GED FAQ

What is the GED?

The GED (test of General Educational Development) enables individuals who have not graduated from high school to obtain an equivalency diploma. The test is accepted in place of a high school diploma by virtually every college in the USA. The GED® has been developed by GED® Testing Service, a program of the American Council on Education. 

The GED  reflects Common Core standards. The exam is administered only on a computer at an official testing center. The 7½-hours test comprises four modules:

  • Reasoning through Language Arts: 150 minutes (including a 10-minute break)
  • Mathematical Reasoning: 115 minutes
  • Science: 90 minutes
  • Social Studies: 90 minutes

Let’s look at the kinds of questions in each module:

The Reasoning Through Language Arts test contains three sections:

  • Section 1: all content (35 minutes*)
  • Section 2 Extended Response (45 minutes)
  • Break (10 minutes)
  • Section 3: all content (60 minutes*)

*Time allotted for sections 1 and 3 may vary slightly, but total test time will always be 150 minutes. 

The Mathematical Reasoning test is a single 115-minute section:

  • Part 1 – (first 5 test questions) calculator prohibited
  • Part 2 – (remaining 41 test questions) calculator allowed

Students must submit answers to the first five questions before moving on to the rest of the test. These parts are not timed separately, and there is a short 3-minute break between both parts.

The Social Studies test is 90 minutes, in two sections:

  • Section 1: all content (65 minutes)
  • Section 2: Extended Response (25 minutes) 

The Science test is one 90-minute section.

  • Two Short Answer questions, not timed separately (Students are expected to manage their time and spend about 10 minutes on each Short Answer question.)

Test-takers can take sections of the GED® test in any order; they can take the test one module at a time, on different days, or all at the same time. We don’t recommend that testers take all four modules of the test on the same day, because this is such a long test! 

There are three different versions of the test to ensure that a student does not encounter the same questions twice. However, students can re-test on the same version sixty days after the last test!

The GED® is aligned with today's high school standards. It is at the same difficulty level a student encounters in regular high school courses. The score for passing each content area test is 150 on a scale of 100 to 200. Test takers need to score at least 150 on each of the four content modules (Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies) to be eligible for a high school equivalency credential. The score for the GED® with Honors, representing readiness for career and college, is 170 on a scale of 100 to 200 for each content area. 

Not all GED® questions are worth the same number of points. So, for example, a Science question with two drop-down selections would be worth two points. The Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA) and the Social Studies tests ask only for extended responses. There are also drag-and-drop questions in which a test-taker performs actions like dragging bars and placing them on a graph. Short-answer questions appear only on the Science test and require the equivalent of about a paragraph in response. Short answer items are different from fill-in-the-blank items, which usually consist of one word or number that needs to be entered into the blank, as opposed to writing an entire paragraph. Other question types include multiple choice, hot spot (using the computer cursor to locate on the screen such things as specific areas on a map, parts of a leaf, etc.), and replacement of missing words (cloze). GED® Testing Service does not specify the total number of each question type on test. However, more than 50% of the questions are multiple choice.  

As a Florida resident, you can take the GED® if you meet these requirements (requirements in other states may differ):

  • Adult, 18 years of age or older
  • Younger adult who has been granted an age waiver. To find out more about an age waiver, call the Florida GED® Hotline at 1-877-352-4331 (in FL) or (850) 488-6622 (outside FL).
  • Individual not enrolled in an accredited high school
  • Individual who has not graduated from an accredited high school or has not already received a high school equivalency diploma 

There are two testing centers in Palm Beach County, one in Delray Beach, the other in Palm Beach Gardens. 

Florida Department of Education

Division of Workforce Development

GED Testing Office
325 West Gain Street
Room 634
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
(850) 488-6622 or (877) 352-4331

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