Which GED Test Should I Take First?

Last Updated on April 13, 2024.

Many students ask us which of the four GED subtests they should take first.


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Well, this question is difficult to answer because all students are different, and they all have their own talents, skills, and preferences.

Generally speaking, though, we can say that most GED students find Mathematics the most problematic and challenging of the four GED modules (subtests).

To build up self-confidence and get used to the testing format, taking the most challenging GED® subject first may not be so wise.

But regardless of which subject you’ll do first, just make sure you’ll get properly prepared.

This website’s free online GED classes and practice tests will help you find out if an online course will fit your study style. For full coverage, go to Onsego GED Prep, an accredited, full-scope program to attain your GED diploma fast and reach your goals.

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The GED exam consists of four independent subtests covering the academic subject areas of

  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Science
  • Reasoning through Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Which Test is Easiest for You?

Many students start with the subtest Reasoning through Language Arts, as they think that’s the easiest for them, and take Mathematics as their last subtest.

Working this way has the advantage that they get used to the computer-based test format and that they can build up their self-confidence by taking the “easiest” part first.

There are also many GED test-takers that take the Science subtest first. Science has actually the highest pass rate of all four GED subtests, so for many students, this is the easiest part.

Reasoning through Language Arts and Social Studies have comparable pass rates, so it’s safe to say that these sections are the same in difficulty range, generally speaking.

The Math GED subtest has a much lower pass rate, so we may say that this part is significantly more challenging for many students.

There are also students who take first what’s most challenging for them to make sure they won’t be surprised by more challenging subjects or disappointments along the way.

They feel that if they pass GED Math first, for example, the rest may seem like a breeze. Then again, this is such a personal decision.

Students who love subjects such as history, geography, or biology may benefit if they take the GED Social Studies or the Science test first.

Many students opt to take the easiest parts for them to start with. For more information on free GED Language Arts classes, check here.

One GED Subtest at a Time

Either way, you can take the four GED modules one (or more) at a time, so it would be wise to prepare for one subtest, pass that module, and move ahead to the next subtest.

Many GED instructors have the impression that strong readers are doing okay on all four modules of the GED exam, and this also counts for Math.

Students who are able to understand and apply the things they have read usually do very well.

Students will typically focus first on reading as that is the basis of all the things that are on the four GED tests. Then again, students who are naturally more inclined toward mathematics often want to start with that subject.

Anyway, whichever subtest you want to take first, this website offers all sorts of free prep materials and practice tests to help you do well on all subject fields, whichever you want to take first.

Take Practice TestsGED Practice Tests

The best way to discover your strengths and weaknesses and to measure your GED testing readiness is by taking a diagnostic practice test for each of the four GED subject fields.

Take these practice tests under similar conditions as the real GED test. So you should set a timer as the GED modules are timed tests, put your smartphone away, and do not take any unscheduled breaks.

The results of the practice test will show you what subject field is easiest for you, and you will learn what areas require your attention most to be successful in all four GED modules. Check out our free GED practice tests that help you discover your knowledge level.

This will also help you to determine how you can best spend your time learning for the real thing. If you understand a sub-topic very well, don’t waste too much of your precious time on that topic and review it just shortly, even though your self-confidence might get boosted by the experience.

If you master subject fields, don’t worry that you’ll forget the things you know in between practice tests and the real thing. That’s highly unlikely to happen, and you better focus on those topics that require extra time and attention.

How Long Will It Take to Get My GED Diploma?

How long you will need to get your GED diploma or certificate (that depends on the state you live in) depends entirely on you, the student.

Students who study on a regular basis and who can easily focus on learning will be more likely to pass the four GED modules in a relatively short period of time.

Another point of consideration is your grade level by the time you left high school or junior high. It goes without saying that students who quit school in 11th grade typically have less catching up to do than students who left their schools in, for example, 8th grade.

There are students who earn their GED diplomas in just one month, while others need a year or even longer. GED testing can be done at regional GED test centers or online by students scoring in the “likely to pass” (green) zone on the official GED Ready® practice test available at GED.com.

Don’t forget that all students are different, and the best way to get all set is to study regularly, set your goals and stick to them, be determined, and give yourself enough time to learn all of the content that’s found on the GED exam.

There are students who plan to take all four GED subtests in one day, but there are not many test centers that can accommodate that, and there’s no need to take it all in one day.

You can take, as stated earlier, the four subject tests individually, so you may as well focus on the subtests’ contents one at a time. But regardless of how you want to take the tests, stay focused on preparing well and using your time efficiently.

When you’ve passed the four GED modules, you will receive your GED diploma and transcript (indicating your test scores on the four subtests) electronically and one physical diploma in the mail.

Review the Subject Matter

After each practice test, you should review and remediate the questions on that practice test. Review all of the questions, not just those you answered wrong.

If you do that, it is easier to solidify the information and subject fields that you command to be sure that your correct answers were not simply lucky guesses.

When reviewing the answers you got wrong, be sure you learn and understand what was wrong and why.

You can make lists of topics that consistently cause you trouble and focus on those topics. This way, you’ll be able to use your study time more effectively.