Posted on Jul 5, 2012 in Business & careers, School & education
What do you need to do to get your GED (General Educational Development) high school equivalency?
The GED credential is an alternative to a high school diploma. The testing to obtain the credential is handled on a state level (and you need to get a certificate valid for your own state), though the tests themselves are developed and delivered by the American Council on Education.
There are more than 3,400 testing centers worldwide. Find one with the GED lookup tool here.
The GED tests can only be taken by people at least 16 years of age who have not graduated from an accredited high school or received a high school equivalency certificate or diploma, and and are not currently enrolled in a regular high school. (However, if you’re under 18, there are additional requirements and qualifications.)
The tests cover five main subject areas. Here’s how it breaks down:
Language Arts, Reading
All reading questions are in multiple choice format. Selections include poetry, drama, fiction and workplace documents.
Language Arts, Writing
This test has 50 multiple-choice questions that require you to revise and edit workplace and informational documents, focusing on your ability to edit and correct problems in sentence structure, usage and mechanics. Part 2 is an essay question.
Math tests measure your understanding of math concepts and your ability to apply them inrealistic contexts. 80% are multiple choice, while the remaining 20% require you to generate your own answer. The test covers number operations, measurement and geometry, data analysis, and algebra.
Science questions are presented in multiple choice format, life sciences (biology) and the physical sciences (earth science, physics, chemistry) – using information from text and from graphs, charts, tables and other graphics.
The questions are in a multiple choice format, and measures comprehensive skills from based on an overall review of history, economics, civics and government, geography and behavioral science.
How long does the GED take? You will be answering questions for about 7-1/2 hours.
Each of the tests has a maximum possible score of 800 (the average score is about 500 each). You must have a minimum overall score of 2250 (an average of 450 points per test), but you cannot have any single score below 410 in order to qualify for the certificate.
What if you fail? You can retest three times in a 12-month period, which begins when you take the tests for the first time. You do, however, need to wait a minimum of 60 days before you can re-take the test.
Finally, it’s important to note that you can’t currently take GED tests online or via a correspondence course — and any sites or sales materials that suggest otherwise are not legit. Get the lowdown on the real GED testing here.
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