What Is the Format?
The 2014 GED is a seven-and-a-half hour exam with four different test sections that cover language arts, math, science and social studies. The GED is taken on computer and is offered in English and Spanish. You can take the entire exam all in one day if you can find a testing center that can accommodate you, or you can take the following test sections individually, in any order you choose:
- The Reasoning through Language Arts test assesses your reading abilities and writing skills. The 150-minute test has different types of literary and informational reading passages followed by questions that ask you to analyze and interpret the text. Other questions ask you to edit and revise sentences and paragraphs in with clear and effective language. The test also requires an essay that you will have 45 minutes to draft and write.
- The Mathematical Reasoning test measures your problem-solving skills. Some questions focus on real-life situations that involve proportions, percents, ratios and averages. Other questions may ask you to solve linear inequalities, factor polynomials, or calculate the area or volume of geometrical figures. The test is 115 minutes, and for most of the questions, you can use a formula sheet and a calculator.
- The Social Studies section of the GED exam uses reading selections, maps, graphs, illustrations and tables to measure your ability to understand and interpret information on U.S. history, civics and government, geography and economics. The 90-minute test includes a 25-minute essay.
- The Science test gauges how well you can read and interpret scientific and technical information. Questions cover content from life sciences, physical science and Earth and space science. The 90-minute Science test includes two short essay-type questions that typically require you to summarize the ideas in a reading passage and support your points with evidence.
How is the GED Exam Scored and What Happens if I Don't Pass?
Scores on each test section of the GED range from 100 to 200 points, and you need 150 points to pass, or a total score of 600 on all four sections. If you earn 170-200 points on a test section, you will receive an Honors score.
If you score below 150 on a section of the GED, you can retake that test twice without waiting. If you need to retake a test a third time, you are required to wait 60 days. There is no limit on the number of times you can retest in any given year.
Who is Eligible?
Eligibility requirements vary slightly from state to state. To take the GED exam in Idaho, you must be 18. GED candidates ages 16-17 can also take the test if they have a signed age waiver. You do not have to be a resident of the state to take the GED exam in Idaho.
If you successfully complete the four GED tests, you will receive an official GED transcript. If you also complete an American Government course or successfully pass an American Government test, you can apply to the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education for a High School Equivalency Certificate.
How Do I Register for the GED and How Much Does it Cost?
You can register for the GED exam on the GED Testing Service website at GED.com. The website also has a database of GED testing centers in Idaho, and you can find and schedule your tests at a center located near you. The GED exam is not offered online. You must take the tests in person at an official GED test center. The fee for the entire GED exam is $120, or $30 for each test section.
How Do I Prepare?
Everyone prepares in his or her own way to take the GED. If you feel you need a prep course or some tutoring, you can find a list of Idaho Adult Education centers that offer GED preparation at Ged.com.
If you want to prepare on your own, you can find sample questions, sample tests and an official GED practice test at GED.com. The site also has a list of books on online study resources that can help you get ready for the tests.