GHSGT Test Breakdown

Before issuing a diploma to graduating high school students, there is a need to ascertain whether the students who are being granted the diploma are worthy of it or not. It is necessary that the students have grasped the content of the core academic subjects taught to them at high school and they are proficient with the skills in related fields. Therefore, there is a need to put a mechanism in place that will assess the knowledge gained and the skills developed by the high school students while carrying out their high school studies before they can be granted a high school diploma that endorses the same knowledge and skills. The Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) is an examination that is a part of one such mechanism. If you are a high school student in Georgia, then you will have to pass the exam along with the Georgia High School Writing Assessment for qualifying for the Georgia high school diploma.





Utility of Taking the GHSGT

  1. If you are a high school student studying in the state of Georgia, then you cannot escape taking the test as it is compulsory for earning your high school diploma. Avoiding taking the test will result in your not being eligible for a high school diploma. Therefore, the main advantage of taking the test and passing with high scores is that you will be able to earn your high school diploma.

  2. Clearing the test is a proof of the fact that you are well versed with the academic subjects that have been taught to you in school. You will be able to demonstrate your mastery over the skills and knowledge expected of a high school graduate to prospective employers or educational institutions after you have passed the exam. The better your knowledge and skills are the higher will be your scores. This will create a good impression in your application for admissions to college programs or for job prospects. Moreover, you will have a solid knowledge base as you would be thorough with the content that has been taught to you in high school.

  3. Your performance in the exam can be used by you to identify your weak subject areas and your strengths. This will help you in identifying the career that you are best suited for.  

Skills and Knowledge Evaluated by GHSGT

The GHSGT assesses your knowledge and skills in four content areas: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. The test content is of high school level and you are assessed for your mastery over the subject areas taught as per the curriculum followed. It is an assessment that is designed to provide useful information to parents, educators, and future employers based on how the test-takers have performed in school. You will be able to gain information about your weaknesses and you can take remedial action to improve your skills in those areas so that you are able to qualify for the high school diploma. The English Language Arts and Mathematics tests are used to measure Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) which falls under the No Child Left Behind legislation. You can apply for accommodations if you have disabilities or if you are an English Language Learner.
Georgia schools follow three different curriculums:

  • QCC (Quality Core Curriculum)
  • GPS (Georgia Performance Standard)
  • Most of the schools in Georgia are changing over from the QCC curriculum to the GPS curriculum. These schools follow the transitional curriculum.

Therefore, the tests under GHSGT have been modified to cater to the needs of all the three curriculums. You will be assessed by the authorities depending upon the type of curriculum you have followed while attending high school. The type of assessment you will have to undertake will also depend upon the year in which you have entered 9th grade. Check the official webpage from www.gadoe.org which is the website of the Georgia Department of Education for details regarding the type of assessment you will have to take.

Your knowledge and skills in each of the content areas is evaluated by means of a separate GHSGT module for each content area. Therefore, the GHSGT program consists of the following four tests:

  1. English Language Arts:  This test will assess your reading comprehension skills, writing skills and your skills in literary analysis.

  2. Mathematics: The test content for this test is drawn from the subject areas of data analysis, numbers and computation, measurement and geometry and algebra.

  3. Science: This test will consist of questions from the fields of Biology and Physics. Biology will cover subject areas like ecology, cells and heredity. Physics will cover test content from structure and properties of matter, energy transformations and waves and electricity.

  4. Social Studies: You will be presented with questions from American Government/Civics, History of the United States, world geography and world history.

Passing the GHSGT

You will not have to register separately for taking the test. You will be eligible for the first time in the spring of your eleventh grade. You can take the Writing Assessment for the first time in the fall of your eleventh grade. If you fail to pass in the first attempt you will get more chances to retest and pass it before you reach the spring of your twelfth grade. You will earn a Certificate of Performance or a Special Education Diploma if you have not been able to pass the test, but have met the other criteria for graduation. If you leave school with a Certificate of Performance or a Special Education Certificate, then you can re-attempt to qualify for earning a high school diploma.

GHSGT Scoring

Scoring well depends upon the curriculum that the test is based on. The scores for the QCC and transitional curriculums range from 100 to 600. The passing score is 500. The scaled score range for the English Language Arts (GPS curriculum) ranges from 100 to 350. The passing score is 200. The scaled score range for Science (GPS curriculum) ranges from 100 to 370 with 200 as the passing score.

Your performance in the exam is classified into different levels depending upon the scaled score range in which your scores fall. The performances have difference classification levels depending upon the type of GHSGT you have taken. If you have taken the GPS, then your performance is classified into four levels:

-     Below Proficiency: Scaled score below 200
-     Basic proficiency: Scaled score range - 200 to 234
-     Advanced Proficiency: Scaled score range - 235 to 274
-     Honors: Scaled score of 275 or above

If you have taken the QCC or the Transitional version, then the classification of your performance level will be as follows:

  1. Does not meet or Fail: Scaled score below 500
  2. Pass:  Minimum scaled score of 500 to a maximum of 537 (ELA), 534 (Math), 530 (Science) and 525 (Social Studies). This performance level is used for student accountability.
  3. Pass Plus: Minimum scaled score of 538 (ELA), 535 (Math), 531 (Science) 526 (Social Studies) or above. This performance level is used for student accountability.
  4. Proficient: 511 to 537 (ELA), 516 to 524 (Math). This performance level is used for school accountability.
  5. Advanced: 538 or above (ELA), 525 or above (Math). This performance level is used for school accountability.

Earning Your High School Diploma

One cannot challenge the importance of earning a high school diploma. This is the qualification that will help you establish a foothold in the career of your choice. Whether it is higher education or future job prospects, you will be found wanting if you do not have a high school diploma. Therefore, it is evident that you will have to prepare for the test with the aim of passing it with good scores so that you are eligible for earning your high school diploma which will in turn help you in achieving success in the career of your choice!