GED Diploma

What Does the GED Test?

Accepted as the high school equivalent in US and Canada, the test has changed the lives of  many since its inception in 1942. ACE reports state that, every year approximately 500,000 drop-outs take a GED credential. So what is diploma in GED? What does it test? And, what are the benefits of attaining a diploma?

GED Essentials

Developed and delivered by the GEDTS, a program of the ACE, it is a high school equivalent credential intended for non-graduating adults. High school completion being the basic educational qualification required for further studies and for employment in US, it provides non-graduates with a bridge for advanced education and work. Here is a list of essentials for you:

  • It is conducted by ACE in partnership with states and jurisdictions across US. The test is administered internationally, as well. However, you cannot obtain a diploma through online testing. The test can only be taken at designated test centers.

  • The minimum age requirements vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, the minimum age requirement is 16 years in North Dakota, while the same is 17 years in California.

  • The credentials also vary based on the test taking jurisdiction. Some offer a diploma, while others bestow successful candidates with a certificate.

  • It is a group of tests to measure your academic knowledge and skills, at the level of a high school program. The five areas tested are Social Studies; Science; Mathematics; Language Arts, Reading; and Language Arts, Writing.

  • The test takes exactly seven hours and five minutes to complete.

  • Depending on the jurisdiction where you take the test, there might be different criteria or requirements for getting a GED credential. For example, Nova Scotia has a minimum marks requirement of 450 for passing, while the Illinois requirement is 410 for each of the individual tests and 2250 in total.

  • The credentials, diploma GED and certificate are accepted as equivalent to high school diploma across US educational institutions and employers.

GED Test Content

To attain a diploma or equivalent credential, you need to take a battery of tests covering five core subject areas. A variety of question types are included in the tests to measure your abilities and skills in the areas of cognition, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The five subject tests and their structure are as described below:

  • Mathematics: The test consists of two parts with 25 questions each; it is designed to analyze your understanding of mathematical concepts and your ability to apply them. Part I of the test requires you to answer questions with the help of a calculator; while Part II tests your mental arithmetic abilities. Questions are set in multiple-choice, standard grid, and coordinate plane grid formats.

  • Science: The test covers topics from Physical Science, Life Science and Earth and Space Science. There are 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered based on given passages or visual information.

  • Social Studies: There are 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered from History, Geography, Economics and Civics and Government. The questions are based on passages, charts, graphs, tables, etc.

  • Language Arts, Reading: There are 40 multiple-choice questions to measure your skills at reading comprehension and interpreting information. The questions are based on given passages that include literary and non-fiction texts.

  • Language Arts, Writing: Part I of the test includes 50 multiple-choice questions that require you to revise and edit documents. Part II of the test consists of an essay question on a general topic.

Why Take GED?

In US, schooling is compulsory till the age of 16; however, not everyone completes high school. Many studies indicate thousands drop out of school every day and almost 1.3 million children fail to graduate from high school every year. Whatever be the reasons for drop-outs, the inability to graduate can have far reaching effects in your life.

By taking the test, you have another chance to continue with your education and achieve better professional success. With 95% of US colleges and universities and 96 percent of US employers accepting it as equivalent to high school diploma (, GED can flash new pathways in your life.