Understanding GED Test Scores

How is the GED Scored?

With millions of students dropping out/failing to graduate from high school every year, GED is the only nationally recognized and the most widely accepted high school equivalent credential in the US. These scores can change lives by opening up a world of new opportunities both academically and professionally. However, passing may not be sufficient many times, as institutions and employers may have their own score requirements. Read on to find more on this.

Passing GED

Though the testing policies differ based on the jurisdiction where you take the test, it is a standardized test with very strict scoring and passing standards. It is said that only 60% of graduating high school students can pass the test in the first take.

  • For passing, you need to score a minimum of 410 in all the five subject tests and 2250 or more in the full battery.

  • Jurisdictions may set their own minimum scores required for passing the test. For example, while the states of Connecticut, New York, and Georgia follow the GEDTS standard scores for passing the test, the Canada region has a different passing criterion of 450.

  • This system of scores for passing, facilitates compensating for weaker areas. For example, if you score high in certain areas, but score only the minimum passing marks in some others, you may still pass the test.

  • The credentials also differ based on the jurisdiction where you take the test. Some award diplomas, some certificates and yet others endorsements and credentials.

GED Scoring

This is a battery of five tests to assess your skills and levels of cognition, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation academically, at the level of a high school program. The scoring procedure gives due importance to all the tests and reflects an estimate of your skills and knowledge in each content area, in comparison to high school graduates.

  • Every correct answer scores a point. The total points of each individual test are converted to a score on a standard scale (200 - 800).

  • To obtain the minimum passing score for each test (i.e., 410), you may need to answer at least 60-65% of the questions correctly in each single test.

  • The Language Arts, Writing Test Part II essay is evaluated on a 4-point scale. Two separate readers evaluate the essays depending on five points like relevance to the question, planning and development of the topic, inclusion of relevant details, appropriateness of language and style and grammatical accuracy. An average of the two scores is taken. If the essay score is 2 or more, it is combined with the Part I score to get the total score for the test. Otherwise, you might have to retake both the parts of the test.

  • When reporting the scores, the transcripts include standard scores for each individual test, overall standard score for the battery and percentile ranks for each test and for the battery. Percentile ranks report your position in comparison with the performance of graduating students. For example, if your percentile rank is 67, it means you have done better than 67% of the high school graduating students.

For more details, refer to the official website (http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ged/faq/index.htm).

Getting and Using Your GED Credentials

The results are usually reported through mails. In general, the transcripts are available from the testing center where you have taken the test. However, depending on where you have taken the test, the scores may be held by various organizations:

  • For non-military exam takers and civilians, the score transcripts are available from the testing center.

  • If you have taken the test overseas at a correctional center or at a military testing facility, follow the instructions available at the website.

  • If you have failed in the examination, you can retake it. You may only take the tests in which you could not succeed. However, note that test retaking criteria might differ based on your jurisdiction (http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ged/test/admin.htm).

  • Passing the test entitles you to a high-school equivalent credential as appropriate with the testing jurisdiction (a diploma, certificate, endorsement, etc.).

95% of all US academic institutions accept these scores for admission into their programs. 96% of all US employers also value these credentials for offering employment. However, organizations may have their own score requirements in addition to a passing score. You might check with the specific institution for specific requirements before taking the exam, so that you can prepare accordingly and score enough.