Get My GED: How to Pass the GED Exam

Aug 03, 2018

Passing the GED

1. Understand the Test

The GED consists of four different sections: math, science, social studies, and reasoning through language arts. Each section takes between 70 and 150 minutes to complete. While most of the sections consist of multiple-choice questions, students must also complete alternate format questions such as fill-in-the-blank, short answer, hot spot, drag-and-drop, and extended response.

To take the GED exam, students are required to be at least 16 years old. They must also be officially withdrawn from high school. To pass the exam, a score of 145 is needed on each of the exam's four sections, for a total score of 580.

2. Decide How to Best Prepare for the Test

There are several ways to prepare for the GED, including classes, digital test prep systems (such as mobile study bundles), practice tests, and books and materials for studying at home. The GED Testing Service generally recommends students enroll in classes, but offers links to other resources as well.


Once a student has signed in online to MyGED (see, he or she can see a list of local adult education centers that offer GED preparatory classes. Many students find in-person classes beneficial because they offer instructor-led exercises and allow them to ask questions. Most preparation classes are designed to accommodate working adults by offering classes at night or on weekends.

Online Preparation

There are various ways to prepare for the GED online. For example, the ''Get Study Materials'' tab on MyGED lists online options for studying and for taking a practice test. Kentucky Educational Television (KET) offers online preparation materials as well. KET partners with PBS to offer GED preparation television programs and supplement online learning programs. Details and availability vary from state to state, but many community colleges and adult education programs serve as resources for preparing for the test.

Study at Home

Steck-Vaughn, a partner of the GED Testing Service, publishes a number of printed study materials. The company also publishes a less in-depth but comprehensive preparation book called Keys to GED Success.

3. Take a Practice Test

A practice test is meant to help a student focus on his or her own specific needs. GED's practice test, called ''GED Ready'' is written by the same authors who construct the real test, but it is half the length. Those who take the practice test are provided with their scores and a personalized study plan based on their performance. Free practice tests are also available at community colleges and adult education centers.

4. Find a Testing Center and Take the Test

The GED Testing Service provides a testing center locator on its website, which allows GED candidates to find the testing center nearest to them. Testing centers can be searched by typing in a student's zip code. The test is taken on a computer at official testing sites; the four parts of the test may be offered and taken at different times, so individuals should register and plan ahead for the best chance of success.

Need help preparing for the GED? Check out's GED Test Prep study guides, complete with bite-size video lessons, practice tests, informational resources, and more to make sure you ace the exam!

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