Because the GED is split into four subtests, you don’t have to complete GED testing all at once. That means that instead of just one GED test day, you could have up to four. If you do choose to test all at once, you’re in for a long GED test day; the four tests combined will take you over seven hours. If you take them one at a time over the course of a few weeks, though, you’ll be able to finish each test much more quickly.
The Night Before Taking the GED
Assemble a GED Test Day Bag so you aren’t rushed in the morning. You’ll need the following items:
- TI-30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator (Optional, and only for the Mathematical Reasoning, Social Studies, and Science tests)
- Identification (passport, driver’s license or learner’s permit, or state identification card)
The testing center will provide you with erasable boards and a marker for note-taking, so you don’t need to bring pencils and paper.
Don’t spend the evening studying. Go out with friends or watch a movie, and be sure to get to bed early! Relaxing and getting lots of sleep will help your GED score more than last-minute cramming will.
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The Morning of your GED Test
Set an alarm for early enough in the morning that you’ll be able to get ready, eat a good breakfast, and give yourself enough time to get to the testing center at least 15 minutes early. If you’re late for the test you could be required to retest on a different date without being refunded your testing fee.
While Taking the GED
The GED is a computer-based test. The types of questions you’ll see include multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, drop-down, and extended response, among others. Each exam has a possible score range of 100-200 points, with a passing score of 145. A score of 165 may exempt you from non-credit college courses and placement testing, and a score of 175 can get you up to 10 college credit hours. Though the scoring is standard across all four tests, the structure of the exams is different for each test.
GED Mathematical Reasoning
The Mathematical Reasoning portion of the GED is comprised of two parts: a calculator and a no-calculator section. Part 1, the no-calculator section, has five questions, which you’ll need to complete and turn in before you can start on Part 2, the calculator section. You’ll be given a formula sheet and an on-screen calculator to use on Part 2, though you can bring your own calculator if you’d like.
You’ll be given 115 minutes to complete the entire Mathematical Reasoning test, but you’re in charge of splitting up your time between the two sections. You’ll get a short break between Parts 1 and 2.
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
The Reasoning Through Language Arts portion of the GED is a three-part test that will take a total of 150 minutes. Part 1 is multiple choice and other question types (including drop-down, drag-and-drop, and select an area), and includes reading comprehension and language questions. Part 2 is the Extended Response section, for which you’ll have 45 minutes. After you complete the essay you’ll be given a 10-minute break before you begin Part 3, which is similar in both structure and content to Part 1.
GED Social Studies
You’ll have 70 minutes with no breaks to take the GED Social Studies test. The questions will be exclusively multiple choice and other question types (drop-down, drag-and-drop, etc.), with no free response writing section. You’ll have access to an on-screen calculator and a calculator reference sheet in case you need it.
You’ll have 90 minutes with no breaks to take the GED Science test. The questions will be exclusively multiple choice and other question types (drop-down, drag-and-drop, etc.), with no free response writing section. You’ll have access to an on-screen calculator and a calculator reference sheet in case you need it.
After taking the GED
Relax! Your scores will be available on your online GED portal between 3 and 24 hours after you complete your test. Until then, try not to worry about your score. No matter how you did on the GED, you’ve moved one step closer to your goal of achieving high school equivalency.