Information About the GED® Test's Structure and Content

By Peterson's Staff updated on Friday, May 15, 2015

An overview of the GED® test

If you're over the age of 16 and not currently enrolled in high school, the GED® test provides you with the opportunity to earn a certificate or diploma that is widely recognized as the equivalent of a high school diploma. Many schools will accept GED® test certification for entrance into a college or university program if your GED® test scores are at least equivalent to those of recently graduating high school seniors. Because more than 17 million people have passed their GED® tests since the beginning of the GED® test program in 1942, the chances are that you will blend in quite well on a university campus after you pass your test.

The GED® test is administered only at one of the official GED®test centers around the world; the official GED® test is given online only at MyGED. There are a few things you might want to include in any GED® test prep you feel you should do, and one of the most important is visiting the GED® test website. There you will be able to find out more about the test, testing locations, and test dates, and requirement you will have to satisfy in order to achieve passing GED® test scores - and your GED® test passing certification.

The GED® test consists of four parts

As the first step in preparing for your GED® test, you should become familiar with the test's structure and content. There are a total of four content areas that must be passed before you can earn your GED® test diploma or certificate.

In the Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test, you will go through three sections, focusing on your ability to read and write closely, and your ability to edit and understand the use of standard written English in context.

During the Social Studies test, you answer multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, hot spot, and fill-in-the-black questions drawn from US history, economics, geography, civics, and government. The test gauges your understanding of the basic principles in each. To do well, you must be able to read passages, cartoons, graphs, and charts.

The Science test focuses on three major domains: life science, physical science, and earth and space science. Answering the questions requires a combination of excellent reading skills, specific knowledge, and the ability to interpret scientific data.

Finally, there's the Mathematical Reasoning test. There are algebraic problem solving, and quantitative problem solving questions, utilizing multiple choice, drag-and-drop, hot spot, and fill-in-the-blank types. An on-screen calculator is available when a calculator is allowed, or you may use a handheld TI-30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator. The test center will not provide the calculator for your use during the test. You will also be given a page of math formulas to use during the test, and you will record some of your answers on either standard or coordinate plane grids.

The GED® test has a simple structure

Reasoning Through Language Arts
Section Time (total of 150, including break)
All Content 35 minutes
Extended Response 45 minutes
All Content 60 minutes
Social Studies
Section Time (90 minutes total)
All content 65 minutes
Extended Response 25 minutes
Science
Section Time
All content 90 minutes
Mathematics
Sections Time (115 minutes total)
Five test questions (without calculator) Not timed
41 test questions (with calculator) Not timed

The GED® test is administered only at one of the official GED®test centers around the world; the official GED® test is given online only at MyGED. There are a few things you might want to include in any GED® test prep you feel you should do, and one of the most important is visiting the GED test website. There you will be able to find out more about the test, test contents (including sample questions), testing locations, test dates, and any requirements you will have to satisfy in order to achieve passing GED® test scores--and your GED® test certification.

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Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

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