It's important to study adequately for the General Education Development test and achieve the best score possible, especially if you plan to attend a college or university. Some colleges maintain minimum GED score requirements for admission. Others take the score into account, but don't set a specific minimum that prospective students must have attained. GED scores may also determine what, if any, placement tests a student must complete.
Before looking at minimum score requirements, it's important to know what type of GED score you have. Pre-2002 GED tests yielded a smaller number than recent tests. You can approximately convert pre-2002 scores to the more recent style by adding an extra zero to the end. Many colleges indicate minimum scores of both types, but some only use the older or newer style in their documents. Some colleges also use different criteria: individual subtests, the average among all subtests or the total score.
The websites of numerous colleges openly state specific GED score requirements. For example, Oregon State University indicates that it requires an average subtest score of 580 (58, pre-2002) or higher, with a minimum of 410 (41) on every subtest. This is relatively high. The University of South Alabama and Aquinas College both call for average GED subtest scores of no less than 500 (50). Aquinas' requirements also demand a score of at least 20 on the ACT (American College Test). Fort Hays State University requires a total score of 2550 (250), with no less than 510 (51) on any subtest. If colleges of interest do not specify such requirements, ask admissions staff for more information.
Retaking the Test
If you don't meet the GED score requirements for a certain college, it may be possible to retake one or more subtests. To accomplish this, you must request approval from the GED administrator for your state. The administrator may require a letter from a college (or potential employer) stating its minimum score requirements, as explained by the Kansas Board of Regents. If the minimum exceeds your previous score, the administrator may approve a repeat of the test. You will have to pay a fee to take it.
Many colleges do not state exact GED score requirements. They may take various factors into consideration that can mitigate a low score, such as your achievements in other areas, personal recommendations or the results of other standardized tests. Also, some colleges may establish GED score minimums that they don't reveal to the public. It's a good idea to thoroughly research the admission requirements of colleges before applying, to save money on application fees.