The General Educational Development exam, or GED, is a test used to assess the test-takers’ abilities to perform in a career or college setting. After taking this test colleges and employers can determine which applicants have the academic ability to perform well in specific work or academic situations. Many people take the GED in hopes to better their lives and have a successful future. Hopefully, this article will help you to understand what the GED is and gives you the tools necessary to be successful when you take the GED.
The GED is made up of four different subjects; Reasoning through Language Arts, or RLA, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. All four sections of the test can be taken at separate times. It will also contain four essays known as the constructed response sections. It should take around eight hours to finish all four sections. The test will be computer based and you can take the sections in any order you would like. The passing score is around 150; however, this can fluctuate depending on the previous year’s high school seniors’ performance on the GED. The GED allows you to pay for each section as you take it, instead of paying for the whole test all at once. If you can not arrive for your scheduled date, you can also get a full refund for a cancelation or rescheduling of the exam.
To start, there is the Reasoning through Language Arts section. In this section you will have various types of questions such as: multiple-choice, short answer. drop-down questions, and technology-enhanced questions. In total this section will take around 150 minutes to complete, 45 of which will be allotted for the essay for this section. There is also a ten minute break for the test-taker to relax while taking the test. The text presented on the test is mostly non-fiction, but a fourth of it is fiction. These text prompts are typically 400 to 900 words long and include the vernacular and jargon used in various common situations. This section will be used to assess the test taker’s ability to read comprehensively, write effectively, revise and comprehend written English, understand, interpret, and answer questions that are based on given textual reading examples. The test-taker must also understand the English skills required to effectively succeed in college or on the job.
The next section is the GED Mathematical Reasoning section. This section is split into two separate parts with no allotted break. On each section you will not be allowed to use a calculator on the first five questions; however, once you complete these five questions, you will be allowed to use a TI-30XS calculator for the remaining questions. The questions will be presented in various mediums such as: multiple choice, drop-down, and various technology-enhanced questions. You will also be provided with a calculator guide to ensure that you are knowledgeable enough to effectively use the calculator. A list of math formulas are also provided as the test makers do not expect every test-taker to memorize every math formula. The goal of this section is to assess the test taker’s quantitative problem-solving abilities, as well as their algebraic problem-solving skills. The quantitative portion will be about 45 percent of the section, while the algebraic portion will be around 55 percent. You will have 115 minutes to complete this section.
Thirdly, the Science section will need to be completed. This section will take around 90 minutes to complete. Due to this short duration, there will be no break while taking it. The format is similar to the previous sections; multiple-choice, drop-down, and various technology-enhanced questions; however, this section also has two short answer questions, each taking around ten minutes to complete. Throughout this whole section you are able to use a TI-30XS calculator to assist you doing the math work related to this section. This section will measure the test taker’s ability to read, understand and interpret science-related texts. It will also test your problem-solving skills in science-related scenarios. The three basic topics of this section are Life Science, which makes up 40 percent of this section, Physical Science, which also is 40 percent of this portion, and Earth and Space Science, which encompasses the remaining 20 percent.
Finally, the last section of the GED is the Social Studies section. This section is also around 90 minutes long and, as comparable to the last section, will not have a break due to the short time frame in which the section will be taken. Like the sections preceding this one, the section format will be thus; multiple-choice, drop-down, and various technology-enhanced questions; however, this section includes a portion in which you must write an essay. This essay portion will take you around 25 minutes to complete. Throughout this section, you will be allowed to use a TI-30XS calculator for any and all math you will encounter on this section. This section will assess the test taker’s abilities to read, understand and interpret social studies-related texts and data, as well as the test taker’s problem-solving skills in social studies-related scenarios. There are four main topics in the Social Studies section; Civics and Government, U.S. History, Economics, and Geography and the World. The Civics and Government portion makes up half of the Social Studies section. U.S. History makes up 20 percent of the section. Economics encompasses 15 percent of the section. Lastly, Geography and the World covers the last 15 percent of the Social Studies section.
There is a separate section in which you receive your score after you have taken the test. Scores can vary and are categorized into three different sections; Below Passing, GED Passing Score, and GED Score with Honors. Below passing is any score ranging from 100 to 149 upon completion of the test. If the test-taker receives this low of a score it shows the test-makers that the test-taker does not possess the skills and knowledge required to be comparable to a graduating high school senior. If the test-taker receives a score ranging from 150 to 169, that test-taker is believed to have the same knowledge and skill as a high school graduate. This score is known as the GED Passing Score. The final scoring category is the GED Score with Honors. To attain this category, the test-taker must get a score ranging from 170 to 200. This level of scoring denotes that the test-taker not only has the mental skills to be a high-school graduate but also demonstrates the ability to take on the challenges associated with college and the work force. This is the highest level of scoring and shows vast intelligence and a high mental capacity. Colleges and job sites will be more accepting of people with these scores as opposed to others, as it shows intelligence and determination.
Hopefully this article was able to provide you with a better understanding of the General Educational Development Exam, and allow you to become better prepared for your exam. For further instruction and access to materials such as GED study guides, flashcards, and GED practice tests please visit mometrix.com.