How to Get a GED & Why Should You Get One?

How to get a GED? With our step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to get a GED. General Education Development, or GED, is one of the most popular alternatives to a high school diploma. 

The GED credential is a convenient way for adults and others to earn their high school equivalency diplomas. A GED will open up many job prospects and will allow individuals to attend a higher education institution.

There are many benefits to earning your GED. GED holders are eligible to apply for –

  • Enrolling in a professional school or institution of higher learning to further one’s education
  • Civil service employment opportunities as well as most general employment jobs

The GED test was redesigned in 2014. Ultimately, one of the previous GED version’s subject areas was removed. As a result, the refurbished GED now includes four primary subjects. The GED test also evaluates each test-taker’s ability to apply deep reasoning.  

It should be noted, however, that not every state recognizes the GED credential as there are other similar credentials they require, such as the HiSET, the TASC, and the NEDP. Make sure you confirm the requirements for your state by contacting the education authority in that state. 



Every state has the right to determine its own GED requirements. Several states allow for test-takers to be as young as 16 years old, while others require a 16-year-old to seek an age waiver or wait until they are 18 years old and no longer a minor. 


Each state’s GED rules and requirements mention the following items regarding the test-taker:

  • Their Age – Confirm the state’s minimum age requirement.
  • Residency Concerns – Find out if your state has residency requirements. 
  • Photo ID mandates – Find out what type of ID is acceptable.
  • Preparation Course requirements– Find out what your state requires. 
  • High School Enrollment Status – Find out if your state has High School enrollment status requirements – i.e. must the test-taker be out of school for a specified time frame?  

As a reminder, it is prudent to check whether your state recognizes the GED credential. 


The GED credential test is a four-section exam that is designed to reflect and assess the test-taker’s knowledge and aptitude in the core academic areas defined in a high school curriculum. Mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts are included in these sections. 

Studying for the GED examination is critical to optimizing your final GED test results. GED test-takers who have not attended school in a while will especially benefit from this sage advice. The amount of time a GED test-taker will need to prepare for the GED test varies depending upon –

  • The student’s current knowledge and aptitude.
  • The length of time the test-taker has been away from the classroom. 
  • The exact subject, among others.  

Make use of the many online resources available to you as you prepare for the GED test. Takers of the General Education Development credential exam can benefit from these online resources – 


The preparation for the GED credential exam is of the utmost importance; however, it is also important to be aware of the test’s format and time constraints. Listed below are a few general concepts about the GED exam:

  • Most questions are answered by multiple-choice answers. However, science, social studies, and reading portions of the test require written responses. 
  • Each state determines the test’s time limits.  
  • Scores for the GED test are typically available within a day; sometimes within a few hours after the exam.  
  • Many GED test-takers have the option of taking each test separately (and in any order) or together. 
  • Students who successfully pass the GED exam become Federal student-aid eligible. 
  • Re-test rules – Most states allow GED test-takers two re-test attempts with a minimum fuss. However, should the test-taker need a fourth attempt, there is generally a predetermined waiting period.


After you have adequately prepared for the GED test, you will need to register for the test. In this way, you will be able to set forth the dates, the testing location, and the testing details moving forward. Registration requires the creation of an online account. 

Students who need special accommodations should contact the testing center to learn about the accommodations available there. Special accommodations, however, take time to secure, so GED test-takers should allow extra time.

The GED used to only be offered in person. Now, it is also available online. Click on the links below for more information.

#5 – Get your GED diploma by taking the GED exam

The total time allotted for the GED credential exam is 425 minutes, or 7 hours and 5 minutes. 



On the GED exam, each section – Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Reasoning through Language Arts – is scored separately. Each of the four subjects has a scoring scale that ranges between 100 and 200 points. 

The GED testing program also assigns scoring levels for each of the subjects as follows:

  • 200 points is the perfect GED credential score. 
  • Scores between 175 and 200 will be indicative of a test-taker who has shown great aptitude for college-level classes. In some cases, a GED score within this range can qualify the test-taker for college credit. The college credits you will receive are determined by the college-level program you have applied to. Potentially, though, you could earn – 
    • 3 credits in the subject area of science for a score of 175+ on the science portion of the GED exam.
    • A score of 175+ on the science portion of the GED exam requires three math credits.
    • 3 credits in the subject area of social studies for a score of 175+ on the science portion of the GED exam.
    • 1 credit in the subject area of humanities for a score of 175+ on the science portion of the GED exam. 

The GED test-takers who succeed on the GED exam can save on tuition costs and the time it takes to complete their desired degree. 

  • Scores between 165 and 174 indicate that the test-taker is prepared to successfully pass college-level coursework. Additionally, a GED score in this range might exempt the test-taker from having to take a placement test or take remedial coursework. 
  • A passing GED credential score is 145 points on each subject test. 

A test-taker must score 145 or more on each of the four subject area tests in order to pass the GED examination. (Consider that state regulations vary. For example, New Jersey requires GED test-takers to score at least 150 on all subjects. 

Note – Learners scoring 170 or higher receive an honors GED. 


The test-taker must contact a GED customer service representative to request that the written responses on their GED exam be re-scored if the GED credential score you received does not accurately reflect their performance on the GED’s written answers or essays.

This re-score service that challenges your original score costs $50. The $50 fee will be refunded if the original GED score changes. 

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