduates and cover such topics as algebra, reading comprehension, civics, government, history, geography, Earth science and life science.

The tests are computer-based and include several types of questions, including multiple-choice, fill in the blank and short answer. Testing times for each exam vary. The science and social studies tests are 90 minutes long, while the math test lasts 115 minutes. The language arts test takes 150 minutes to complete. Upon passing these exams, you may be awarded a certificate or diploma, depending on the state where it is issued.

Why Take the GED?

Originally developed for returning service members, the GED is designed for individuals who did not complete their high school studies. To be eligible for the GED, you must not be a high school graduate or currently enrolled in high school. You must also be at least 16 years old and meet any additional requirements of the state you live in.

Upon successful completion of the four GED subject tests, you may continue your education at the postsecondary level. Most U.S. colleges and universities accept applicants with a GED, provided they meet any other admission requirements. You may also begin a career. Many employers recognize the GED as the equivalent of a high school diploma.

How to Prepare

To get a comprehensive overview of subjects covered on the GED tests, you can check out Study.com's GED Study Guide. Content is broken down into short video lessons, and the self-checking quizzes that follow can help you determine when it's time to move on to the next topic. The course also includes chapter tests and a comprehensive practice exam.

If you've already passed one or more subject tests, you can use the following courses to focus your studies on the exams you still need to take:

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