How to Get a GED

Passing the GED can be the first step towards a bright career or high-paying job.

Many educators describe the General Education Development or GED Test as a rare opportunity for enterprising young adults. This credential is considered the sole counterpart of a diploma in high school for all states of the US. However, requirements are relatively distinct for each. General Educational Development testing is meant for grown-ups 16 years old and above who have no diplomas to show and are not high school students. However, earning this qualification still remains as the best option for students.

GED’s Beginnings

Articles published online mention that the US Armed Forces Institute requested the American Council on Education to conceive a series of tests to gauge academic skills at the high school level in 1942. The test was a means for soldiers and veterans who did not finish high school to show their capabilities. It was considered as academic qualification for post-secondary courses or seeking civilian employment.

There were several amendments after this. The Council modified the GED testing platform in 1988 by including an essay writing exercise. The new version put more weight on problem-solving proficiency and socially appropriate topics. After this, ACE implemented another revision in 2002 to ensure that the platform would be in accordance with high school education benchmarks. The most recent adjustment was made in January 2 of this year. It was carried out by Pearson VUE, a company that conducts PC-based testing programs and operates test facilities in some 175 countries all over the world. The approach continues to progress as secondary education meets the needs of the present generation.

The GED requires no more than seven hours for completion. It is conducted in something like 3,400 centers throughout the United States. According to research, over 18 million individuals have passed this test.

Multiple Benefits of the GED


The testing service of GED conducted a number of research inquiries from 2011 until 2012. According to findings, there was a bigger disparity between the income potentials of GED passers and high school failures among respondents of the study from 1997 until 2008. Hourly earnings of successful GED examinees multiplied more than their counterparts’ wages. It was $14 as against $12 per hour.

The GED qualification attests to an individual’s proficiency at the high school level. There is an opportunity to continue your education if you pass the series of tests being implemented under the program. Testing service administrators claim that more than 90 percent of educational institutions in the US admit GED graduates in their schools. However, it is imperative to pass the admissions process of the university or college. Some of them require SAT standardized tests and American College Testing.

The US education department has its own research which confirmed that passing GED tests can help develop self-confidence. This self-belief is what can prod these people to improve their economic conditions by looking for better work and thinking about higher education. The study insinuates that the General Education Development could have played a major role in generating this confidence.

Knowing the GED Test Sections

The General Education Development is made up of the following test parts:

Language Arts (Reading)

This section consists of 40 multiple choice items with Fictional Literature comprising 75 percent of each test segment. It also includes a minimum of one selection from topics such as Poetry, Drama and Prose Fiction. Prose fiction covers the years before 1920, between 1920 and 1960, and the period after 1960.

Nonfiction comprises the other 25 percent and covers two choices of nonfiction prose from any two of these subjects: Nonfiction prose, Visual and performing arts reviews as well as Workplace and community documents.

Language Arts (Writing)


There are two parts for this segment although scores for each are joined and reported as one. Part one is made up of 50 multiple choice questions based on Organization (15 percent), Sentence Structure (30 percent), Usage (30 percent), and Mechanics (25 percent). Part Two is essay writing regarding a familiar area of interest. Examinees only have 45 minutes to plan, write, and revise their respective articles. You need to present an opinion or give reasons for your perspective regarding the subject matter.

Two qualified readers will grade your essay based on clear organization; focus on major points; proper presentation of ideas; correct sentence structure; choice of words; spelling; grammar; and, punctuation. The readers will score the content on a four-point range. The average will be the basis for your final mark. It is mandatory to retake both sections if you get a final mark of less than two.

Social Studies

Social studies content section includes 50 multiple items that cover United States, Canada or World History; Geography; Citizenship and Government; and, Economics. The versions for the US and Canada are different from each other.


The Science test is comprised of 50 multiple choice items covering Life Science (45 percent); Physics and Chemistry (35 percent); and, Earth & Space Science (20 percent).


Math content includes 50 questions separated in two sections. The areas are Number Operations and Sense; geometry and Measurement; Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability; and, Algebra, Functions, and Patterns. Each section has a rating of 20 to 30 percent.

GED in Georgia

Adults, who do not have any high school diploma, can get equivalent credentials by taking General Educational Development exams. A passing mark serves as prerequisite for the diploma. You need not be a state resident to be allowed to take the test. Nevertheless, those between 16 and 19 years old must submit official records of their withdrawal from high school as well as parent consent.

Guidelines for GED Test Preparations


It is important to prepare seriously so you can go over the 60 percent skill level for high school senior students. Basic education facilities for grown-ups located in different parts of Georgia offer preparatory courses. On the other hand, the Technical College System of Georgia imparts information to find the center nearest to your residence. Individuals opting for self-learning can buy study guides and GED-related materials. You can also check the web for free practice examinations and sample questionnaires.

Self-learners can purchase GED study books or other materials, as well as find free practice tests and sample exam questions online. The website of the American Council on Education also provides information related to distance learning study alternatives.

Test Details

The Georgia test fee is not more than $95 (2011 figure). It is not given online. There are 47 test hubs across the state that you can see in the TSGC portal. Examinees must get a minimum average score of 410 for each subject and at least 2250 overall rating to pass the exam. Those who fail any one of the subject areas are mandated to wait for three up to six months for a retake. This will also depend on their initial grades. The cost of taking the test again is $19. Proof of remedial instruction is obligatory.

Georgia’s Department of Technical and Adult Education prescribes options for GED candidates aside from standard requirements.

  • You will be permitted to retake the exam anytime you prefer if your regular score is 430 or above.
  • You need to wait for three months before the retake or submit confirmation of remedial session if your mark is 400 until 429.
  • You are compelled to wait for half a year if your score is less than 400.

Remember that you must secure a release from the original chief examiner if you plan to transfer to another testing center. The lowest score is 200 while the highest is 800. The average grade is 450. The local testing institute is the most reliable source for updated eligibility prerequisites. According to the Department, eligibility means following certain criteria such as failure to graduate from high school, receiving high school equivalency diploma or certification, not currently enrolled in high school, and at least 16 years of age. Go to the nearest testing facility and accomplish the application form. There are books in the library that you can use as references. Other options are to study at the nearest learning center or community college to prepare for the GED. Georgia offers a web-based module that will enable you to proceed at your own pace and receive help from a tutor.

New GED Program

The State Government unveiled a new platform for General Educational Development in January of this year. This was developed by the National GED Testing Service in Washington, District of Columbia. The transformation aligns the program in accordance with standards in college and career readiness. It provides the level of scholastic strictness demanded by enhanced demands of the job marketplace.

There are several conspicuous modifications which are manifest in the new version of the 2014 GED exams. The test is computer-based. Thus, it has to be taken in any of the 57 testing venues sanctioned by the State. Reading and Language Arts Writing will be merged. The other content areas are the following:

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Social Studies
  • Science

The total number of hours to finish the test is seven. The rate of the complete test is $160 while the new individual price is from $32 to $40. Examinees will use the My GED testing site for purposes of registration. This will be done online. You can look for a convenient location for the actual testing. Make sure to study about different adult education programs in the State. The GED-ready part of the home site provides a practice test online. It gives immediate comments and suggestions to students regarding areas for possible improvement. This new GED website will be opened before November ends.

Adult education instructors in the State of Georgia participated in several conferences, sessions and webinars in 2013. These were designed to develop teaching techniques that will help students prepare for the 2014 GED. Mentors worked conscientiously to implement the transition smoothly and make everything less difficult for students. However, it does not mean that the new format is more difficult. Adult learning teachers want to make candidates aware of the fact that GED diplomas are important for employment. Furthermore, it prepares everyone for critical thinking ability and computer skills required in the modern world.

The Testing Service of GED has also made public the 2014 GED Test Retake Program. The main objective of this new approach is to help students who failed to finish the exams in the past. It puts aside the provision of fees for a maximum of two retakes for each failed section. However, these must take place within a period of 12 months. In other words, students in Georgia will pay not more than $20 for retake that conforms to the conditions.

If possible, test takers should make use of free adult education modules whenever these are available. Each county offers these free classes during different schedules for the convenience of grown-ups who are currently employed. Adult students are also eligible for financial subsidies to help defray test expenses.

A Significant Value

At present, more than 18 million Americans have already received their GED diplomas. You can expect more adults to avail of this exam in the coming months and years. GED is the only recognized “equivalency test” in the country. It will certainly become more significant in the future. When 2018 comes, approximately 60 percent of employment openings will require workers to have a year or so of college education. This makes the high school diploma or its equivalent valuable. You should also know that the overhaul of GED is meant to satisfy the increasing economic need of high school drop-outs.

The main point here is the GED is not important only for getting employed. It is also a vehicle for higher education. The high school diploma is crucial and so is the General Educational Development test. This is the underlying principle not only of GED but education in general.