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GED Exam Information
The General Educational Development (GED) exam is designed for students who have not earned their high school diploma and want to continue their education. Testing sites are often located at community colleges and continuing education centers. It's important to contact a local testing site to determine eligibility, testing schedule and practice requirements.
Can I Take the Test Online?
GED candidates cannot take the test online. According to the GED Testing Service, many organizations offering online GED exams are non-accredited, for-profit organizations that award illegitimate diplomas (www.acenet.edu). Because the test must be highly regulated to avoid cheating, test takers must take the test on-site at a certified testing location. However, GED online classes are an option to help prepare for the actual exam.
About the Test
The GED Testing Service reports there are 3,400 registered testing centers around the United States, and 98% of U.S. postsecondary institutions and 96% of employers accept the GED as a high school equivalent. The organization also notes that 60% of test takers intend to pursue education beyond the GED, indicating that the GED is often a first step toward earning a college degree.
The GED Testing Service notes that students are frequently required to take other entrance exams to be considered for admission to college programs. Such tests include the ACT and SAT. Additionally, some postsecondary admissions committees may require those who earned a GED, instead of a traditional high school diploma, to undergo further testing or counseling.
What is on the Test?
The test is made up of four sections, which include reasoning through mathematics, science, social studies and reasoning through language arts. Each section takes between 45 and 90 minutes to complete. Most questions are in a multiple choice format. Questions not in a multiple choice format are called alternate format questions, which ask testers to complete other types of tasks, such as plotting mathematical or scientific information on a grid. One of the writing sections is an essay.
The GED Testing Service would like for exam questions to be represented in situations familiar to test takers. For this reason, testers can expect questions to be in common real world contexts.
The American Council on Education (ACE), the company who develops and standardizes the GED exam, supports a program called First Stop. This program helps students find employment training and jobs around the United States.