About GHSGT Test

Graduation is considered a milestone in academics. It is looked upon as a turning point in life where major decisions need to be taken by students. Until now students have been subjected to a general form of academics. The formative years help to develop the skills and knowledge that help them to excel in their future. Hence, at this point in their education, where students are ready to be called high school diploma holders, they need to be assessed for their skills that make them worthy of the diploma. GHSGT or Georgina High School Graduation Tests are such tests that help in evaluating students and also identifying the areas that need more improvement.
The test is conducted by the Georgia Department of Education or GaDOE. Using the scores from the test, it is possible to measure the Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP, which is one of the essentials of No Child Left Behind Act. All students in Georgia public schools are required to take the graduation exam. Hence, there are no separate registration requirements for these tests.  There is also no extra fee charged from students to appear for the test. If a student in enrolled in a private school he is eligible to take the test in his eleventh grade.

Benefits of GHSGT
Diagnostic Benefits – The exam helps to identify the content areas in which a student is particularly weak. Accordingly, the student can be guided for instructional courses and his skill level can be brought up to the required level.
Qualifying Test – It is by clearing all the content areas that students can qualify for the diploma. This represents their mastery over the skills that are expected out of diploma holders. Hence, GHSGT helps to make a strong academic foundation.
Future Opportunities – An exceptional performance and high score cannot be ignored by admission authorities. Hence, GHSGT opens the door to many admission opportunities and students can take the advantage of selecting the course that they wish to follow. Therefore, the test is a factor that influences the career and life of students.

More About the GHSGT Tests
The GHSGT are tests in four content areas. These are as follows:

  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Apart from these tests, the students are required to clear the Georgia High School Writing Assessment in order to hold the Georgia high school diploma. The Writing Assessment test is conducted in the fall of eleventh grade, while the rest of the tests are administered in spring of eleventh grade. All five tests need to be passed by students.
Time Allotment – The total testing time for the test is up to three hours for each content area.
Curriculum Variation – Through the different subtests, the students are tested for their mastery over the state adopted curriculum in order to get a diploma. The schools in Georgia are undergoing a process of change from the Quality Core Curriculum or QCC to GPS or Georgia Performance Standard. The students are required to be tested on the bases of the curriculum that they have attended in high school. Depending upon the year of their entry into 9th grade of high school, the students will be administered QCC, Transitional or GPS curriculum.  For those entering the 9th grade after the year 2008- 2009, only GPS curriculum will be administered. However, those who have entered the 9th grade prior to this may be administered other curriculums in certain tests of GHSGT.
For students it is essential to make a note of the curriculum that they will be tested in and prepare accordingly.

Description of Tests

  • English Language Arts (ELA) (GPS Curriculum)

 This test has three domains under it. These are Reading Comprehension, Literary Analysis, Conventions and Writing.

  1. Reading Comprehension – 47% to 49 % of the ELA test is comprised of these questions.
  2. Literary Analysis – This domain contributes 37% to 39 % of questions to the test.
  3. Conventions and Writing – 14% to 16 % of the test contains the questions of this domain.
  • Mathematics (QCC Curriculum)

There are four major strands under this test. These are as follows:

  1. Number and Computation – 17% to 19% of the questions in the mathematics test are based on numbers and operations.
  2. Data Analysis – Approximately 19% to 21% of test questions are based on data analysis.
  3. Measurement and Geometry – 32% to 34% of the test comprises of questions from this strand.
  4. Algebra – About 28% to 30% of the test questions are taken from this strand.
  • Science (GPS Curriculum)

Science has five domains in all, 2 from Biology and 3 from Physics. The domains under Biology are Cells and Heredity (about 25%), and Ecology (about17%). Under the category of Physical Science come the domains of Structure and Properties of Matter (26%), Energy Transformations (about 16%) and Forces, Waves and Electricity (about 16%)

  • Social Studies  (dually aligned to GPS and QCC versions)

There are five domains in this content area. These are as follows.

  1. American Government/Civics (about 18%)
  2. United States History to 1865 (about 26%)
  3. United States History since 1865 (about 25%)
  4. World Geography (about 13 %)
  5. World History (about 18 %)

The questions in this content area also test Map and Globe skills and the Information Processing skills of students through appropriate questions.

Georgia High School Writing Assessment
This is the writing assessment test that the students need to take in their eleventh grade along with the other GHSGT tests. It is customary to clear this test in order to be eligible for the Georgia high school diploma. In this the students are asked to produce a self composed essay of about two pages on a given prompt. Students are asked to take a stand on the given issue and write a convincing and persuasive essay on it.  The test is administered in two hours out of which a total of 100 minutes of writing time is given to students for writing the essay.

It is required that the student clears all the content areas of GHSGT in order to hold the Georgia high school diploma. However, in case the student is not able to clear the test in the first attempt, he will be provided with five retest opportunities to clear the test before the end of twelfth grade.

Scoring the GHSGT Performance
The scores received in the four multiple choice tests are within the range of 400 and 600 for the QCC and the tests dually aligned to GPS and QCC versions. The passing score for each content area is 500.
The score range for the GPS version of ELA is from 100 to 350 and for the GPS version of Science is from 100 to 370. The passing score for these tests is 200. The assessments are scored by the computer.
The score report provides the Performance Level Description of the students according to the marks obtained in the GHSGT. The QCC and Transitional versions have the following levels of performance:

  • Pass Plus
  • Pass
  • Fail

For the GPS version, there are four categories of performance levels, which are:

  • Honors
  • Advanced Proficiency
  • Basic Proficiency
  • Below Proficiency

A performance level description equal to or above the Pass or Basic Proficiency is given if the score received is on the higher side, thus indicating a better performance than the minimum required.
The scaled scores are comparable across different administrations of the test of the same content areas. However, the scores received in the GPS version cannot be compared with the scores of QCC versions previously administered.

Role of Preparation
Students taking the exam should not underestimate the role of preparation in scoring well in the test. Preparation for GHSGT is first done by being regular in schoolwork. The second round of preparation is done before the actual exam as per the requirements of the test. The importance of either of the rounds of preparation should not be ignored. While the first round of schoolwork forms the base, the second round helps to strengthen your test taking skills. However, it is also true that if students have lost the opportunity to be regular with schoolwork, they can bring up their level of preparedness if they are determined to do so in the second round of preparation before the test.