Understanding GED Scores

It is a battery of five tests, which cover the general areas of language arts/writing, mathematics, science, social studies and language arts/reading. If an individual wants to appear for the test, then he must be of 18 years and need not have compulsory school attendance. If the individual appearing for the test is of 17 years of age, then the candidate will have to submit a few documents before appearing for the test. The scores are used as a basis for issuing high school credentials. Each state has got its own norms of minimum passing score requirements in order to give a diploma. The test is available in many formats like English, Spanish and French editions.





The test has undergone a number of changes in the recent times. The test that we use these days is the January 2002 version. In order to obtain the diploma, it is necessary that the test taker pass all the five tests.

How The GED Sections Are Scored

In order to qualify for a high school diploma, the candidate must fulfill the minimum score requirements. The score obtained by a candidate and his testing records are all kept confidential. The scores required to pass the test are basically set by the state where the candidate lives. The requirements may vary slightly from one state to another, but the basic minimum score and average score for all the five tests are almost the same.

From 1998 till December 2001, the candidate was required to obtain a total passing score of 225 with a minimum score of 42 in language arts/ writing, 40 in social science, 40 in science, 40 in language art/ reading and 45 in mathematics. The candidate had to have 225 as the total passing marks. But with effect from 2002, the minimum scores required has changed to 420 in language arts/ writing, 410 in social studies, 410 in science, 410 in language art/ reading and 450 in mathematics. The total passing score of 2250 was the basic requirement, with a minimum average score of 450 for each of the five test and no single test score below 410 in any of the individual tests was acceptable.

In 2005, a slight change was made. Now the candidate must score 410 in each of the individual tests. It is required to score a total of 2250 to pass. The average score should be minimum 450 and minimum score should be 410 for each test.

In the 2002 tests series, the scores of each of the tests are reported separately on a scale varying from 200 (minimum) to 800 (maximum). The scores are not the percentage or number of right answers. In some sections like language arts/ writing, language arts/ reading and mathematics, the scores of part 1 and 2 are statistically combined.

How To Interpret The GED Scores

The scores basically give an insight into the candidate’s academic knowledge in each of the subjects as compared with a high school pass out. Just as the student’s percentage in the high school tells about his performance in the class, in the same way, in this test, the candidate’s scores tell about his performance. In order to have a better understanding, it is advisable to compare the average score with the ranks in high school. A score of 640 is equivalent to 10%, 580 is equal to top 20%, 570 is equal to 25%, 540 is equal to top third, 530 is equal to top 40 %, 500 is equivalent to top half, 480 is equal to top 60%, 460 is equivalent to 70% rank in the high school.

If the candidate is unable to clear a few score requirements, he can appear for the test again. If the candidate’s score is between 2150 to 2240 points, he can take the retest after 30 days. If the score is 2140 or lesser, the candidate will have to wait for 90 days to reappear for the test. If the candidate fails to get the minimum passing scores in the first retest, then he will have to wait for 6 months. The candidate, if has once appeared and cleared all the five tests, then there is no need to appear for the whole test again. The candidate can appear for the section in which his score was below 410 points. The retest is generally taken to reach the needed score of 2210 points.

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