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Test Types

The GED® Test

GED Testing Service logo with G E D in teal boxes

What is the GED® test?

You may be asking, what does GED® stand for? The GED®, or the General Educational Development Test, is a four-subject high school equivalency test that measures skills required by high schools and requested by colleges and employers. The four subjects are Science, Social Studies, Mathematical Reasoning, and Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA).


The GED® is committed to providing accommodations for people with disabilities or health-related needs. Test accommodations include things such as a separate testing room, extra testing time, and more.

Learn more about GED® accommodations.

Why take the GED® test?

Have you ever thought about building a better life for you and your family? Finishing your diploma could be your opportunity. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that people ages 25 and over who have their high school diploma earn more money and find jobs much easier than people who don’t.

Hear stories from people who earned their diploma.

It’s a valid substitute for a high school diploma.

The GED® has been recognized as a valid substitute for a high school diploma for a long time. You may be wondering “can you go to college with a GED®?” The answer is yes: 98% of colleges and universities in the United States accept it in applications. In fact, all branches of the U.S. military and most employers accept the GED® test or other high school equivalency tests. In fact, did you know that the GED® test was created in 1942 for U.S. military veterans returning home after service in World War II? Many of them had left in the middle of high school and never graduated. If it can work for them, it can work for you!

It's available to all adults 18+.

As long as you are at least 18, you can take the GED® test. People preparing to take the test range from late teens to senior citizens, and they span a wide variety of backgrounds. This includes anyone who doesn’t speak English, because many adult education centers teach English as a second language.

You won't have to do it alone.

Millions of people just like you have passed this test and continue to pass it to this day. If you’re worried about not being able to make it to the end, remember that you have dedicated support staff at adult education centers, free resources, and even financial assistance to cover the cost of the test.

Your local adult education center can help you with the process and is the best place to get started with the GED® test. Just use the Zip Code Search to find a center near you.

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If you’re considering getting your high school diploma, go get it. You can do it.
Rewrote her story and earned her high school diploma.

How to Study for the GED®

Once you’ve taken the step of visiting your local adult education center and signing up for classes, it’s time to study. This is the best way to worry less about whether you will pass or not: studying for the test significantly increases your odds of a passing score. 

Whether it's the GED® or another high school equivalency test, every state has its own rules and standards for how a diploma gets awarded. While much of the material will be quite similar for different types of tests, it is very important that you select the preparation materials that match your state's requirements. Dedicated support staff at your local adult education center will be able to help you get started on the process, and public libraries in most states offer free GED® preparation materials.

Five Tips for Studying for the GED® Test

The staff at your adult education center will work with you to make a study plan. Here are some tips they recommend in order to do your best:

  1. Create a dedicated study time. This can be in the evenings after work or early in the morning—whatever works best for you. Consistency is key.
  2. Split your study time into 15-minute sections. Spend one period reading the practice material, another for reviewing the material once you've read it, and a separate period for taking practice tests.
  3. Don't try to study everything at once. Studies show that a person's ability to focus lessens after 45 minutes, so it's important to break up study periods.
  4. Visualize real-world examples of each lesson. For example, if you are trying to remember a math equation and you worked in retail or as a cashier in the past, think of a time when that equation could have applied to your position.
  5. Ask for help and support. Surrounding yourself with a positive network of family, friends, and supporters you can depend on is key to reaching your goal. Additionally, make sure to reach out to the teachers and tutors in your program who are ready and willing to help you make it to the finish line.

Additional Resources We Trust

Interpret your GED® Rest Results

Knowing what to expect of the test ahead of time, as well as how your test will be scored, can help you feel a bit more confident when taking the GED®.  

The GED® test covers four subjects: science, social studies, mathematical reasoning, and reasoning through language arts (RLA).

The test measures your knowledge of these subjects in comparison to a high school graduate. The GED® test gives a separate score for each section, using two different numbers. The standard score is set on a scale of 200 to 800, along with a percentile rank between 1 and 99. A top score of 800 in a section would likely place one in the 99th percentile, or the top 1 percent of all test-takers, meaning you exceeded 99 percent of people who took the test.

What is an average GED® score?

The average score is usually around the 500 level, although the percentile might vary depending on how others scored while taking the test. The standard score is a fixed number, and the percentile is a relative ranking.

What is a passing GED® score?

To pass the GED® test, you must earn a minimum score of at least 410 in each of the subject areas and an average of 450 or greater across the total test for a total score of at least 2250. The percentile rank does not affect whether somebody passes the test. Students who fail to achieve a passing score can retake a subject area test up to three times total within a calendar year.

Additional GED® Resources

Still have questions about the GED® process?  

Visit the GED® website or talk to the dedicated support staff at your local adult education center and they can answer your questions.

Below are additional resources that we trust to help guide you through the testing preparation process.

What if you are taking the HiSET®?

The HiSET®, or the High School Equivalency Test, is like the GED® test in that it measures someone's knowledge and skills compared to the average high school graduate. Want to learn about the HiSET®? Read on to find out more.

Learn more about the HiSET®.