How To Get Your GED Diploma

To take the GED test, you need to show up at an official GED testing center and pass the four parts of the test. There is no online GED testing option.

The four parts of the GED® test are Math, Social Studies, Science, and Language and this post explains how to get your GED.

You can take the four subtests one at a time but in most states, you need to complete the GED battery within a two-year time frame.

These tests are serious business and, as said, you cannot take them online in the library or at home.

The results of the test are available the same day, so you don’t need to wait except for the essay part.

If you pass all four subjects, you will receive the GED Diploma.

If you think you are ready to pass the GED test, create an account on the website and schedule (one of) the four tests.

In most states, the GED Test costs $30 per subject, and you can take and pay for just one of the four subtests at a time. Four states subsidize GED testing and in some states, the fee is higher. For information about your state, click here.

If you don’t pass a subject test, you can retake that section two more times in a year in most states. Usually, you need to pay for retaking the test, but it will be a bit cheaper.

Is the GED Test Easy to Pass?

The GED test is not that hard to pass.

Be aware, though, that you will need to have a sophisticated level of knowledge to pass the GED exam.

You can prepare for the GED exam in a few steps and avoid stress. First and foremost, Start Early! You really should already start with your GED preparation a good few months before planning the final exam. You can take the four GED subtests separately and in all, the exam will take around 7.5 hours to complete. In most states, you are given two years to complete the entire GED battery in most states.

Now, what type of GED preparation will suit you best? On this page, we will show you a few of the best and most popular GED exam prep methods that are available to all students.

Preparation for the GED Test

Usually, it takes three months to prepare for the GED test when you study 2 to 3 times per week for no less than 1 hour.

If you study only once per week, it may take you 6 to 8 months to get all set for the GED test.

You can use free GED practice tests and online classes to get ready for the GED test.  Try our free resources:

If you want to attend a traditional class, we can also help you. Click here to find a school near you.

Find GED Classes

What’s on the GED Test

The following are the subject fields in which your knowledge is assessed on the GED test:

Reasoning Through Language Arts

Duration: 150 minutes total – including 45 minutes for an essay

  • The length of the text included in the reading comprehension questions varies from between 450 to 900 words.
  • Seventy-Five Percent (75%) of the texts on the exam are informational.
  • Twenty-Five Percent (25%) of the tests on the exam are literature.
  • Poetry does not appear on the GED test.

Extended Response

There is one essay for this section that is worth six times more than a multiple-choice question. Students are presented with two passages describing opposing perspectives on a topic. Test-takers are required to decide which argument has the most support. The essay is graded by three criteria in equal proportions:

  1. Creation of an argument and the use of evidence.
  2. Development of ideas and organizational structure.
  3. Clarity and command of Standard English conventions.

With these grading criteria, even students for whom English is a second language can still score 4 or 5 out of 6 for an otherwise well-written essay. Don’t worry about editing your essay to polish it up. Essays are graded as if they are the first draft. However, it is important that you complete the essay. Start by creating an outline and don’t spend too much time on any one part. Also, keep in mind that short essays tend to receive lower scores, so, if your typing speed is slow, practice with typing programs.

Mathematical Reasoning

Duration: 115 minutes

Approximately 45% of the content focuses on quantitative problem solving, and 55% focuses on algebraic problem-solving. The section is broken down into four parts:

  1. Number operations and number sense. (20-30%)
  2. Measurement and geometry. (20-30%)
  3. Data analysis (charts and graphs), statistics, and probability. (20-30%)
  4. Algebra, functions, and patterns. (20-30%)

The first five questions test your foundation of arithmetic skills and do not allow the use of any calculator. The skills required include the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), exponents, roots, and basic number sense.

Test-takers are expected to know basic formulas such as the areas (of a square, rectangle, triangle, circles), perimeters, the circumference of a circle, distances, measures of central tendency (mean, median, and mode) and total cost.

Some more specific skills that are now required for the math section are awareness of absolute values, rational numbers, and polynomials (basic algebra). You will NOT be asked about trigonometry or calculus. Some basic arithmetic skills are spread throughout the GED test. For example, data interpretation questions are now also seen in the Science and Social Studies portions of the test.


Duration: 90 minutes

The Science section is divided into three parts:

  1. Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics) – 40%
  2. Life Science – 40%
  3. Earth and Space Science – 20%

These cover smaller topics including the system of living organisms, diseases, evolution, heredity, sources of energy, transformations of energy, uses of energy, and Earth’s geochemical systems, to name a few. The science section also includes two short answer questions. Each is worth three times as much as a multiple-choice question.

The short answers are not timed separately but test makers suggest students spend about 10 minutes on each of them and write a paragraph. The environment, ecosystem, and human activities are important themes in the science section and are often the subject of the short answer questions.

Other frequent topics are the scientific method and experimental design. A clear and complete explanation will receive a high score and grammar is not considered a part of the grade for these answers.

Social Studies

Duration: 70 minutes

The four high-level topics covered in the Social Studies section are:

  1. Civics and Government – 50%
  2. U.S History – 20%
  3. Economics – 15%
  4. Geography and the World – 15%

The Social Studies section requires similar analysis skills as needed in the “Reading through Language Arts” section. Students should be able to identify bias in a passage, understand tone, point-of-view, and structure. Skills more specific to Social Studies are awareness and understanding of chronological order and the historical aspect of a passage. Students should also be able to understand charts and graphs that represent Social Studies data. This way, students can show their general educational development on test day.

GED Prep Classes

Sometimes students pass the GED test without prior preparation. However, most students need to spend some time getting familiar with the GED topics.

Students can prepare for the test by attending traditional classes or by taking online courses.

You can find many locations where GED instruction is offered, often at no cost at all. Also, your local bookstore and library will be able to provide lots of study materials to get you all set for the GED exam.

Help is also offered at many schools, community learning centers, and colleges that provide preparatory classes and if you’re on Twitter, you may also find assistance at some other site and please keep in mind that preparation is key to be successful at GED testing and earn your diploma.

Find GED Classes near You

Paid and Free Online GED Courses

Additionally, you can use a GED prep course over the internet, such as the free online video prep lessons for all GED subjects provided by this website, and use also these free GED practice tests.

There is also a good selection of paid GED courses if you are serious about your GED prep and want additional features, popular choices are GED Academy, Covcel GED Prep, Kaplan.

Read this article about choosing the right GED Course. 

How about a Private Tutor?

If you feel a personalized approach may be good for you, consider hiring a private GED tutor to get all set.

Sessions that include 1-on-1 tutoring make sure that you’ll get direct feedback, and that you will get customized lessons that suit your needs and typical learning style. So I hope you’ve learned all about “What is a GED?”

Practice Makes Perfect

Be sure to get used to the technology of the computer format before you register for the test, practice writing essays in a timed setting, and take the free practice tests offered at this website before you take the actual test.

Without study, your chance to be successful may be very slim and check out also the age requirements in your state as they may vary slightly per state.

GED Practice Test

At what level would you score if you had to take the GED exam today? To find out how you would do on the actual GED exam, take a practice test. Beware, though, that the conditions should be mimicking the actual testing environment, so use a timer and shut off your cell phone.

The practice test score will be your baseline that may help you develop a good study plan that’s in line with what you should be working on most.

When you have taken a free GED practice test, you’ll be able to discover your weaknesses and strengths so you can set up a detailed action plan to help you increase your score.

Taking practice tests is also a great way to get familiarized with the various sections and contents of the exam you’re planning to take. You can prevent disappointment if you won’t be faced with surprises.

The GED Passing Score

Below Passing Score: 100 – 144Getting GED Diploma
Passing Score (High School Equivalency): 145 – 164
College Ready Score: 165 – 174
College Ready Score + Credit: 175 – 200

How to sign up for the GED Test

To register for the GED tests (one at a time if you like) you need to visit and set up your account with the portal MyGED. This is a great and efficiently designed website that allows you to schedule your exam.

Check our step-by-step manual on how to do it. You can also email or call the organization.

Free learning services, video lessons, and practice tests that are available on this website will also help students enhance their skills and get their diplomas efficiently. Just click on the links to be directed to this free support. You can also learn more and find information on social media.

GED Test Language options

The GED exam is offered in English and Spanish with special formats available for the visually handicapped, and at some testing sites in French as well.

Special arrangements for physically disabled applicants are possible; please contact the office of the Chief Examiner for arrangements and official approval. Students can view their GED scores and transcripts right after testing.

If you have any further questions, contact your local adult education department and request to receive additional information or advice. The GED exam has a high accessibility level, but before you sign up for the exam, you don’t need to study for a year or longer, but proper preparation is required.

Free GED testing

Four states offer the GED, TASC, or HiSET exam at no charge: West Virginia, New York, Maine, and Connecticut.

  • West Virginia and New York State and are using the TASC exam (Test Assessing Secondary Completion)
  • in Maine, you must take the HiSET (High School Equivalency Test)
  • in Connecticut, test takers must sit for the GED (General Education Development) exam, but there is a modest administration fee

Two states are partly subsidizing GED testing:

  • in Arkansas, the GED testing fee is $16 ($4 per subject area test)
  • in Maryland, the GED exam will set you back $45 for all four subject area tests, or $11,25 per subject

 3 Pathways to GED Success

Prep classes are offered on this website online and at numerous technical colleges, community education centers, libraries, and churches and other facilities across the nation.

Alternatives to GED

The GED Test is the most used high school equivalency test, but there are a few alternatives, the TASC and HiSET programs. All these tests will make that you’ll have the chance to get better and fulfilling career when you complete them in good order.

Check out as well our pages with GED-related news for updates. Practically all North American private and public colleges offer GED graduates the same rights as high school graduates.

There is also the possibility to earn an online high school diploma. Just make sure the course is legit and accredited. Click here to read about High School Diploma for Adults

Getting your GED degree has lots of benefits. Successful completion of the GED exam will surely lead to far better employment opportunities, and the diploma qualifies for a great college education.

GED Test Summary

If you couldn’t finish your high school curriculum, you can take the GED® Test to earn your high school equivalency diploma.

Holding the credential means you will be able to go to college and apply for jobs that require a high school diploma.

  • The 4 GED subject area tests are in Language, Science, Math, and Social Studies
  • The passing score 145 (out of 200) on each subject area test
  • You are allowed two years of dealing with the four subject area tests (in most states)
  • In most states, the GED testing fee is around $30 per subject area test and retakes are often cheaper. In some states testing is free. Check how it works in your state here
  • Age requirement: usually you must be at least 16 years old, but for those 16/17, restrictions apply. Check the Age Requirements in your state here
  • To sign up for the GED, you need to make an account on the official GED website.

GED Prep Summary

  • It may take you three months to earn your GED diploma when you study 2 to 3 times per week for no less than 1 hour.
  • If you study only once per week, it may take you 6 to 8 months to get all set for the GED test.
  • Make sure you check our online classes to prepare for the real exam.

This test is provided by the GED Testing Service LLC and must be taken at an official GED test center.

More than 95 percent of all institutions of higher education recognize and accept the GED certificate as being comparable to a common high school diploma. So now, hopefully, you know how to get your GED!

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