The English Section of GHSGT

5 Important Points about GHSGT English Section

GHSGT refers to Georgia High School Graduation Test and English Language and Arts (English) is one of the 4 major and compulsory sections of the GHSGT, which is taken by Georgia high school students for obtaining their high school diplomas. Attaining a Georgia high school diploma opens the doors to very good academic and career options for these students. Hence, they should aim to perform very well in this examination.

One should be aware that this section is designed on 3 different curricula (the Georgia Performance Standards curriculum, the Quality Core Curriculum, and the Transitional curriculum). One should decide upon the version of the test, which he/she would like to take, at the time of registration for this examination.

Along with this test, high school students also have to take the GHSWT (Georgia High School Writing Test), which is aimed at testing the English language writing skills of the student.

General Information

Question Pattern and Number- All the versions of the test have questions in the objective pattern, with multiple-choice answering alternatives. They typically consist of 50-60 questions, each of which comes with 4 multiple-choice answering alternatives.

Test Time Duration- This test has to be typically answered in 60 minutes, but one can spend a maximum of 3 hours and 10 minutes, if required.

Test Score- The score that a person attains, depends upon the curriculum under which he/she appeared for this examination. The details of the different scoring systems, under the different curricula for this examination, are given below:

GPS Version- Under this version of the test, a scaled score from 100-350 is awarded to the students, the passing score being a minimum of 200. If students fail to secure this minimum score, they will get a "Below Proficiency" remark in their score cards. If they obtain scores ranging from 200-234, they will earn a "Basic Proficiency" remark in their score cards. A student has to obtain a score of 235-274 in order to earn an "Advanced Proficiency" remark; to earn "Honors" one has to strive to achieve a score which is not less than 275.

QCC/Transitional Versions- In this test format, students are awarded scores in the range of 100-600, with the passing score being 500. Students are awarded Pass or Pass Plus scores, based on their performances. A score ranging from 500-537 in this examination, fetches a Pass grade, whereas a score of more than 538 in this examination fetches the examinee the Pass Plus grade.

Criteria and Schedule for Taking the ELA- Students, who have been in the 9th grade in the year 1991 and in later years, must compulsorily take this examination, in order to be awarded their high school diplomas. 11th graders should take this test in the spring of their tenure in this grade. However, it is always recommended that the students should consult the test administering authorities regarding the most favorable time for them to take the test.

Retaking the ELA and Failure Outcome- Students are allowed to take this test for a maximum of 5 times. Failure in this content area will lower the chances of pursuing good higher studies or career options. However, if one has failed to qualify in it, but has satisfied all the other criteria for graduation, he/she will not be awarded the high school diploma, but a Special Education Diploma/Certificate of Performance.

ELA- Content Areas

The content areas of this test are divided into 3 domains, as follows:

  • Domain 1 (Reading Comprehension)- This domain constitutes 47%-49% of the questions and assesses the examinees’ ability to comprehend the message conveyed in fictional and non-fictional prose, and poetry. The students’ knowledge of literary elements is also tested in this section.

  • Domain 2 (Literary Analysis)- This section that covers 37%-39% of the questions, is designed to test the examinees’ ability to perform a literary analysis on a given content, which may consist of fictional or non-fictional prose, and poetry.

  • Domain 3 (Conventions and Writing) - Questions of this section span 14%-16% of the questions. This section is designed to test specific writing skills of examinees, such as, the ability to write for a given target audience and use the English Language most appropriately.

It is important for a student to refer to the official Study Guides ( and Content Descriptions (, for further information about these test domains.


This test can be answered well if one develops a command over the technical aspects of English grammar and English writing. Students can do this by knowing the syllabus thoroughly from the ELA study guides and Content Description guides. The students should also be mindful about the exam aid materials that the test-taking authorities allow the students to use in the examination hall. Hence, the students should read detailed information regarding this, as provided on in the official website.