The abbreviation "GED" stands for General Educational Development test. The exam is taken each year by over one hundred thousand students who did not receive a traditional high school diploma. This credential is accepted by employers and academic institutions in lieu of a high school diploma. In any case, achieving a GED is often beneficial.

What is the GED?

The General Educational Development (GED) test is designed to gauge the student's academic skills to see if they are equivalent to those of high school seniors. This examination assesses the student’s communication, problem-solving, information-processing, and critical thinking aptitude.


The GED is made up of 4 subjects that are broken down into separate exams.

The test can last for up to 7.5 hours in its entirety; nonetheless, you are not obligated to take all four tests at once. Each test has its own number of questions and they are all offered in a different format.

On the Mathematical Reasoning test, you’re given 115 minutes to complete four topics:

On this test, the content is separated into two parts, and the second half of the test permits the use of a calculator. Access to both a calculator reference sheet and a math formula sheet is also provided. The test comprises multiple-choice questions, drag-and-drop questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, select-an-area question, and drop-down questions.

Candidates will be evaluated on their ability to answer multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, select-an-area, and drop-down questions during the Reasoning Through Language Arts test, of which there are three sections to be completed in a total of 150 minutes, with 45 minutes dedicated to writing an essay or extended response.

  • Reading for Meaning
  • Identifying and Creating Arguments
  • Grammar and Language

The Social Studies test also contains three parts and is timed for 70 minutes.

  • Reading for Meaning in Social Studies
  • Analyzing Historical Events and Arguments in Social Studies
  • Using Numbers and Graphs in Social Studies.

Within the 70 minutes allocated for the Social Studies test, you are permitted to use a calculator in conjunction with a calculator reference sheet. Questions may be presented in multiple-choice, drag, and drop, fill-in-the-blank, select an area, and drop-down.

The Science test is timed for 90 minutes with three sections:

  • Reading for Meaning in Science
  • Designing and Interpreting Science Experiments
  • Using Numbers and Graphics in Science

The Science test allows not just a calculator, but also a calculator reference sheet. The kinds of questions that may be featured on the test are multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, select an area, and drop-down.




90 minutes - No Breaks


115 minutes - Scheduled Breaks

Social Studies

70 minutes - No Breaks

Reasoning Through Language Arts

150 minutes - Scheduled Breaks

45-minute essay


425 minutes

GED requirements

In order to be eligible to take the GED exam, one must meet the established criteria.

  • Prospective test-takers must not have obtained a secondary education degree or be enrolled in a similar program.
  • One must be at least 16 years old in most states. Furthermore, the tests are available in English, Spanish, and in some places, French.
  • Those with physical or learning disabilities or any other special need may receive special GED test editions or testing accommodations from testing centers.

So a “GED” is basically a credential that can substitute for a common U.S. high school diploma. Practically all entry-level jobs require applicants to have at least a high school or equivalent degree. In addition to those requirements, it is important to check if your state even accepts the GED. You can review all of that information with our GED requirements guide.

How to prepare for the GED test

To be successful in attaining the GED credential, a student must first study the curriculum to gain a thorough understanding of the questions and an ability to obtain a score of 145 points or higher. Upon successfully completing this step, the GED test can be taken, granting the student their diploma.

Getting all set for the GED test at home has become pretty easy with the help of online study courses or GED tutors.

Start with the easiest subject.

In order to commence your GED prep, it is essential to opt for a subject of lesser difficulty. Do not initiate your GED preparation with the subject that is most difficult for you. If math is intimidating, do not begin with it; similarly, if science is daunting, it is also not recommended to start with that.

With the intent to prevent placing yourself in a situation where failure is expected, it is imperative to take the necessary steps to guarantee that your GED preparation process is completed with proficiency and self-assurance. This can be accomplished by slowly developing your strength, endurance, self-assurance, and expertise.

Think about it: when you go to the gym for the first time and start bench pressing, you don’t go from zero to 300 pounds in one day; you move your way towards that.

You build strength; you build endurance; you build confidence; you build competence. And you’ll build an understanding of what you’re doing so that you have your technique right, that you’re not going to injure yourself.

Hire a GED tutor

Working with an online GED tutor may be a great solution to completing your secondary education and opening doors to a better job or getting the college education you deserve.

The GED test has experienced substantial changes, of which GED tutors are aware and can help guide you so that you won't have to spend your resources fruitlessly.

Your tutor will help you focus on the important issues and the specifics of the computer-formatted GED test. General tutors may possess the knowledge to support your studying efforts, but they may not be well-versed in applying their knowledge to help you attain good GED scores.

That’s why you really should look for a tutor who is experienced in helping GED test takers specifically. They are familiar with how GED testing works, what to focus on, and how to develop a good study plan.

A good and experienced GED tutor will guide you through the entire process, make you familiar with computer-based GED testing, and make sure you’ll achieve results to the best of your abilities. Tutors know how the GED works and that may help a lot.

Can I pass the GED test without studying?

A lot of GED test takers may possess enough knowledge that they can pass the four GED modules without dedicating time to studying, and they may not even be aware of it.

Overall, taking a GED prep class, hiring a tutor, or enrolling in an online course is generally the best method of preparation for this exam, as it is an extremely challenging test that evaluates an applicant’s understanding at the same level as that of a graduating high school senior.

Some states even require GED applicants to first take a prep course and/or to score sufficiently on the official GED Ready Practice Test prior to taking the official test. For GED requirements in your state, click here.