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Last Updated: November 13, 2023

GED Exam Test Format

The GED is an internationally recognized alternative higher secondary certificate for tests like the A-level test, HSC, NCEA, etc., and is taken by students who have not been able to complete their high school diploma owing to different reasons. Students who are above the age of 17 will be able to register for the test which is held on multiple dates in a year and is also conducted online for easy accessibility.

This exam provides examinees with the option of viewing their results on the same day of the test. Registering for the test with a nominal fee allows students to take the test, get their score reports, and transcripts, and also lets the examinee retake the exam twice per subject. They will also receive a diploma once they have cleared their examination.

Test Sections in GED

The GED examination is comprised of the four major subjects that are taught in high school which are Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning through Language Arts, Sciences, and Social Studies. Examinees will have to take individual exams in each of these four subjects which they can schedule to be taken on the same day or over a few days. They will receive their overall result only after they have taken all four tests in the respective subjects.
The section's question count is not fixed. With the exception of the Reasoning Through Language Arts section, each section of the test consists of approximately 50 questions. Within the language arts section, there are approximately 50 multiple-choice questions in the reading test, and there are 2 parts to the writing section: the first part has 50 questions approximately, and the second part is an essay assignment on a well-known topic.

The syllabus for each of these courses is as follows-

Syllabus for Mathematical Reasoning

The questions for this section will be taken from the following concepts in mathematics:

Syllabus for Reasoning Through Language Arts

This section does not have a specific syllabus to learn from. The content in the section will be taken from the following fields-

Syllabus for Science

Syllabus for Social Studies

Test Format for Mathematical Reasoning

The questions in the Mathematical Reasoning section have been split into two parts depending on the usage of the calculator. One part of the section allows the use of a calculator while the other does not allow the same. Apart from the calculator, examinees will be able to use the calculator reference sheet and math formula sheet during the test. This implies that examinees will not have to study the formulas by heart for the test.

The question pattern for the test is usually found in these three formats. They are-

Test Format for Reasoning Through Language Arts

The language section of the test has been split into 3 parts and it is focused on reading, writing, and grammar. The writing section of the test is provided with 45 minutes and most of the content in the section will analyze the critical thinking abilities of the examinee and their language proficiency in general.

The question types for the section are as follows-

Test Format for Science

The section for Science emphasizes the ability to understand and decipher scientific data that has been provided on graphs and charts. Examinees will not have to memorize the periodic table for the exam though recognizing the symbols of a few will be of use in the examination. The exam has only 1 part during which examinees will be able to access an on-screen calculator.

The question types for the section are as follows-

Test Format for Social Studies

The section on Social Studies includes the use of reason in interpreting data regarding data in social studies. The exam does not stick to the general idea of memorizing dates and data but will have the examinees conclude events and other information. The exam has just one part which also provides them access to an on-screen calculator.

The question types that are included in the test are- The time allocated to each section and the breaks between them are as follows:
SectionTime AllocatedBreaks
Mathematical Reasoning115 minutes3 minutes break between parts
Reasoning Through Language Arts150 minutes(including 45 minutes for essay)10 minutes break between parts 2 & 3
Science90 minutesNo break
Social Science70 minutesNo break

Cost of Taking Test

Each state has a different GED test fee. The GED test costs range from USD$0 to USD$81 per subject for both in-person and online versions. State regulations determine the payment method. Candidates can click here to view the state-specific price list.

Preparing for the GED Test

Examinees who are preparing to attempt the GED exam will have to often prepare for the different exams in different ways. The first step to preparation is to identify the test structure and format that can aid them in preparing smartly rather than meticulously. Understanding the format lets the examinee skim through overly familiar concepts and focus on the question types that can help them score more easily on the test than by going through the exams in a content-specific manner.

GED offers sample tests for examinees who want to get an idea of the test. They provide sample tests for each subject separately to provide an idea of what they are to face in the original test. GED also offers comprehensive study guides for free through their official site that examinees can turn to if they cannot afford the pricey study guides for the exam from reputable brands like Kaplan and Princeton Review.

Strategies for Cracking the GED Test

Cracking the GED test, though the test is similar in content to the high school syllabus, is often all about the strategies the candidate uses in solving the questions that are given to them. Learning the strategies comes after knowing the content and format of the exam. But simultaneously preparing for the test using the different strategies that are available specifically for the GED test can make the student attain a higher grade than they otherwise would have received.

The key strategies and tips that can be used in cracking the GED test are-