GED® Frequently Asked
You have questions about the GED® test and earning your GED certificate. Everyone does! One of our goals is to get you the best information, so you can get where you’re going fast and hassle-free. Here are the questions we hear most often about the GED program, GED tests, the GED Testing Service®, GED courses online, and GED test preparation. Click on a question to see the answer
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- Can I take the GED test online?
- What does “GED” stand for?
- What are the GED tests?
- What makes a GED test credential “equivalent” to a high school diploma?
- Who is eligible to take the GED tests?
- How can I find my state's local GED test requirements and information?
- May I take the GED test if I have a high school
diploma from another country?
- How many people take the GED each year and how many pass the GED test?
- Do I need a Social Security Number to take the GED?
- May I take the GED test if I am not a U.S. Citizen?
- What if I don’t pass GED the first time?
- I started my GED tests but I never have finished. Are my GED test scores still good?
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Can I take the GED Test Online?
No. The GED is administered under the direction of the American Council of Education (ACE). GED tests are only given at designated Official GED Testing Centers™ throughout the U.S., U.S. Territories, and Canada, and in other countries through Pearson Vue. The GED test cannot be taken online. However, you can take online GED courses that help you prepare for the real GED test.
What does “GED” stand for?
The term “GED” is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education (“ACE”). The GED Testing Service is a joint venture of the American Council on Education and Pearson, is the sole developer for the GED test. Originally, the initials “GED” stood for “general educational development,” and the term shows that the GED test measures a learner's skills in a variety of important subjects. A GED test credential shows that the recipient has the same general level of academic achievement as a typical high school graduate.
What are the GED tests?
The old GED exam had five sections with reading and writing assessed separately. The new one has four- language arts, math, science, and social studies- with a focus on reading and understanding and solving higher-level mathematical equations. The new version of the test does not have a set number of questions per subject, but are based on "raw score points" instead since all items are not necessarily worth one point each. The GED tests are administered many times a year. Official GED Testing Centers™ are spread across the USA and Canada. Find an Official GED Testing Center™.
Science: 40 raw score points, 90 minutes
Mathematics: 49 raw score points, 115 minutes (you may not use a calculator for the first 5 questions)
Social Studies: 44 raw score points, 65 minutes plus 25 minutes for Extended Response (similar to a short essay.)
Reading Through Language Arts: 65 raw score points, 95 minutes plus 45 minutes for Extended Response (similar to an essay.)
What makes a GED test certificate “equivalent” to a high school diploma?
The GED certificate is accepted as an equivalent to a high school diploma by approximately 98% of colleges and universities in the U.S. and 95% of employers. This is because they recognize the GED test as a rigorous examination equal to or exceeding high school proficiency. In fact, many employers prefer GED certificate graduates because they know they have met a rigorous national high school standard.
The GED tests are standardized and normed using a national random sample of graduating high school seniors. To pass the GED tests, a candidate must demonstrate a level of skill that meets or exceeds that demonstrated by 60% of graduating seniors who are earning a high school diploma. This means that 40% of graduating high school diploma holders would not pass the GED tests.
Who is eligible to take the GED tests?
GED requirements vary from state to state. The GED Testing Service suggests the following GED requirements for you to take the test:
- You are not enrolled in high school, and
- You have not graduated from high school, and
- You are at least age 16*, and
- You meet state, provincial, or territorial requirements regarding age, residency, and the length of time since leaving school.
If you are considering leaving high school, the GED Testing Service recommends that you first meet with your high school counselor to talk seriously about your decision and the level of academic skill needed to pass the GED tests.
*Some states require GED test takers to be at least 18 years of age.
How can I find my state’s local GED test requirements and information?
Click on your state for specific information about GED transcripts, testing fees, GED test eligibility, retesting, GED centers, testing accommodations, and more.
- GED testing in Alabama
- GED testing in Alaska
- GED testing in Arizona
- GED testing in Arkansas
- GED testing in California
- GED testing in Colorado
- GED testing in Connecticut
- GED testing in Delaware
- GED testing in Florida
- GED testing in Georgia
- GED testing in Hawaii
- GED testing in Idaho
- GED testing in Illinois
- GED testing in Indiana
- GED testing in Iowa
- GED testing in Kansas
- GED testing in Kentucky
- GED testing in Louisiana
- GED testing in Maine
- GED testing in Maryland
- GED testing in Massachusetts
- GED testing in Michigan
- GED testing in Minnesota
- GED testing in Mississippi
- GED testing in Missouri
- GED testing in Montana
- GED testing in Nebraska
- GED testing in New Hampshire
- GED testing in New Jersey
- GED testing in New Mexico
- GED testing in New York
- GED testing in Nevada
- GED testing in North Carolina
- GED testing in North Dakota
- GED testing in Ohio
- GED testing in Oklahoma
- GED testing in Oregon
- GED testing in Pennsylvania
- GED testing in Rhode Island
- GED testing in South Carolina
- GED testing in South Dakota
- GED testing in Tennessee
- GED testing in Texas
- GED testing in Utah
- GED testing in Vermont
- GED testing in Virginia
- GED testing in Washington
- GED testing in Washington DC
- GED testing in West Virginia
- GED testing in Wisconsin
- GED testing in Wyoming
May I take the GED test if I have a high school diploma from another country?
Yes. Persons with a high school diploma from an unaccredited high school or a high school out of the country are eligible to take the GED tests if they meet all other requirements of the ACE and their state.
How many people take the GED each year, and how many pass the GED test?
Over 700,000 people take the GED test each year and over 50% pass.
Do I need a social security number to take the GED?
No. You do not need a social security number to take the GED tests, but you will need identification such as a passport or driver’s license. Many states require you to be a resident of the state.
May I take the GED test if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes. You may take the GED test even if you are not a U.S. citizen.
What if I don’t pass the GED the first time?
The GED Testing Service permits GED test candidates to test up to three times per contract year (January 1 to December 31), based on the number of standard forms available each contract year.
GED test scores are valid for three years from the date of the first GED test taken.
I started my GED testing, but I never have finished. Are my GED test score still good?
The GED Testing Service issued a new form of the GED test in January 2014. Anyone who has started GED testing but had failed to complete the testing successfully when the new form was released must begin the entire GED test again, including paying all fees. Some states require the test taker to pass all the tests in the year they are attempted.
The Spanish version of the GED test changed on January 1, 2014 and the same rules apply; any testing done before January 1, 2014 will not be applied to the new form. As with the English version, the entire test must be taken again, including all fees.
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