By Michael Ormsby
The GED® credential is the adult learner’s alternative to a high school diploma. But many people don’t understand the difficulty and value of the GED test, the testing requirements, or even the process of taking the test.
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The first GED tests were developed in 1942 to help military war veterans finish their basic education and high school study program. Today, the need to get a GED test credential is intense for the 34 to 38 million US adults who never graduated from high school. The GED tests enable adults to complete an educational milestone, help them progress at work or in a career, and open the door to advanced training and higher education. People with a GED diploma make an average of $385,000 more in their lifetime than people who do not have a GED or high school diploma.
What does the GED test involve?
The GED exam is a set of five tests, a cumulative 7.5-hour exam that measures ability in math, science, social studies, reading, and writing. It’s taken at one of the many official GED test locations, and you may take the tests over several days or longer.
For the GED science, GED social studies and GED reading tests, questions determine your ability to make inferences, evaluations, and deductions from material presented in short passages. The multiple-choice GED mathematics test requires knowledge of basic number operations, basic algebra, geometry, and data analysis. On part of the GED mathematics test, you can use a calculator provided at the test center.
The GED writing test has two parts. The first is a multiple-choice test about the mechanics of English usage. The second part of the test is a 45-minute essay, based on a prompt that’s in the test booklet.
The GED tests are taken at official ged test locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Even though some companies claim to offer a GED online test, taking the GED test online is not possible. The GED exam is not given online, only at official GED test locations. So, all the claims of a GED online test are bogus. International testing is available through Pearson Vue, the official international GED test provider.
How do the GED tests compare to high school studies?
The GED test has gleaned the most essential knowledge and skills acquired during a high school education. The emphasis in the GED tests is not on memorization, but on the application of practical knowledge and critical-thinking skills in the context of given information.
What’s passing score on the GED test?
The standard scores for the GED tests range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of 800 on each test. To pass, 60% is required. This translates to a score of at least 410 on each GED test to pass it, and an overall average score of 450 for the five-test battery. The score for any single test cannot be below 410, but if some are lower, other GED tests need to be well above 410 so that the scores for all five GED tests average out to at least 450.
How difficult is the GED test?
In terms of difficulty, consider that an average of only 60% of high school graduates can pass the test. For some people, GED testing can seem more difficult than high school because it’s easier to just memorize information than to know how to use it. For people who haven’t had much experience in making inferences, analyzing data, and making judgments, the GED test can seem very difficult. Luckily, these are skills you can learn quickly and improve easily, with the right instruction.
A solid GED study program goes a long way toward reducing the difficulty level of the test and increasing your GED testing scores. Understanding the way test questions are given help. Taking GED online practice tests can help you prepare. You can try a sample free GED test online to get you started. Remember, this is only a GED practice test. The actual GED test cannot be taken online.
What should a GED study program include?
Taking GED online preparation classes is a good way to outline a path of study. Some employers offer GED test prep or basic skills classes as part of a workforce development program. In addition, most communities offer a low-cost or even free GED class through a local high school, family resource center, community college, or university.
For many adult learners, local GED classes aren’t a viable option. Research shows that GED on-site classes often compete with learners’ job and family commitments, and that many students have little or no access to childcare and transportation. For these adult learners, e-learning or distance learning are options, through GED classes online. At-home learners can also find a good GED guide, and a pencil-and-paper or online GED practice test.
These materials and online GED programs enable an adult learner to create a self-guided study course. It’s an affordable option, with flexible scheduling and self-pacing. An online GED class can be a lot easier than a local GED class, since many adult learners report a history of negative classroom experiences.
When looking for online GED programs, beware. Remember, taking the GED test online is not allowed. Many companies and webites promise a bogus online GED diploma, online GED testing, and costly options that end up providing nothing but a piece of paper that jobs and colleges won’t accept. When enrolling in online GED programs or GED classes online, it pays to shop, compare, and to read the fine print.