What Subjects Are on the GED Test in California?


California GED Test Subjects

Like other states using the GED to award a high school equivalency diploma, California requires applicants to pass the four General Education Development (GED) exams covering mathematics, science, social studies and reasoning through language arts.


The mathematics test lasts 115 minutes. There are two main components to this test. Algebraic problem solving makes up 55% of the test, while 45% of the test focuses on quantitative problem solving. Examinees should be able to demonstrate that they can apply mathematical formulas to problems and perform calculations.


One and a half hours are allotted to students taking the science GED exam. The science test covers life, physical, earth and space science topics. The science exam is designed to test applicants' knowledge of these areas of science and their ability to use problem-solving skills.

Social Studies

The social studies test is the shortest of the exams and lasts 70 minutes. The test contains questions about U.S. history, civics, government and economics. It also tests an applicant's knowledge of geography.

Reasoning through Language Arts

The language arts test is divided into three sections that assess applicants' reading comprehension, grammar and writing skills. The first and third sections include selected-response questions, while the middle portion consists of an extended response question asking students to write an essay.

Test Costs

The price per test is $35 in California. This is higher than the $30 fee many states charge and means the cost of earning a GED is at least $140. Some jurisdictions charge an extra one-time testing fee of $20.

Testing Requirements

In order to take your GED tests in California you must fulfill the GED test prerequisites.


Only residents of the state of California can take the GED exams there. You must be able to prove residency by showing an approved form of identification, such as a driver's license, or by presenting other accepted identification, such as a lease.

Age Requirements

California restricts access to the GED exams to individuals who are within 60 days of turning 18 or older.

Applicants who are 17 and are not within 60 days of their 18th birthday may also qualify if they can provide required documentation. They need to demonstrate that they have spent at least 60 days out of school. They must also have a letter requesting consent for them to take the test from a postsecondary school or the military. California also accepts requests from potential employers. These applicants won't receive their GED diploma until they turn 18, however.

Academic Requirements

California does not require GED examinees to take a preparation course or pass the GED practice test.

Retake Policies

You can retake exams immediately if you need or choose to do so. The cost of your first retake is $15 if you take the test less than a year from your original test date. The same terms apply to a second retake. If you need to take the test for a fourth time, then you have to pay the full test fee again and wait 60 days from your last test date.

Requirements to Pass

The minimum score required to pass each GED exam is 145. Obtaining this score on all of your GED tests will result in a California High School Equivalency Certificate.

If you earn a GED College Ready score of 165-174 on your GED tests, you can use your transcript to exempt yourself from some schools' placement test or remedial course requirements. Earning a GED College Ready + Credit score of 175 or more can qualify you to earn credit towards a college degree.

Studying for GED Tests

Online resources can provide you with valuable information as you study for your GED exams. You can access study guides, practice tests and GED courses through the links listed here.

Continue reading: What Colleges Accept GED?

GED stands for the General Educational Development tests. These exams are taken by individuals who did not earn a high school diploma and cover four main subject areas. The successful completion of these tests provides the same benefits as graduating high school. Read on to learn more.

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