The Arkansas GED

About this article
Arkansas residents without a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) are at a severe disadvantage in the growing competitive job market. This article explains the basics about getting your AR GED so you can get a better job, higher wage or attend college.
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What is the Format?

The GED is broken down into four individual subject areas: Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA); Social Studies; Science; and Mathematical Reasoning. The total length of time for the exam is about seven and a half hours. Two of the exams are broken into multiple parts - RLA has three sections and Mathematics has two sections. Part II of the RLA section requires that you write an essay in 45 minutes. Part I of the Mathematics section allows you to use a provided calculator, while Part II does not allow you to use a calculator. All subjects consist of drag and drop, multiple choice, hot spot (select an area), fill in the blank, short answer, and extended response.

How is the Exam Scored and What if I Don't Pass?

According to the official website for the state of Arkansas, http://ace.arkansas.gov, you must earn a minimum score on each of the tests of at least 150. This scoring system is based on a scoring range of between 100 (lowest) and 200 (highest.)

If you fail some of the tests or the entire exam, don't worry. You are able to test up to three times in a calendar year. This gives you plenty of time between retakes to go back and brush up on your skills.

Who is Eligible?

The best way to determine eligibility is to contact your nearest testing center (explained below.) Still, www.ace.arkansas.gov offers the following general eligibility guidelines:

  • You are not currently enrolled in high school.
  • You do not have a high school diploma.
  • You are at least 16 years old.
  • You are a legal resident of Arkansas.
  • You have completed and passed the official GED practice test.

Again, contact your local testing center because exemptions, waivers, and additional requirements may exist for test-takers between the ages of 16 and 17.

How do I Register and What Does it Cost?

Contact and visit the nearest testing center to register for the GED or you can register at www.ged.com. Go to http://ace.arkansas.gov/adultEducation/directoryPrograms/Pages/programs.aspx to find a list of the 40 official testing centers throughout the state of Arkansas that offer the GED exam. At the time of this writing, the fee to take the GED is $4 per subject or $16 for the entire battery of tests.

How do I Prepare?

Arguably the best way to prepare for the GED is to take a preparation class. These classes can often be found at adult education centers, community colleges, and the actual GED testing centers. The best place to start is to contact your nearest testing center. If they don't offer classes, they may be able to tell you who does.

Of course, there is always the option of independent study. If you choose this route, try visiting your local library and use their study materials. In addition, you can go online and look for websites that offer free GED lessons and practice tests, or you can purchase your own materials from your local bookstore. The GED web site (www.gedmarketplace.com) also has a marketplace that offers test preparation materials.

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