These three letters can spell out a brighter future: GED. Getting a General Education Diploma (GED) can open doors to higher paying jobs as well as clear a path to a higher education.

All the studying and preparing for this standardized test does more than just show off your grasp of math, reading, comprehension and other basic school subjects. It showcases your ambition, capability to apply yourself and pursue higher goals. Depending on your score, the GED test in PA can help you gain entry to a university with some credits already under your belt.

What is on the GED?

The GED is made up of four subjects. Most of these are the basic skills you will have studied during your time in school. You will be allowed 115 minutes to complete the test.

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The subjects on the GED are:

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts

Scoring on the GED

Each part of the test is scored on a scale of 100 to 200. You need a minimum score of 145 to pass the subject. If you score 580 out of a possible 800, then you will have passed the GED. Anything above 145 is a passing score, scores that are above 175 are considered GED college ready and can offer possible credit.

Age Requirements for a GED Test in PA

In Pennsylvania, a student taking the GED must be 18 and a resident of the state. To prove you are a resident, you may use a valid driver’s license, utility bill, leasing agreement or other form of paperwork that proves you have been living in the state.

If you are 16 or older but not yet 18, you must get a waiver from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. A student must present an Age Waiver Form as well as a written request from an employer, military recruiting office, college admissions office of the school you are applying to or from a director of a state intuition that is requiring the applicant to obtain a GED.

No matter your age, to take the GED in Pennsylvania you must not currently be enrolled in an accredited high school. You may also not have a degree from a high school from Pennsylvania or any other state.

Studying for the GED

A prep course or online GED classes in PA aren't necessary to take the GED. However, completing one of these prep courses can significantly increase your score on your first attempt at the GED. Take advantage of one of the online GED classes in PA to ensure you get a good store the first time.

If you feel you are lacking in math more than science, choose a study guide, set of flashcards or GET test online course that can boost the subject that you struggle in. You can also receive a free study guide for the GED via the mail.

Prepare to Take the GED

Set up a free account at MyGED.com before you schedule your GED test at an official testing center. This site has a wide range of resources for students, including:

  • Proven practice tests
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Study guides

Retaking the GED

If you don’t do well on a particular subject, you don’t have to retake the entire test. You can retake any subject to bring up your total score after taking the entire test. The best score from each subject will be the one added up to equal your total score for your GED.

You can retake any part of the GED at any time. However, once you’ve retaken the GED three times, you will have to wait at least 60 days before you can try again. The cost to retake the test is $30.

About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.