Structure Of The GED

Test Sections of GED Tests

GED-An Introduction

This test is the brainchild of the American Council on Education. It is a five subject test to certify high-school level academic skills. On clearing the test, individuals are awarded with a certificate. The test must be taken in person, for which there are over 3,400 testing centers in all. Only those without a formal high school degree are permitted. The test is also available in other languages apart from English, such as, Spanish and French. In addition to this, it is also available in large print, audio cassette and Braille for the convenience of test takers with disabilities.

GED Test Sections

1. Language Arts, Writing, Part I and II

  • Number of questions: 50 + 1 essay
  • Time allotted: 120 minutes
  • Types of questions: Proofreading skill is the basic necessity for this section. Students will be asked to proofread documents that are 200-300 words long. The candidates are required to examine these texts for errors in grammar such as, syntactical errors, faulty sentence structures, punctuation errors, misplaced verbs etc. The questions in this section are presented with five alternatives of which the student will be required to choose the right one. In the second part, the candidate is presented with an essay question and he/she is supposed to provide an adequate response for the same.
  • What is required to take this section successfully: Complete understanding of grammar is required to do well in this section. Extensive planning, note-making and revisions are required on the part of the candidate while writing the essay.

2. Science

  • Number of questions: 50
  • Time allotted: 80 minutes
  • Types of questions: Most of the questions are from Physical and Life Sciences, whereas some weightage is given to the Earth and Space Sciences. The format of the paper is broadly divided between text passages and visual texts (graphs and tables etc) with added focus on visual texts. Questions are mostly asked from passages of varying lengths. Generally, 2-5 questions are asked per passage. The content of the passages are directly related to the practical application of scientific principles.
  • What is required to take this section successfully: A thorough understanding of the concepts of the Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, Chemistry and Physics is mandatory for doing well in this section. The candidates are required to broaden their knowledge base and reasoning skills whilst preparing for this particular section.

3. Social Studies

  • Number of questions: 50
  • Time allotted: 70 minutes
  • Types of questions: The main subjects covered in this section are History, Geography, Civics and Government and Economics. Added focus is laid on international perspectives of issues. This section comprises of multiple-choice questions that are a combination of visual and written texts. Some examples are narratives, editorials, newsmagazines, historical documents, diagrams and charts. Then there are other variants of questions in this section such as questions with a combination of a map and a narrative or a photograph and an editorial.
  • What is required to take this section successfully: Prior knowledge of important events is required to fare well in this section. In addition, the candidate is required to make inferences, identify implications, summarize and restate ideas well.

4. Language Arts, Reading

  • Number of questions: 40
  • Time allotted: 65 minutes
  • Types of questions: The test is a combination of literary (75%) and non-fiction (25%) texts. The questions are based on passages (prose- 200-400 words and poetry 8-25 lines). The passages are preceded by a 'purpose of reading'.
  • What is required to take this section successfully: This section tests the ability of the candidate to understand, interpret and reproduce academic and work place readings. The candidate is also required to analyze and draw conclusions with the help of the passages.

5. Mathematics

  • Number of questions: 50
  • Time allotted: 90 minutes
  • Types of questions: There are two parts in the Mathematics Section. A calculator is provided for the first part of the test whereas, because of mental mathematics questions, a math formula page is provided in the second part. Most of the questions are multiple choices, but in some of the questions the candidates are required to construct the entire working.
  • What is required to take this section successfully: Candidates are required to have adequate problem solving skills. They must have a thorough knowledge of the basic principles of Math and its principles.

All the important basics have been laid out in the above explanations of the sections. For further information, visit the official website here:

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