What is the Format?
To earn your Vermont Secondary School Equivalency Certificate, you need to pass all four sections of the GED: Social Studies, Science, Language Arts and Mathematics. The tests are taken on computer and include multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, hot spot and drag-and-drop questions. Several essays are also required on the GED tests which are available in English and Spanish. You can take the entire seven-and-a-half hour test all in one day if you can find a test center that can accommodate you. You can also take the following test section individually, in any order:
- Social Studies is a 90-minute test that covers civics and government, geography, U.S. history and economics. The questions use maps, charts, graphs, illustrations, tables and reading selections to test your ability to understand and analyze social studies-related information. The test requires a short essay that you will have 25 minutes to draft and write.
- The Science test is also 90 minutes and covers topics in life sciences, physical science and Earth and space science. The Science test measures your ability to read, understand and interpret science-based ideas and information. The test includes two short essay questions that generally ask you to summarize scientific and technical information and support your ideas with evidence.
- The Reasoning through Language Arts test evaluates your reading and writing skills. Some questions ask you to interpret or analyze different literary and informational texts. Other questions require you to edit and revise written selections with clear, effective language. The Reasoning Through Language Arts test is 150 minutes and includes an essay that you will have 45 minutes to draft, write and revise.
- The Mathematical Reasoning test assesses your problem-solving skills. Some questions focus on real-life problems that involve proportions, percents, ratios and averages. Other questions may ask you to factor polynomials, solve linear inequalities or calculate the area or volume of composite geometrical figures. You are allowed to use a formula sheet and a calculator for most of the questions on the 115-minute test.
How is the Exam Scored and What if I Don't Pass?
To pass, you must score at least a 150 (out of 200) on each section of the GED exam, and you must have a total score of 600. If you earn between 170-200 points on a test section, you will receive an Honors score.
If you score below 150 on a test section, you can retake the test two times without any waiting. If you need to retest a third time, you will have to wait 60 days. There is no limit to the number of times you can take a test within a year.
Who is Eligible?
You do not have to be a state resident to take the GED tests in Vermont. The minimum age is 18, but you can take the tests when you are 16-17 if you have a consent form or letter signed by a parent or guardian. You should not be enrolled in high school when you take the tests.
How do I Register and What Does it Cost?
You can register for the tests on the GED Testing Service website, Ged.com. You can use the site's database of testing centers to find the center nearest you. In Vermont, each test is $30 and the total cost is $120.
How do I Prepare?
The best way for most people to prepare is by taking a GED preparation class. Here, you have an instructor giving you the material. You can ask questions and get immediate help with any problems you encounter. You can find a list of Adult Education centers that offer GED prep on the Vermont Adult Learning website at www.vtadultlearning.org.
You can also study independently by going to your local library and using study materials or you can also purchase study materials from a bookstore or online. Practice tests are available at GED.com.