Get My GED: How to Pass the GED Exam

Passing the GED test requires both academic and logistical preparation. Before taking the test, students must locate preparation materials, register, take practice tests and find a testing center.

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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 90 and 115 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 or extended response.

2. Decide How to Best Prepare for 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 for MyGED (see www.GED.com), 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 'Study' 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 their 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. Steck-Vaughn also offers the Official GED Practice Test for free on the company's website (www.test-guide.com). Practice tests are available in Spanish, French and Canadian versions. Test takers can practice each section of the test individually.

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. Students should also contact the nearest center and see if they operate additional sites that may be closer to a student's residence. 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.

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