What is the Format?
The GED exam has four sections on four subject areas: language arts, social studies, science and math. The test sections are taken on computer, and you can test in English or Spanish. You can take the entire seven-and-a-half hour test all at once, or you can take any of the following sections individually, in any order:
- The Mathematical Reasoning Test is 115 minutes long and measures you ability to solve quantitative and algebraic problems. Questions include multi-step arithmetic problems with ratios, proportions and percents, factoring polynomials, linear inequalities and geometry problems involving surface area and volume. You can use a calculator and a formula sheet for most of the questions on the test.
- The Reasoning through Language Arts test is 150 minutes with several short breaks. The test assesses your ability to read and analyze literary and informational texts. It also evaluates your ability to write clearly and effectively. The language arts test includes a essay which you will have 45 minutes to write.
- The 90-minute Science section of the GED tests your skill at reading and interpreting science-related texts. Questions are based on content from life sciences, physical science and Earth and space science.
- The Social Studies test section is also 90 minutes and covers civics and government, economics, geography and U.S. history. Questions are based on charts, graphs, cartoons, tables and text.
How is the Exam Scored and What if I Don't Pass?
To pass the GED you need to earn at least a 150 on each individual test and an total score of 600. If you score 170-200 on any of the test sections, you will earn an Honors score. If you score below 150 on any of the test sections, you can retake the test twice with no waiting period. However, if you need to retest a third time, you must wait 60 days. There is no limit on the number of times you can retake the test in any one year.
Who is Eligible?
You are eligible to take the GED tests if you meet the following requirements:
- You are 18 years of age
- If you are between 16 and 18 years you can be eligible to take the test if you provide Compulsory School Attendance Disclaimer or a Compulsory Attendance Exemption Form signed by a parent or guardian.
- You are not enrolled in an accredited high school.
How do I Register and What Does it Cost?
To register to take the tests, you need to create an account with the GED Testing Service at GED.com. You will also need to send a copy of your registration form to the Kansas High School Equivalency State Administrator at the Kansas Board of Regents. Forms can also be faxed. Once this form is accepted, testing can be scheduled by logging back into the MyGED portal account at GED.com. You will be able to find the testing center nearest to you on the GED website.
In Kansas, it costs $33 for each section of the GED, or $132 for the four tests.
How do I Prepare?
There are two main ways for you to prepare for the exam: you can study independently or take a preparation class.
Studying independently may not be the best first choice because you don't have a teacher's guidance and feedback. Still, some preparation is better than no preparation. Go to your local library and use their study materials. Otherwise, purchase study materials online, at a local bookstore, or find GED preparation and practice test websites. Make sure you choose study materials for the 2014 version of the GED tests.
Taking a preparation class is recommended when studying for the GED exam. Many adult education centers around Kansas provide free classes. The following link from the Kansas board of regents gives you a list of preparation classes around Kansas: www.kansasregents.org/academic_affairs/adult_education/adult_education_centers.