Basic Information About the GED Test

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The GED (General Educational Development) test is designed for students who did not finish high school and would like to have more employment opportunities or pursue higher education. The test is given in many states and covers four subjects.
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Purpose of the GED

The General Educational Development (GED) test is the chance for many students who did not finish high school to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma. The GED Testing Program began with the idea that people who don't finish high school often have the same academic aptitude as those who do.

Today, GED Tests are given in roughly 40 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, most Canadian provinces and the Canadian territories. About 700,000 people took some portion of the GED (in 2012, the most recent year reported) to obtain a job, earn a promotion, or qualify for higher education ( The GED underwent a major reconfiguration in 2014 and is now available only on computer at official testing sites.

The GED Test covers:

  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Mathematical Reasoning

The GED Test comes in:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Braille

Zoom/magnification options and the ability to adjust the color palette are available to all test-takers without special accommodation.

Policies for eligibility vary from state to state, so individuals should research the details for their own location. Generally, adults 18 years of age or older who have not earned a diploma and are not enrolled in a high school may take the GED; those 17 years or younger can often register and take the exam by meeting additional requirements for proof of eligibility.

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