Failed Ged Essay

Thinking of taking the GED exam? Of course one of the first things you’ll want to know is how the exam is scored and what you need to pass. Here’s a guide to what your GED score means.

How is the GED Scored?

What we call the “GED exam” is actually four separate subject tests.

You can choose to take these four tests all at once, or you can spread them out as much as you want. You will need to complete and pass all four in order to receive your GED credential.

Each subject test is scored separately on a scale of 100 to 200 points. That means that after you’ve taken all four subject tests, your total score will be out a total of 800 possible points.

Subject Test Score Range
Reading Through Language Arts 100-200
Mathematical Reasoning100-200
Social Studies 100-200

What GED Score Do I Need to Pass?

To pass the GED, you need at least 145 out of 200 on each of the four subject tests. That means your total score for the entire set of exams will need to be at least 580.

Note: You need a GED score of at least 580 AND a score of at least 145 per subject test. If you failed one of the subject tests but scored high enough on another to still bring your total score to 580 or more, this is NOT a passing score. You will need to retake the subject test you failed.

How Many Questions Do I Need to Get Right to Pass?

To pass each GED subject test, you need to earn a scaled score of at least 145 out of 200. So how many questions does that translate into? The answer isn’t quite so simple.

The number of questions on each subject test can vary slightly from test to test. For example, you could take the Social Studies test one day and be asked 35 questions and on another day, you could have a test version that has 38 questions. What won’t change, however, is the number of POINTS on each subject test.

You see, not every question is worth the same number of points. Each answer on the test is worth one raw point, but some questions have more than one answer. A “typical” multiple choice question with only one correct answer is worth one point, but other questions might ask you to select more than one correct answer. In these cases, each answer is worth one point. A single question with two correct answers is worth two points, and so on.

The number of raw points on each subject test is:

Subject Test Number of Raw Points Available
Reasoning Through Language Arts 65
Mathematical Reasoning49
Social Studies 30
Science 40

For Mathematical Reasoning and Social Studies, the points are equal to the number of possible answers in each test. In Science, this is also true except for the two short answer questions, which are worth 3 points each (and on which partial credit is possible, so you could score 1, 2, or 3 points on a short answer question).

Reasoning Through Language Arts is a little different because it includes an essay that is scored differently from the rest of the test. The essay is worth 20% of the total score for that subject test. That means that the essay is worth roughly 13 points, leaving you with 52 answers on the other questions.

The conversion from these raw points to your scaled score (100-200 per subject test) is not a simple formula, and the GED Testing Service doesn’t publish how exactly this scoring magic happens. What they do say, though, is that to pass each subject test with a 145, you need to get 60-65% of the available points on the test. If we use 65% to be on the safe side, that means that to pass you would need approximately:

Subject Test Approx. Number of Points Needed to Pass
Reasoning Through Language Arts 42 out of 65
Mathematical Reasoning32 out of 49
Social Studies 20 out of 30
Science 26 out of 40

What are the GED Score Levels?

There are four different GED score levels, and three of the four indicate a passing score. The GED score levels are:

  1. Below Passing
  2. GED Passing Score/High School Equivalency
  3. GED College Ready
  4. GED College Ready + Credit

The scale below shows the score range per subject test that would land you in each score category.

Your personal goal for your GED score may vary in part based on the plans you have for after finishing your GED. If you’re thinking of going to college, a better score can look better to admissions officers and could even lead to earning college credits before you even go!

Here’s what each score level means:

GED Score Levels

GED Score LevelScore Range (per subject test) What It Means
Below PassingUnder 145You did not earn enough points to pass.
GED Passing Score/ High School Equivalency145-164You have demonstrated high school level skills.
GED College Ready 165-174Your skills show that you are ready for college. This looks great on a college application.
GED College Ready + Credit 175-200You have shown above-average skills that may earn you college credit, depending on the school.

If you want more information on how a College Ready or College Ready + Credit Score can benefit you and how the program works, visit the GED Testing Service website.

What Happens If I Don’t Pass the GED?

Unfortunately, not every student passes the first time, but you can always take the exam again. The good news is that if you don’t pass all four subject tests the first time, you don’t have to take them all over again. You only need to retake the sections that you didn’t pass.

You can retake any or all of the subject tests as many times as you need to in order to pass. You even get a discount on the subject tests you have to retake (varies by state; find out your retake price).

Need to schedule a retake? Register by logging into MyGED.

Prepare to Pass

The best pass to make sure you pass the GED is to be prepared. Try our 5 Ways to Study for the GED Online. Then, when you’re ready, take a practice test to give yourself a better idea of how you are likely to score on test day.

About Sarah Bradstreet

Sarah is an educator and writer with a Master’s degree in education from Syracuse University who has helped students succeed on standardized tests since 2008. She loves reading, theater, and chasing around her two kids.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



If I'm interested in the GED program, how do I get started?

Visit MyGED® at to sign up and create your MyGED® account. You can also learn about the 2014 GED® program, see success stories, and try a sample test question.

What should I tell someone who’s interested in the GED® test?

GED Testing Service offers the only start-to-finish program to help adult learners succeed on the test and get a good job with good wages. It's the same trusted test, just a brand new experience. Visit MyGED® at to get started.


What is the MyGED® portal?

MyGED® at is a start-to-finish online program to help you succeed. This personalized program guides you through the entire testing process and helps you find study help, prepare for test day, access your personal study plan and learn about colleges and jobs. 

How much does the MyGED® portal cost?

The MyGED® is free for all students interested in participating in the GED® program.

What if I don’t have an email?

I keep getting the error message “ERROR_VUE_WIDE_BLOCK.” What does this mean and how do I fix it?

You received this error message because your account has been locked after entering an expired voucher code or incorrect credit card information too many times. To unlock your account, call 1-877-EXAM-GED.

Which browsers are officially supported?

Currently, supports all of the following browsers:

  • IE 11
  • IE 10
  • IE 9
  • Chrome 40.0.2214.111
  • Chrome 40.0.2214.115
  • Chrome 40.0.2214.109
  • iOS 8
  • iOS 7
  • Android Chrome 40.0.2214.111
  • Android Chrome 40.0.2214.115
  • Android Chrome 40.0.2214.109
  • Android Browser 4



Should I study?

Preparation is an essential part of any important examination. According to research, those who study are more likely to pass. You probably have gained some knowledge and skills throughout life experience, reading, and informal training, but remember that the GED® test is a rigorous four part test that takes more than seven and a half hours to complete. Regardless of your ability, you'll be more certain to perform your best on the tests if you know what to expect before the testing day arrives.

How do I study for the test?

GED Testing Service offers MyGED® at as a start-to-finish online program to help you succeed. This personalized program guides you through the entire testing process and helps you find study help, prepare for test day, access your personal study plan and learn about colleges and jobs. You can visit the Study tab on MyGED® to find online study materials and books, information about local adult education centers, and GED Ready®: The Official Practice Test. Your Score Report on GED Ready® will include personal feedback and recommendations to help you improve your scores.

Are there preparation classes available for test-takers?

There are thousands of preparation centers across the country that help with GED® test preparation. Find a preparation center near you.

GED READY®: The Official Practice Test

What is GED Ready®?

GED Ready® is the official practice test for the 2014 GED® test. It was developed by the same people who created the real test, but it’s only half the length of the actual test. GED Ready® provides every student with a personal study plan based on your performance on the practice test. You can use this to study at home or print it out and bring it into an adult education center.

Why should I take it?

  • It’s the only test designed to tell you instantly if you are likely to pass the real test
  • If you’re not ready for the real test, you will receive specific instructions on what to study next 
  • The test questions look exactly like the real test, so you will be prepared on test day 

How much does it cost?

$6.00 per subject. 

What do I need for GED Ready®?

  • Must take it on a computer - not a mobile device 
  • Minimum internet browser version: Internet Explorer 10.x, FireFox 6.x, Safari 5.x, or Chrome 12. (Javascript and cookies must be enabled)

How long is GED Ready®?

GED Ready® is half the length of the real GED® test. You will receive a description of the skills you have demonstrated at your performance level as well as a description of skills you need to work on to move to higher levels of performance. The suggested time to complete each subject with GED Ready® is 4 1/4 hours (1/2 the time to complete one subject of the Official GED® test.)

We recommend that you take the GED Ready® test in one sitting at a quiet place where you can fully concentrate.

Is there an on-screen calculator provided for GED Ready®?

Yes.  A calculator is available on GED Ready® for specific Math and Science practice test questions.

If you'd like to use a handheld calculator on the day of your operational test, you may bring a TI 30XS. The test center will not provide one to you.



Where do I register and schedule my test?

You need to sign up at to schedule the GED® test. If you meet your local area's policies for testing, you will see a yellow "Start scheduling" button on your dashboard Study tile. Click "Start scheduling" to answer the scheduling questions, select your test subject, your preferred day and time, and pay for your test.

How much does the test cost?

The test cost is different in every state but you can always pay as you go for one subject at a time. Check your local policies by logging into MyGED® at 

Why can't I schedule my test on MyGED®?

If you are having difficulty scheduling your test, first check your alerts drop-down on your dashboard in MyGED® for any alert notices on your account. If there are no alerts, contact customer support. 

I want to schedule the GED® test, but when I schedule, I don’t have the option to test in my state. What’s going on?

If you live in Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, or West Virginia, the GED® program is not offered in your state at this time. We are working to make the GED® program available to you soon. Until then, you may take the GED® test in a neighboring state that allows non-residents to test.  You can select which state you would prefer to test in when you set-up your MyGED® account. Even though the GED® test is not delivered in your state at this time, the GED® transcript is recognized by nearly all employers and educational institutions nationally.

Is there a time frame to complete all portions of the test?

GED Testing Service® does not enforce a minimum timeframe within which all four GED® test parts must be completed. However, certain local areas do have rules on the amount of days you must complete your test in. Check your state policy in your message drop down on your dashboard for more information.

What accommodations are available for people with disabilities?

View available accommodations.

How do I request accommodations if I need them?

If you would like to request modified testing conditions and have not done so in registration, view your account profile to make a request.

How do I schedule an accommodated exam?

If you are approved for accommodations, you will receive an approval email along with instructions for scheduling by phone. You cannot schedule for an accommodated test online.



What can I bring into the testing room?

You will be given three erasable note boards and marker to take into the testing room.

Are there any other rules about the testing room?

You will not be allowed to eat, drink, smoke, or use your cell phone during your test. Family members, friends or anyone accompanying you to testing will not be allowed to stay in the testing center during your test.

Can I take a break during the test?

When you schedule more than one subject in the same day, you will automatically be given a ten minute break in between tests. Unscheduled breaks are not allowed and your test will not be scored if you leave the room during an unscheduled break. During scheduled breaks and lunches, you may access your personal items. If you need to leave the room, have questions about the test, or are experiencing problems with your computer, raise your hand and notify the test administrator.

Is there a cell phone policy?

Cell phones are strictly forbidden in the testing room. If you are found with a cell phone during testing, you will be escorted out and your test will not be scored. You will also need to reschedule and pay for another test.

What should I bring on the day of the test?

You will need to check with your state for specific requirements in terms of what to bring to the testing center. You will be given an erasable note-board and can use a handheld TI-30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator on the Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies test subjects. If you want to use this handheld calculator, you must bring it on test day. Testing centers will not have calculators for you to use. 

You may be required to store your calculator in your locker or other secure storage. Your testing center will advise you when you can retrieve your calculator for approved test sections.

As mentioned, cell phones are strictly forbidden in the testing room. TIP: Make sure you know where the testing center is and arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled GED® test appointment. You will need to check in when you get there. If you arrive more than 15 minutes after your scheduled appointment time, you may not be admitted and may lose your test fee.

Is there a place to keep my belongings?

Other personal items (such as handbags, backpacks, wallets, keys, etc.) are not allowed in the testing room. Storage is available, but limited.



What does it mean to “pass” the GED® test?

The GED® test has a passing score of 145 on each test part. Therefore, you will need to reach a score of at least 145 on each part and a total score of 580 across the four-part battery in order to receive your GED® test credential. You may also earn the College Ready score or College Ready + Credit score if you earn the required score on a test subject. Learn more about the College Ready score and the College Ready + Credit score:

  • Below Passing: 100-144
  • GED® Passing Score: 145-164
  • GED® College Ready: 165-174
  • GED® College Ready + Credit: 175-200

How are the questions scored?

An automated scoring engine that replicates human scoring will be used to score the constructed response items. This is not “mechanical” scoring, since the engine uses sophisticated algorithms in the replication of human scoring processes.

I think I should have gotten a higher score on my essay or written response. Is there a way to challenge my score?

Yes, it is possible for you to challenge your written response scores. We know that the scoring system we use to score written responses is very accurate. However, if you want to request a re-score, contact customer support at 1-877-EXAM-GED. You will be charged a fee of $50 per response you want to challenge. If your score changes, you’ll get your $50 back. If your score doesn’t change, GED Testing Service will keep the fee.

How does the Enhanced Score Report help me?

The enhanced score report from GED Testing Service provides personal feedback just for you. You will be able to see what your score means, what skills to develop, and how to score higher on your re-test. You can also choose your favorite study book and be informed of what sections you need to improve on.

  • View your scores and what they mean
  • See specific skills you may have missed on the test and need to improve on
  • Receive personal study recommendations connected to the specific skills you need to work on to improve your score
  • Browse and choose from more than a dozen study materials to customize your study recommendations
  • Report developed with specific feedback, needs for information, and clear language
  • Full report available within 24 hours of testing on all content areas
  • Includes a part of the 2014 GED® test and GED Ready®: The Official Practice Test

Where can I find my scores?

Scores are available the same day you test on your MyGED® online portal under the My Scores section. Log in at to see your scores.

I don’t see my test scores. When will they be here?

The enhanced score report will usually be available within 24 hours of testing. You will receive an email when your scores are ready for viewing on MyGED®.

I live in New York and want to get my GED® test scores.  How can I get them?

New York test-takers (who tested in 2013 and earlier) can access their GED® test scores at Since you took the test on paper, the New York State Education Department will have your records. If you cannot find your record on this site, you should contact their office for more information.

What if I don’t pass all the tests the first time?

You can take a test module, and two subsequent module retests, with no restrictions between retakes. If you fail the second or any subsequent retest, the test taker must wait 60 days for each successive attempt.

Your state may have a specific state policy on how many times a test taker can re-test that is less than three attempts. In those cases, the GED Testing Service® policy will be included to support the state policy. At a minimum a test taker will need to wait 60 days after three failed attempts and any subsequent retest.

If I test in both English and Spanish, will the 60-day wait period still apply after I test three times?

Retake rules are enforced for students retesting in different languages. For example, if you take an English test three times, then move to a Spanish test, the GED Testing Service 60-day wait period is enforced. If a state has additional retesting requirements, these requirements will also be enforced.

What is the cost of the retest? Is it free?

The price of the initial test is set by each state and varies based on where you take the test. The price of the retest also varies based on where you retest. GED Testing Service® will waive its fees for retests of failed subject tests and both states and test centers will have the option to do the same.

For example: The price of a GED® subject test in a state is $35 (which includes a $10 test center fee and a $5 state fee). You would pay $35 for your first subject. If you were to fail that subject, you would be eligible for discounted retests. In this example where the test center and state do not waive their fees, you would pay $15 for each retest of the failed subject. If the test center and state waive their individual fees, the retest would be free of charge.

Will the retest price vary by subject?

No. The price for each subject would be the same.

Will the fourth attempt be free or will I have to pay for it?

After receiving two retakes at the reduced price, the price of the test subject returns to the regular price. If you fail that subject again, you will receive two more retakes at the reduced rate.

What if I pass a subject and want to retest for a higher score?

The discounted retest policy only applies to failed tests.

To receive the discount, do the retests need to be taken within 12 months of when I failed the subject test?

The discount applies to two retests, taken within 12 months of your initial failed subject test.

How do I schedule my discounted retakes?

You can use your discounted retakes by simply logging into your MyGED® account and scheduling your GED® test the same way you scheduled your test the first time. When you start the scheduling process, you’ll see the non-discounted test price. Once you select your test, test time, and testing center, you’ll be taken to the checkout screen where your price will automatically reflect your discount. You can also contact the call center and schedule directly over the phone.

I passed all of my tests. What’s next?

After passing all four parts, you will be notified on your Scores page that you have passed the GED® test. Depending on where you live, you may need to contact your local or state office for the transcript and diploma. If you live in one of the states using GED CredentialingTM, you will automatically receive an electronic, secure, diploma and Smart Transcript. This is delivered immediately to your email address after your test is scored. You can view, print and request a professionally-printed diploma free of charge. You can also email the electronic transcript to an employer or college of your choice. These features are all available through GED CredentialingTM.


What makes a GED® credential “equivalent?”

GED Testing Service has 70 years of experience offering a high school equivalency credential. Nearly all colleges and employers recognize the GED® credential and accept it for purposes of applying to college or for a job. The 2014 test was developed over 3 years by experienced high school and adult educators and reviewed by subject matter experts. The GED® test is also standardized and normed using a national stratified random sample of graduating high school seniors to ensure it is measuring the skills needed to graduate from high school.

What are the benefits of earning a GED® credential?

Among the many benefits of the GED® testing program, passing the GED® test provides an opportunity for adults to continue their education. In fact, over 98 percent of U.S. colleges and universities accept GED® graduates who meet their other qualifications for admission. A GED® credential documents that you have high school-level academic skills. About 97 percent of U.S. employers accept the GED® credential as equal to a traditional high school diploma, according to recent studies.

How many people have graduated with a GED® Certificate?

In 2012, roughly 418,000 adults passed and earned their GED® credential. Since 1942, there have been more than 19 million GED® graduates.

What is the Smart Transcript?

The Smart Transcript is available in certain states and jurisdictions that have decided to partner with GED Testing Service for transcripts and diplomas.

The Smart Transcript provides:

  • Electronic transcript that you can save or email to colleges and employers
  • A description of the skills and abilities you demonstrated on the GED® test through links right on the Smart Transcript
  • Information about the GED® with Honors and what it means to be career- and college-ready

Graduates can receive full recognition and credit for passing the 2014 GED® test and in some cases, earning the GED® with Honors.

How do I request a transcript?

Your transcript process varies based on where you passed the test. Visit our request a transcript page to learn about the process for the location where you passed the test. 


Will passing the GED® tests get me into college?

Roughly 98 percent of U.S. colleges and universities accept GED® graduates in the same manner as high school graduates. Be sure to check with the institution in which you are applying to see if they accept GED® graduates. After earning your GED® credential, sign up to take the ACT and/or the SAT. The colleges to which you apply may also require you to take placement or achievement tests so that they can determine whether you need additional coursework. Find out more about getting into college in the college and career ready section on your dashboard.

Are the GED® graduates eligible for college financial aid?

Get specific information on financial aid, eligibility requirements, and how to apply for financial aid in the College & Career center on your MyGED® dashboard at

Do I need to take another test after the GED® to be accepted into a college or university?

The colleges to which you apply may also require you to take placement or achievement tests so that they can determine whether you need additional coursework. Visit the College & Career center on your MyGED® dashboard at to learn more and access resources.

How do I start my college search? How do I apply?

To start your college search, check out the College & Careers center on your MyGED® dashboard at

What kind of majors and minors are there?

Not sure what you want to study in college? Check out the College & Careers center on your MyGED® dashboard at

How do I prepare for a job interview?

Don’t worry. We can help with that. Check our College & Careers center on your MyGED® dashboard at

How do I create a resume?

Building a resume is often the first step in applying for a job. Learn more about creating one in the Career & Colleges center on your MyGED® dashboard at


What is the 2014 GED® test?

The 2014 GED® test is a four-part test administered by states and jurisdictions to measure the skills and knowledge similar to a high school course of study. GED® graduates earn a GED® credential. The type of credential issued (diploma or certificate) varies by state.

Who is eligible to take the test?

Anyone who is at least 16 years old and is not enrolled in high school is eligible for the program according to GED Testing Service policy. Each state has its own policy that may restrict eligibility to certain individuals. Log into your MyGED® account at to view your alerts drop-down and check the state policies where you plan to test.  

What is on the 2014 GED® test?

The 2014 GED® test is designed to measure the skills and knowledge equivalent to a high school course of study and supports an adult’s successful transition to careers or college. 

The GED® test has four content areas and takes roughly seven and a half hours:

The Reasoning Through Language Arts test is 150 minutes long and testing is broken down into three sections:

  • Section 1 (35 minutes*) tests all content
  • Section 2 (45 minutes) is the Extended Response portion of the test
  • Student break (10 minutes)
  • Section 3 (60 minutes*) tests all content

*The time allotted for sections 1 and 3 may vary slightly, but the total test time will always be 150 minutes.

The Mathematical Reasoning test is 115 minutes long and is one single section.

Part 1 – the first several (approximately 5-7 questions) calculators not allowed

Part 2 – (remaining test questions) calculators allowed

Students must submit their answers before moving on to the rest of the test. These parts are not timed separately.

The Social Studies test is 70 minutes long and is one single section.


The Science test is 90 minutes long and is one single section. There are two Short Answer questions included on the test, but they are not timed separately. Students are expected to manage their time and spend about 10 minutes on each of the Short Answer questions.

It is offered in English and Spanish and delivered on computer at an Official GED® Testing Center (not online).

View tutorials for each content area.

Do I have to take all four content areas at once?

No. You can choose to take one content area at a time, two at a time, or any combination that best suits your needs.

Is the 2014 GED® test available online?

You must appear in person, at an Official GED® Testing Center to take the GED® test. The test cannot be taken online. To register for the 2014 GED® test, log in to MyGED® at and visit your dashboard. 

Why is the GED® test only offered on computer? 

Computer-based testing pulls all the information you need in one place and offers a flexible and reliable testing experience. The 2014 GED® program ensures that your high school equivalency provides you with the skills and knowledge necessary to take the next critical steps in your life and succeed in today’s digital world. Don’t take our word for it. Hear from people like you.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the GED® test varies from state to state. The price you will pay is set by your state. Check your state’s testing policies, by logging into MyGED® at and checking your alert dropdown.

Where do I go to take the GED® test?

You must take the GED® test at an Official GED® Testing Center. Find a local center near you.

How do I take the test?

The GED® test must be taken on computer at an Official GED® Testing Center. To schedule your test, first create an account on MyGED® at Once your account is created, Click “schedule” on your dashboard to get started. 

Is the test offered in a different language?

The GED® test is available in English and Spanish and accommodated formats to provide access to as many adult learners as possible. Check the local policies by visiting your MyGED® dashboard at and viewing your message drop down.

How do I contact my state’s GED AdministratorTM?

Find your local state’s GED AdministratorTM for information.


What type of questions should I expect on the Reasoning Through Language Arts Test?

The RLA test focuses on three grouping of skills:

  • The ability to read closely
  • The ability to write clearly
  • The ability to edit and understand the use of standard written English in context

How is the GED® Reasoning Through Language Arts test graded?

Understand how the GED® Reasoning Through Language Arts test is graded with the RLA Score Sheet.

What is the passing score for the RLA?

The passing score for the GED® Reasoning through Language Arts Test is the same as the other three parts. You will need to have a passing score of 145 or higher on the RLA.

How do GED® essay readers score papers? What do they consider the most important elements of good writing?

To further understand how your essay will be scored, view the Extended Response Score Sheet. 

What will the essay topic ask me to do? Can I find out what past topics have been on the writing test? Do I need any prior preparation for the essay?

To prepare for the essay topic, check out samples provided on GED Ready®: The Official GED® Practice Test on your dashboard.

Does the GED Testing Service® offer programs to help prepare GED® candidates to write essays for the Language Arts, Writing Test? Where can I get help with writing essays?

For help in certain content areas, locate a prep center near you.

How long does my essay have to be now?

There is neither a minimum or maximum length for the essay. However, we strongly encourage you to write enough to fully respond to the prompts they have been given.


What type of questions should I expect?

The GED® Mathematical Reasoning Test focuses on two major content domains:

  • Quantitative problem solving (45%)
  • Algebraic problem solving (55%)

The different item types used in the test include:

  • Multiple choice
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Hot spot
  • Fill-in-the-blank

How is the GED® Mathematical Reasoning Test scored?

The GED® Mathematical Reasoning Test is scored using an automated scoring engine, as are the rest of the parts.

Is there a formula sheet provided on the day of the test?

Yes. View the formula sheet now.

Can I use a calculator? What kind of calculator can I use?

The GED Testing Service® uses an on-screen calculator for the GED® Mathematical Reasoning Test on computer. To prepare yourself, check out our tutorial on the on-screen calculator.

You can use a handheld TI-30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator on the Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies test subjects. If you want to use this handheld calculator, you must bring it on test day. Testing centers will not have calculators for you to use.

You may be required to store your calculator in your locker or other secure storage. Your testing center will advise you when you can retrieve your calculator for approved test sections.

On the Mathematical Reasoning test, what is the content of  questions that don’t allow the use of a calculator?

The test questions test foundational arithmetic skills including the four basic operations (addition, subtractions, multiplication, and division), exponents, roots, and basic number sense.

Can I come back to these non-calculator questions when I finish the rest of the test?

No. You can move back and forth between the first few questions, but you have to submit your answers to those questions before moving on to the rest of the test.

Are the non-calculator test items separately timed?

No, the non-calculator test items are not timed separately. It is up to you to manage your time and to complete both the non-calculator and calculator parts of the within the allotted 115 minutes.

I heard that time was added to the Math test. Is this true?

Yes. As of Friday, February 21, 2014, the standard time allowance on the GED® test - Mathematical Reasoning was increased by 25 minutes. The time allowance for GED Ready® - Mathematical Reasoning was also increased by 13 minutes.

Why did the time of the math test change?

We at GED Testing Service want to ensure that test-takers like you can fully demonstrate your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills on the GED® test. After much analysis, it has become clear that many test-takers require additional time to demonstrate those skills on the GED® test – Mathematical Reasoning. 

How does this change in the math test time affect me?

  • Your Math test appointment was automatically updated with an additional 25 minutes so that you have the full 115 minutes of testing time. If you are unable to accommodate the additional 25 minutes on the day you are scheduled to test, you may call the call center (1-877-EXAM-GED) to reschedule your test.
  • When you arrive at the test center, please confirm with the test administrator that you are taking the revised version of the GED® test - Mathematical Reasoning with the updated time.
  • Once your Math test begins, you can also verify that the exam time is set at 115 minutes. In the event you see a discrepancy, please raise your hand and notify the test administrator.

I received an email about a free retake. What do I do?

If you took the Math test before Feb. 21, 2014, you are eligible for a free math test. Students should call 1-877-EXAM-GED to schedule their free test. In the event you already paid for additional Math retakes, you will be refunded those fees.

How can I prepare for the test?

GED ReadyTM is the official practice test and is offered to students online. It is the only practice test designed to assess how you will do on the actual test.


What type of questions should I expect?

The Science Test focuses on three major content domains:

  1. Life Science (40%)
  2. Physical Science (40%)
  3. Earth and Space Science (20%)

The content topics focus on science that reflects both what is taught in many high-school –level science courses and that which is most relevant and useful. There are several different item types used in the test, including:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Short Answer
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Hot spot
  • Fill-in-the-blank

Can I use a calculator?

You can use the on-screen calculator on portions of the Science test or a handheld TI-30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator. If you want to use this handheld calculator, you must bring it on test day. Testing centers will not have calculators for you to use. The calculator will appear within the system for use on approved questions.

You may be required to store your calculator in your locker or other secure storage. Your testing center will advise you when you can retrieve your calculator for approved test sections.


What type of questions should I expect?

The GED® Social Studies Test focuses on the fundamentals of social studies reasoning, striking a balance of deeper conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply these fundamentals in realistic situations. In order to stay true to this intention, each item on the Social Studies Test is aligned to one social studies practice and one content topic. 
The social studies practices can be described as skills that are key to scientific reasoning in both textual and quantitative contexts. The practices come from important skills specified in the Career and College Ready State Standards and other career-and college-readiness standards, as well as in National Standards for History.

The Social Studies Test will also focus on four major content domains:

  1. Civics and government (50%)
  2. United States history (20%)
  3. Economics (15%)
  4. Geography and the world (15%)

The Social Studies content topics, which are drawn from these four domains, provide context for measuring a student’s ability to apply the reasoning skills described in the practices. The content topics focus on key concepts that reflect both that which is taught in many high-school-level social sciences courses and that which is most relevant and useful for an adult population.
To measure this content at a range of levels of complexity, several different item types are used in the test, including multiple choice, drag-and-drop, hot spot, and fill-in-the-blank. 

Can I use a calculator?

You can use the on-screen calculator on portions of the Social Studies test or a handheld TI-30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator. If you want to use this handheld calculator, you must bring it on test day. Testing centers will not have calculators for you to use. The calculator will appear within the system for use on approved questions.

You may be required to store your calculator in your locker or other secure storage. Your testing center will advise you when you can retrieve your calculator for approved test sections.


What is my jurisdiction?

Your jurisdiction is the state you live in or where you choose to take GED® test. Every jurisdiction sets their own policies that you will have to meet before you can schedule your GED® test.

Where can I find my local jurisdiction's policies?

For information on your local testing policies, view your Messages dropdown on your MyGED® dashboard. Log in at 



When did GED® testing begin?

At the request of the military, the GED® test was first developed in 1942 to help returning World War II veterans finish their high school studies and re-enter civilian life. Today, the GED® test is offered as part of a start-to-finish program for adult learners. The GED® program ensures that an adult’s high school equivalency credential signifies he or she has the skills and knowledge necessary to take the next critical steps in their life.

Who produces the GED® test?

GED Testing Service is a joint venture between the American Council on Education (ACE) and Pearson. The organization was formed in 2011 and was modeled to represent a public-private partnership. It builds on its past experience in adult and continuing education by harnessing the considerable resources of Pearson, the world’s largest education and testing company, with the nearly 70-year history of ACE to expand access to the GED® test, ensure its quality and integrity, and adapt the GED® test to the skills needed in the 21st century.

The GED® program has always been a cornerstone of adult education since it first began in 1942. As the creator of the test, GED Testing Service® has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma. Learn more about the history of the GED® tests.

The GED® testing program is an international partnership involving the GED Testing Service®, each U.S. state and the District of Columbia, the Canadian provinces and territories, the U.S. insular areas, the U.S. military and federal correctional institutions, and the veterans administration hospitals.

GED Testing Service® establishes the test administration procedures and passing standard. All jurisdictions administer the GED® test and award their high school credentials to adults who meet the GED® test passing standards and any other additional jurisdictional requirements.

How many people have taken the GED® test?

In 2012, roughly 703,000 adults worldwide took some portion of the GED® test. Of that total, more than 607,000 (86.4%) completed the test and 418,000 (68.8%) earned a passing score. Since 1942 more than 19 million people have earned the GED® credential.

To hear from graduates, check out our Success Stories in the MyGED® portal at 


How do I protect myself from fraud?

You must appear in person, at a testing center to take the GED® test. The GED® test is not online.
In an era where everything’s on the Internet, high school diplomas and credentials are easily found. But the GED® test and credential are not online.

There are hundreds of websites offering high school diplomas, GED® credentials, and other degrees. What they don’t tell you is the “accredited degree” they’re offering is practically worthless. These sites are looking to make a quick buck at your expense—and they’re charging anywhere from $50 to $500 to do it. Learn more about how to spot a scam and where to earn a real GED® test credential.

Have you been a victim of GED® test or credential fraud?

We’re trying to protect our testing program and people like you who need the credential to attend college or get a job. We will track reports to identify repeat offenders so we can report them to law enforcement agencies.
Report fraud to GED Testing Service® here.

In order for an official complaint to be opened, you must file a complaint with a local official like the police, state attorney general offices, or the Better Business Bureau.

Remember, if it seems too good to be true…it probably is. Let’s work together to combat online fraud.
Note: The GED® test cannot be taken online. You must be in an Official GED® Testing Center to take the real GED® test.

What are fraudulent websites?

Fraudulent websites are not accredited by state or local jurisdiction authorities.

  1. If the state isn’t awarding you the GED® credential, you’re paying money for something other than the GED® test.
  2. If you’re taking the exam online or from home, you’re paying money for something other than the GED® test.

Don’t take a site’s word that they’re accredited; they’ll say anything to get your money. To find out if a particular high school or online program is recognized or accredited by your state, contact your state’s Department of Education. Some organizations that are not approved by either of these groups are:

  • American Accreditation Council of Online Learning
  • National Association for Legal Support of Alternative Learning
  • American Association on Non-Traditional Private Post Secondary Education
  • Universal Accreditation Association for Online Distance Learning

Note: As of July 2011, there is no accreditation agency recognized by the Department of Education (ED) or Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) that has the word “online” in its name.

Examples of fraudulent websites:

We can’t list every site, but here are a few examples of fraudulent sites. 

  • Aberdeen High School
  • Adison High School
  • Alford High School
  • Aspen High School
  • Aspire High School
  • Bayville High School
  • Beacon Falls High School
  • Belford High School
  • Capitol High School
  • Clarmont High School
  • Columbian Northern
  • Dalloway High School
  • Edison High School
  • Ellenwood Academy
  • Enterprise High School
  • Ford Worth High School
  • GED Options
  • Glacier Online Academy
  • Heritage West High School
  • Jefferson High School Online
  • John Adams High School
  • Kennedy High School
  • Liberty High School
  • Lincoln Academy
  • Long Island Home Study & East End Home Study
  • Lorenz High School
  • Mary Grand High School
  • Mayflower High School
  • McFord High School
  • McHill High School
  • Metro High School
  • Must High School
  • (REMINDER: the MyGED® online portal from GED Testing Service® is available at
  • Nation High School
  • Paramont High School
  • PennFord High School
  • Remington High School
  • Rochville High School
  • SanFord High School
  • South Bristol High School
  • South City High School
  • St. Rene Descartes University
  • Titan High School
  • Vencer High School
  • West Madison Falls HS
  • Western Heritage High School
  • WinFord High School
  • WoodField High School


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