The California GED

About this article
Californians who either could not or chose not to finish high school don't have to sink in a competitive job market. Earning your GED, which is equivalent to a diploma, can not only improve your job prospects, but allows you to pursue a higher education as well! Learn more about the CA GED exam here!
View available schools

Thousands of California residents attempt the General Education Development (GED) exam each year in hope of earning a high school diploma equivalent. According to the GED Testing Service's 2013 Annual Statistical Report, more than 57,000 completed the test in this state, and about 78 percent of them were successful. Want to join them? Here's a bit of background information on the California GED!

What is the Format?

The California GED has four sections: Language Arts; Social Studies; Science; and Mathematical Reasoning. The Language Arts portion consists of three parts, the Mathematical Reasoning and Social Studies tests each have two parts, and the Science portion has only one part.

The Language Arts test requires you to write an extended response in 45 minutes. Part I of the Mathematics section does not allow the use of a calculator; a calculator is supplied to take the second part of the test, which consists of 41 questions.

Questions can be multiple choice, drag and drop, fill in the blank, hot spot, or short and extended response. Visit the GED Testing Service, www.gedtestingservice.com, for sample questions.

How is the GED Scored and What Happens if I Don't Pass?_

GED scores for each subtest will be reported as 'standard scores' which range from 150 to 169; Honors passing scores are 170 to 200. A total of 600 points must be earned to pass the exam. If you don't pass the GED, you may retake any part that you did not pass. There is no waiting period in California to retake the exam.

Who is Eligible?

You must be at least 18 years of age, be a state resident or be in the military to take the GED in California. If you are not 18, then you must be within 60 days of your 18th birthday, or within 60 days of when you would have graduated had you continued with school. On that same note, you cannot take the exam while still a student or within two months of being one. Please note: one who passes the exam at the age of 17 will not be issued a certificate until his or her 18th birthday.

How do I Register for the GED and how Much Does it Cost?

In order to register, you must contact a local testing center to complete the appropriate paperwork and pay your fees. Costs vary from $150 - $200. Visit ged.com, scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on the 'Locate a test center in the United States' and enter the state for a complete list of testing centers.

How do I Prepare?

You cannot take the exam via the Internet, but you can study online! GED Testing Service provides sample study questions while groups such as GED Academy, www.passged.com, provide strategy and study tips. Local classes and workbooks are common as well.

Popular Schools

Featured Schools

Penn Foster High School

  • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
  • HS Diploma with Focus in Health Care
  • HS Diploma

What is your age?