The General Educational Development tests, or GED, provides individuals who didn’t graduate high school, a second chance to earn a diploma. The GED has five subject areas: language arts, reading, mathematics, writing, social science and science. Passing the GED test requires passing each of the five sections and having a suitable combined score. A test taker who excels on the test can earn an honors GED.


GED transcripts contain two sets of number: a percentile rank and standard test scores. The standard scores reflect the test taker’s performance on each test along with the total, or combined, score. The percentile rank compares a test taker’s performance on each test with the performance of U.S. graduating high school seniors who took the test. The higher the percentile rank, the better a test taker did in the comparison. For instance, a high percentile rank of 77 out of 100 places you in the top 25 percent of graduating high seniors in academic skill and knowledge.

Minimum Total Score

To pass the GED, a test taker must earn a score higher than 410 on each of the five sections. The maximum score earned is 800. The minimum total score combines the scores of all the subject tests. The minimum total score to pass the test is 2250. The score, however, doesn’t earn an honors GED.

Honor Score

An honors score ranges from 2750 to 2990 and a score greater than 3000 earns you a high honors designation, reports the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Some state departments which offer the GED test have separate designations for test takers with high subject scores. For instance, if you earn at least a 650 out of the possible 800 score on the language portion, you achieve high honors. Thus, even if you don’t receive a high total score, you can still achieve a high subject score.


A high score has many benefits. When a test taker passes the GED, the state department of education sends a certificate. The certificate provides the proof — besides transcripts — that the test taker passed the examination. When the test taker, however, achieves GED honors, a gold seal indicating honors status may be placed on the certificate. More importantly, some colleges offer scholarships to applicants who hold honors GEDs.

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