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The Only GED Test FAQ You’ll Ever Need

This GED test FAQ, or frequently asked questions, is our contribution to your understanding and preparation for the General Educational Development certification, or high school equivalency certification.

As you read through these, make note of anything that you didn’t know before and incorporate it into your study strategy. Good luck, and happy test-taking!

Can you take the official GED practice test online?

This is a no in the sense that you cannot sit from the comforts of your own computer and take a GED test for official certification. That said, you can take GED practice tests online. They vary in terms of quality. 4TESTS has a popular practice exam you can take here. It is not affiliated with the GED Testing Service, LLC, official creators of the exam, but it is modeled closely and can serve as a great preparation tool. We encourage using multiple strategies in preparing for this exam.

How do you practice for the GED?

You can practice for the GED test in a number of ways. There is the aforementioned practice exam here at our site. There are adult education classes you can take in preparation if you are/were unable to finish high school via the traditional method. You also might consider hiring a tutor if you have the financial backing to do it.

One thing is for certain. You do need to prepare because this is not an easy test. It’s the equivalent of a full high school education wrapped up in one examination. Keep that in mind as you pursue it, particularly if you’re still in a position to finish it via the traditional methods.

Take a free, practice GED Exam!

How hard is the GED?

The GED is every bit as challenging as going through the traditional education system. Test-takers have to master the same concepts in a number of reading areas. That’s reasoning through language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

You will need to know more than “the correct answers” to basic questions. You’ll be required to use key concepts and methods of inference and deduction. In other words, the test challenges your cognitive abilities, and that’s always more challenging than simply recalling information. Sections include the following:

  • Reasoning through language arts: around 45 multiple-choice questions and an essay portion. Tests comprehension, application, analysis, and synthesis.
  • Mathematical reasoning: approximately 40 multiple-choice questions that cover algebraic and quantitative problem-solving. Specific skill sets include two-step problems, basic arithmetic, percentages, one-variable linear equations, linear inequalities with a single variable, geometry, and one- or two-variable linear equations.
  • Science: 30 or so multiple-choice questions. They cover the scientific method, relationship of science and social issues, expression of scientific findings or methods through written response, and application of scientific models, processes, and theories.
  • Social studies: about 25 multiple-choice questions. They pertain to practical documents (i.e., consumer or voting information) and on key historic documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Each section builds on skills and knowledge from the traditional high school curriculum. If you haven’t gone through any classes or studying ahead of time, you could be at a serious disadvantage.

What questions does the GED test focus on?

The GED focuses on a number of questions to test proficiency in the four core areas of the examination. For Mathematical Reasoning, the service notes, “math concepts, measurements, equations, and applying math concepts to solve real-life problems” are the key concepts. For Reasoning Through Language Arts, it’s a variety of language concepts that include grammar, reading, and writing.

On the Science front, you’ll need to “know how to read graphs and charts displaying scientific data, and use reasoning to interpret science information,” the site states. Finally, Social Studies will test your ability to “know how to read graphs and charts displaying social studies data, and use reasoning to interpret social studies information.”

How much does the GED cost?

GED costs are tabulated by how many tests you are taking. Each subject runs the same amount, but you do not have to take them all at once. They also vary in price depending on place. Arkansas, for example, costs only $4 per subject. D.C.? $3.75. But California? A whopping $35 per subject, or $140 to take the full exam at once. You can see what your area charges per subject at the following site.

Are there free GED options?

Currently, there are no free paths to the GED. Luckily, it is a relatively inexpensive test to take with some areas charging as little as $3.75 per subject area while others charge $35 or more. You also may have to pay an additional fee for the administration site, generally no more than $20. In the most expensive parts of the country, you will likely be able to take all four exams for no more than $150.

What is the format of the GED?

The GED is a computer-based testing format that delivers most questions via multiple-choice. That said, there are also writing portions of the exam. Since 2014, the test has abandoned all print forms of administration.

How is the GED scored?

Every test follows the same scoring format with 100 being the lowest and 200 the highest. To pass a subject, you’ll need to earn a minimum of 145. That’s 580 out of 800 to attain a passing grade. Since most of the test is multiple-choice, there will generally be a clear right-or-wrong answer. Writing portions are more subjectively scored by experts in those particular fields based on how closely the writing met the objectives of the question.

How difficult is GED math?

How good are you at geometry, algebra, and basic math? Some people have a natural predisposition towards these content areas, others don’t. But as the GED Testing Service points out, you don’t have to be a math whiz to ace the Math Reasoning part. It does help to brush up on each area, but the test is more about common sense and the powers of inference and deduction than being good with numbers.

What job opportunities are available without a GED?

Without a GED or high school diploma, you will find the job field lessened considerably. Still, you may be able to find work through service-based industries and retail. If those companies have job or management training programs, you may still be able to find your way to gainful employment. However, at some point, most employers are going to require some kind of equivalency to a high school diploma for higher-level (read: pay) positions.

Can you pass the GED without studying?

Test outcomes are up in the air depending on a variety of factors: natural intelligence, life experience, luck, and the type of test you’re taking. Anyone can technically pass the GED without studying, but their chances of doing so aren’t nearly as high as those who have regular classroom instruction or extensive quality study time under their belts.

We highly recommend taking the GED test seriously and pulling out all the stops for the performance of your life. This could mean taking a special course, buying a user manual, or taking all types of practice tests in the buildup to test day.

How does the GED affect college eligibility?

Anyone who takes the GED and passes it has just as much of a shot at getting into a good school as the average high school graduate. Students get into schools like Harvard and Yale every year with a GED, and even though the path may not be as common, it’s still there for the walking.

The main thing to do is to do your very best on the exam. Scores as close to 800 as possible will catch the eyes of colleges of all prestige types. So, don’t just see your GED as something to “get through” in order to apply for college. Excel at it, and you could end up attending your dream school.

Can you get your GED at home?

Study opportunities for the GED abound. But if you want to actually take the test from home and get your certification, we’re afraid that’s not possible. You’ll need to go to a certified testing site, which can be found through the service’s official website (already linked within this piece). Make sure you follow instructions about what you can (and can’t) bring on test day and show up accordingly, on time and ready to rock.

Can a calculator help on the GED?

There is only one allowed calculator for the GED exam. It is an on-screen calculator provided by Texas Instruments. Any outside calculator could get you disqualified from the exam.

Which is better GED or HS diploma?

There is no advantage to receiving a high school diploma versus the GED. While the path to a diploma is certainly easier, one is just as good as the other once it has been obtained. The GED is an equalizer that can help students that got off the traditional path back onto the same opportunities as their peers.

How quickly can you get a GED?

A GED can be obtained in approximately three months, according to the makers of the exam. That assumes you’re following a reasonable study schedule. If you go in cold with no preparation, your odds go down, and you could find yourself with multiple attempts before proceeding through the finish line. By the same token, you could end up getting your GED much faster if you’ve done advanced preparation and show up ready to go on exam day. To get going, you’ll want to register and find the nearest test date.

Keep This GED Test FAQ Handy

We hope this GED test FAQ will serve you well as you prepare to take the exam at the time and location of your choosing and availability. As always, make sure you take plenty of time in the buildup to study, study, study.

Do you have any more questions about the GED Test? Share them with us in the comments section below!

[Featured Image by Wikimedia Commons]

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's work appears regularly here at 4tests.com and across the web for sites, such as The Inquisitr and Life'd. A former high school teacher, his passion for education has only intensified since leaving the classroom. At 4tests, he hopes to continue passing along words of encouragement and study tips to ensure you leave school ready to face an ever-changing world.

Website: http://aricmitchell.blogspot.com/

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