What is a GED?
The General Educational Development Test (GED) is a test for the attainment of higher education in the U.S. and Canada. It is rated at about 95% of U.S. universities as equivalent to High School Diploma.
In addition to the original name – General Educational Development Test, colloquially it also exists as many other names including General Education Diploma, General Equivalency Diploma, Graduate Equivalency Degree and also Goodenough Diploma. GED isn’t General Equivalency Diploma, although people sometimes call it such.
This is actually the process of acquiring an equivalent diploma.
The GED stems from a request from the U.S. Ministry of Defence to the U.S. Commission of Education (American Council on Education), in 1942, for the creation of an inspection to test returning soldiers, whether they are suitable for education at universities. This allowed war veterans who were drafted before the end of secondary education, to prove their knowledge, and, consequently, to find suitable civilian activities or to enroll in a university.
The test guidelines have been revised several times. In the third revision, in 1988, they were revised with the addition of an essay (which is usually required for entrance tests of universities), and was reorganized, in the fourth revision, in 2002 to incorporate the criticisms that had emerged. Also in March 2011, it was signed into agreement with the media group Pearson, to perform the test in a computerized form.
Until about 2000, many United States universities (about 80%) used the SAT/ACT results to test the knowledge of future students and the rest universities used their own entrance tests, interviews and social criteria.
This fact included that the GED test or the High School Diploma (HSD) is no longer used as a university entrance test. SAT/ACT/CPT (College Placement Test) are also used. It was found that the SAT/ACT/CPT certificates didn’t bring better academic success compared to GED/HSD products. By the reception of the discussion of educational reform of the No Child Left Behind Act 2001/2002 and the reform of the GED tests from 2002, the trend has reversed and the GED test is accepted by many universities as a sufficient testimony for education.
GED Practice Test
Until 2014, the test consisted of five components: the “Language Arts: Writing” (Part 1: Organization, Sentence Structure, Usage and Mechanics, and Part 2: Essay), “Social Studies” (includes Geography, Civics and Government, History and Economics), “Science” (Earth and Space Science, Physical Science, Life Science), “Language Arts: Reading” (Fiction, Poetry, Non-fiction, Drama, Workplace documents), and “Mathematics” (Algebra functions and patterns; Measurement and geometry; Data analysis, statistics and probability; Number operations and number sense).
From 2014, the test will be more demanding, computer-based and will consist of four components: Literacy (Reading and Writing), Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.
If a test isn’t passed, it may be repeated within a year – in some states, but only after a waiting period.
What do GED Test Results Mean?
The test sheets are executed (in addition to the essay) as a multiple-choice tests, which has been widely criticized. Those who want to pass, should have at least a total of 600 points and in any given test at least 150 points. It’s possible to score in any part of the test a maximum of 200 points.
Percentile rank ranges from 1 to 100 and shows the percentage of graduating high school seniors who has achieved a certain result. For example, a rank of 64% means that 64% of participants achieved the same or worse results.
The costs vary greatly – in some states like Arkansas, the GED test is generally free of charge and in many other states, it is free for veterans and young people under the age of 21.
If contributions are levied, they range from $ 7.50 in North Carolina to $ 100 in Florida. Depending on the region, preparatory courses and school supplies are available free from the certified GED testing equipment – most of the 3200 GED centers are connected to adult Education.
Potential candidates for the General Educational Development Test should prepare in some adequate period of time, learning the GED test and measuring their level of knowledge and skills. The passing by of the GED test is influenced by several factors such as time of preparing, experience, lessons learned in the previous years and possible learning disabilities.
GED Sample Test
GED sample test has some variants of questions like: Fill-in-the-blank, Short answer, and Multiple choice.
Multiple-choice questions can be: revision questions (to choose the most convenient way to change the underlined words in the sentence), construction shift questions (to reshape sentence, using different words, but to maintain a sense and the main meaning), and correction questions (to find mistakes).
It’s important to choose the right answer depending on your knowledge and skills. Most of the questions are based on a paragraph with numbered sentences. Some questions relating Science are based on given charts or graphs.
Questions that are relating with Reading have excerpts from the literature and test ability to understand, connect, use and analyze the given text. Questions that relate with Mathematics are based on figures, charts or graphs. They test the ability to solve mathematical problems.
The GED is computer-based, but not online and consists of four components: Literacy (Reading and Writing), Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.
There will be 150 minutes for Literacy with a 10 minute pause, and 90 minutes for the other 3 parts of the GED test: Mathematical Reasoning, Science and Social Studies. It’s in English or Spanish language. It’s possible to go on the GED test three times a year, if it wasn’t successful at first.
There are a lot of options in preparation learning centers. Many online companies offer preparation and assistance in learning. There are many books that are specialized to assist in learning the GED test. They can be purchased in bookstores, libraries or online.
Below are some useful GED Taking option resources.
- Ged Testing Service
- Ohio Department of Education
- Florida Department of Education
- Minnesota Department of Education