GED: General Educational Development Test


The General Educational Development test (GED), evaluates the academic knowledge which students normally acquire by completing a typical high school program of study. The test is administered in America and Canada on paper and/or a computer. GED test is essentially the equivalent of a high school diploma. Some eligibility requirements may vary from state-to-state. Students can take the GED exam if they are over 18 years of age or within 60 days of turning 18. If  however, students are no longer enrolled in high school, they must be within 60 days of the date they would have been expected to graduate and at least 17 years old. Incarcerated individuals age 17 or older may also take the exam. Read more to find details on GED exam online, GED mock test, GED study guide and GED practice test.

Why take the GED?

The GED test provide candidates over age 16 the opportunity to earn a certificate or diploma that is widely recognized and accepted by colleges and employers as the equivalent of a high school diploma. Often this credential  is essential to obtain a job and enhance further career opportunities.

Test Structure

The GED consists of five sections: language arts, writing, reading, social studies, science and mathematics. The test consists of 240 multiple choice questions  and includes a timed essay on an assigned topic.The GED test takes approximately seven and a half hours to complete. Some testing centers offer the test on just one day while others spread it across three different days. 

Focus Areas


 Questions Time Limit
Language Arts, Writing, Part I Sentence structure, appropriate usage of vocabulary and mechanics of  writing. 50 75 minutes
Language Arts, Writing, Part II The essay is a writing exercise to determine how well candidate's can write providing proper reasoning, logical flow and examples supporting their arguments and ideas . 1 essay 45 minutes
Social Studies Requires understanding of the subject areas including history, geography, economics and civics by interpreting/ reading passages, analyzing graphs, tables and others. 50 70 minutes
Science Requires understanding of subject areas including life & physical science, chemistry, biology, anatomy and physics by interpreting and analyzing  scientific data. 50 80 minutes
Language Arts, Reading This includes understanding information from sources such as newspapers, magazines, novels, short stories, poetry, drama, and business or legal documents. 40 65 minutes
Mathematics - 2 Parts This includes algebra, geometry, number theory, data analysis, and probability. Part I of the exam allows the use of a calculator; Part II does not. 50 90 minutes

Tips to Prepare for GED

  1. Take Test Prep Courses: The best way for students to increase their GED scores is to take regular prep tests and courses offered through community colleges and local test centers in their area.

  2. Invest in a GED Study Book: Students should consider buying or borrowing a GED study guide or book to become familiar with the instructions, questions and organization of the test.

  3. Use GED Connection on PBS: a stand-alone multimedia learning system that helps learners advance and improve their GED test taking skills. The system combines video programs, print, and online computer technology to help students develop strategies and practice for GED exam success.


The GED is scored on a scale of 200-800 points. Each section is scored from 200-800 points, and the average of the five sections is then taken to get the overall score. In general, candidates need to score at least a 410 on each section and at least 450 overall to pass the entire test.


The cost of the GED for test-takers varies depending on the state. Up-to-date information regarding a particular area's current testing costs can be found by contacting the local testing center or the department of education. Local test centers most often consist of community colleges and public schools within the area.


Registration for the GED generally requires more than just filling out forms. Most districts require candidates to take a pre-test prior to registering, to ensure that the candidate is ready and prepared for the test. The pre-tests generally consist of a math section and questions from one other section based on the candidate’s choice, with the exception of essay writing. The tests generally consist of 25 questions that are similar to those asked on the actual GED, but without a time limit. Students in most school districts must correctly answer 15-20 questions before being allowed to register for the GED.

After satisfying the pre-test qualifications, candidates can register for the GED exam by submitting their application forms and other required documents. The application process for the GED is determined by the jurisdiction (state, territory, etc.) students are a resident in and where they will be taking the test. Typically, students first need to contact their jurisdiction's GED office and submit an application.  It generally takes between 1 to 2 months from the time applicants apply until they can actually take the test.

Test Dates

GED is offered periodically throughout the year. Students can contact their state's GED office for further information.