By Leonard Williams
If you plan to take the GED® test soon, you'll want to know how the exam is scored, what your GED test results mean, and what score you'll need to earn your GED certificate.
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The GED test is actually a series of four tests, over a total of 7.5 hours. In most places, you can take the GED tests separately. The test series covers GED social studies, GED science, GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA), and GED mathematical reasoning. The math tests cover basic number operations, basic algebra and geometry, along with analysis of charts and data. A variety of question types are used, including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, short answer (on the GED science test), and Extended Response (on the GED RLA and social studies tests.)
About GED Test Scores
The scores needed for passing the GED test may vary slightly from place to place. But overall, most GED test locations have adopted the scoring standard set by the American Council on Education, the administrative agency for the GED test.
The standard GED test scores range from a minimum of 100 to a maximum of 200 on each test. To get a GED certificate, you'll need minimum GED test results of at least 150 on each GED test to pass it.
GED Test Essay Scoring
The Extended Response essays are scored differently, as the scoring is based on your written response to a prompt. A computer-based Automated Scoring Engine scores your test based on how well it's organized, whether you answer the prompt and stick to a main idea, and whether you include details and examples to back up what you're saying. The essay also needs good grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and word choice. At least, your writing needs to be clear enough so the ASE can easily understand what you're saying. Basically, your GED test writing essay score is based on:
- How well can you make your point, remain on-topic and focused, and create an impression with your words and ideas?
- Do you have a good basic command of the language and its structure? Is your use of language easy to understand?
How well can you analyze arguments and incorporate evidence?
What's the pass/fail rate?
On average, two out of three people who take the GED tests pass. The better prepared you are for the GED test, the greater your chances of doing well.
Taking a GED practice test will give you an idea of your potential GED test results and help you identify areas that you need to study in your GED test prep before you take the actual test. A GED practice test is also a good way to acquaint you with the timing of the test and how the test is structured. You can take a GED practice test online and GED test classes online to prepare for the GED test.
What's the most difficult part of the test?
How hard is the GED test? That depends on your GED test prep, as well as your abilities and skills. Most people say the GED mathematical reasoning test or GED RLA test is hardest, and GED test scores reflect this, since the overall passing rate is less for these tests. It's important to understand both test expectations in these areas and how these sections are scored. You'll want to really examine and understand your skill strengths and weaknesses in these areas.
How Does My GED Certificate Compare to a High School Diploma?
The GED tests are standardized and normed using a national random sample of graduating high school seniors. To get a GED certificate, a candidate must demonstrate a level of skill that meets or exceeds that demonstrated by 60 percent of graduating high school seniors. In other words, 40 percent of graduating high school seniors wouldn't pass the GED tests. So after passing the GED test, you have an excellent credential. It's reflective of high school proficiency and more, since what's tested is the ability to apply knowledge, and not just remember it.
Taking the Test
Once you're ready, you'll take the GED test at one of the GED test locations near your home. You may want to find the GED test centers near you early and contact the most convenient one for a GED test schedule or GED test dates. Also ask for a clear definition of GED test results scoring for your locale or state. GED test centers are located in all major cities across the U.S. and Canada. For a list of GED test locations, visit: http://www.passGED.com/test_state.php
Note: Even though some companies claim you can take your GED test online, it's not possible. The GED test is not given online, only at official GED test centers. International testing is also available. However, you can take anonline GED practice test or an online GED test class.
Getting Your GED Test Results - and Using Them!
Once you've taken the test, you'll receive your GED test scores in the mail, in the form of GED test transcripts. If you pass, you'll receive a GED test credential or GED certificate from your state. You can use your GED test results to apply for colleges, trade school, and scholarships, as well as to qualify for jobs. If you pass some parts and fail others, you don't need to retake the whole test, just the parts you didn't pass. Before retaking a test, be sure to study. Take an online GED test class, or an additional GED practice test.
You'll also want to check with your GED test center to determine if there's a waiting period before retesting and if your center limits the number of times you can retake tests. Different GED test locations have different requirements.
- The American Council on Education provides information online about testing, official GED test locations, GED test scores, sample GED test questions, and GED test transcripts. Visit the ACE at www.gedtest.org.
- The GED Academy is an online GED test school with free GED test resources and support for GED test students, instructors, and programs sponsored by businesses, nonprofits, and government. Free information and resources include test advice, study guides, student support, and an online message board for students and teachers. Visit the GED Academy at www.passged.com.
- PBS television station broadcasts GED test courses and offers some free online GED test courses. Check out this link for resources or broadcast times: http://www.pbs.org/literacy.