What Is the GED Test Format?
The GED is a seven-and-a-half hour exam with four separate test sections on language arts, math, science and social studies. The entire test is taken on computer and is available in English and Spanish. You can take the following test sections all in one day if test center scheduling allows, or you can study and take them one at a time, in any order:
- Reasoning Through Language Arts - This 150-minute section of the GED tests your reading and writing skills. Reading questions focus on your ability to summarize and interpret ideas and details from a variety of literary and informational texts. Language-based questions require you to revise written selections and correct errors in capitalization, punctuation, verb tense and word use. The test also requires an essay that you have 45-minutes to plan, write and revise.
- Reasoning Through Mathematics -- The GED math test section is designed to measure your problem solving skills. The 115-minute test covers a range of topics in arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Questions include problems with fractions, decimals, percents and proportions. Other test questions involve polynomials, linear expressions with unknown quantities, functions in graphs and the area, perimeter and volume of geometric figures. You can use a calculator and a formula sheet for most of the questions on the test.
- Social Studies This test section lets you demonstrate your ability to understand and interpret ideas and information on history, geography, government and economics. The 90-minute test covers topics such as the American political system, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, the Cold War and economic events that shaped history. Questions are based on reading selections, charts, maps, cartoons and graphs. The test also requires a short essay.
- Science The Science test section covers life sciences, physical science and Earth and space science. The 90-minute test assesses your ability to understand and express scientific ideas and information. Topics include health, heredity, evolution, energy conservation, the evolution of the Earth system and structure of the universe. There are two short essay-type questions that typically require you to summarize and evaluate scientific concepts and data.
How Is the GED Exam Scored?
Scores on each test section range from 100 to 200 points. To pass, you need to score 150 on each of the four tests, and have a total score of at least 600 points. If you earn 170 or more points on a test, you will receive an Honors score. If you score below 150, you can retake the test without waiting. However, if you need more than three retests, you will need to wait 60 days before testing again.
Who Is Eligible?
Arizona has the following requirements for GED testing:
- You be at least 18
- Exceptions are made for 16 and 17-year-old candidates who have an official withdrawal form from their last school and a notarized letter of consent from a parent or guardian.
- Arizona residency is not required, however you must take your final test section in Arizona to receive an Arizona High School Equivalency Diploma
- You cannot be currently enrolled in high school
How Do I Register for the GED and How Much Does it Cost?
You can register for the four tests on the GED Testing Service website. GED.com. On the website, you can also find an Arizona Test Center located near you and schedule your tests at that site. In Arizona, the entire GED Test is $140, or $35 for each test section.
How Do I Prepare?
Your can find sample questions, practice tests and other study guides and resources on GED.com. The site also provides a list on online prep courses and material.