The GED is a series of tests, which when completed, certify that an individual's educational abilities match that of a high school level. This is a federally regulated program, administered at the state level. GED stands for General Educational Development. After completing the GED testing, the individual receives a certificate. Some higher educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, will accept this certificate in place of a high school diploma. Many employers view a person who has earned their GED certificate as equal to those having a high school diploma.
There are five types of tests within the GED testing battery. They are: social studies, science, mathematics, reading and language arts. The language arts test is further divided into language structure and an essay. It takes approximately two days of testing in order to complete all five tests. However, the tests can be taken individually over a period of time, if preferred.
Any necessary accommodations needed for GED students with disabilities are decided upon at the state level. A form must be completed and issued. A committee will decide whether the request is warranted and the level of accommodations to be allowed. For example, a blind person may be accommodated with a seeing person to read and/or write the answers to GED test questions. The GED test is offered in English and Spanish.
Any score between 410 and 800 is a passing score for any of the individual GED tests. However, the student must have an overall average score of 450 or more in order to complete GED testing. Tests may be repeated, if not passed. It is up to the state as to how often or under what stipulations a test may be retaken.
In order to register for GED testing, a person must bring a certified picture I.D., such as a state issued identification, driver's license, military I.D. or passport. Some testing sites require the individual to take a pretest, showing his educational abilities to pass GED testing. If this test is not passed, the GED site will offer or recommend preparedness classes. The fee for GED testing varies from site to site. Also, some testing sites allow free access to retesting, while others charge additional fees.
Who Can Test
Sometimes a high school student would like to test for his GED while still registered at a high school. This is not allowed. Besides having to be 18 or older to qualify for GED testing, a person must also not have a high school diploma or be registered in high school. Of course, there are sometimes circumstances that cross these boundaries. Special requests, in writing, must be delivered to a state GED administrative committee for consideration.