The GED: General Educational Development

GED stands for General Educational Development. You may have heard people refer to the GED as the General Educational Diploma or the General Equivalency Diploma, but these are incorrect. GED is actually the process of earning the equivalent of your high school diploma, which is called a GED certificate or credential. It’s a chance to feel a great sense of accomplishment. It’s the path to college.

Taking The GED

GED candidates are required to study for, take, and pass tests that measure high-school level skills and knowledge.

The time involved depends on lots of factors, some of which are:

  • Your last completed year of school
  • How long it has been since you left school
  • Your life experience since leaving school
  • Your available study time
  • Possible learning disabilities

Passing the GED test and being awarded a GED certificate is just as much a reason to celebrate as high school graduation, and it opens as many doors.

What Is the GED Test Like?

The GED Test has five parts:

  • Language Arts, Writing

* Part 1: Organization, Sentence Structure, Usage, and Mechanics
* Part 2: Essay

  • Language Arts, Reading

* Poetry
* Drama
* Fiction
* Non-fiction
* Workplace documents

  • Social Studies

* History
* Geography
* Civics and Government
* Economics

  • Science

* Physical Science
* Life Science
* Earth and Space Science

  • Mathematics

* Number operations and number sense
* Measurement and geometry
* Data analysis, statistics, and probability
* Algebra, functions, and patterns

GED Scoring

Each of the five GED tests has a maximum score of 800. The highest possible score for all five tests is 4000 points.

The average high school graduate scores 500 on each test, or a total of 2,500 points.

The GED test is scored based on this average. You must pass each test with a minimum score of 450.

GED Preparation

There are lots of resources available to help you prepare and practice for your GED test. Learning centers around the country offer classes and practice testing. Online companies also offer help, although it is important to remember that you cannot take your GED tests online.

You’ll find lots of books to help you study for your GED test at your local library and/or bookseller. Talk to your librarian or ask for assistance at the book counter. Many book stores have customer service desks for just this type of question.

Taking The GED

There are over 2,800 authorized GED testing centers around the world. The easiest way to find the center nearest you, if you have access to the Internet, is to plug your zip code into the search engine at the American Council on Education. You’ll get a list of the centers closest to you.

If you don’t have access to the Internet, the phone book always works. Look under Educational Centers, Services, or Consultants. offers you a wide selection of online classes you can apply for without quitting your job.

3 Responses to “The GED: General Educational Development”

  1. […] GED or General Education Development certificate was made specifically for people who haven’t had the benefit of finishing high […]

  2. […] ways we could go to college without finishing high school, one of which is getting a GED or a General Educational Development certificate. Created for individuals who didn’t get their high school diploma for various […]

  3. […] diploma. Though online high schools have made it easier for more people to finish high school and the GED had helped provide more opportunities for a college education, many individuals are considering […]

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