Scoring in GHSGT

GHSGT or Georgia High School Graduation Tests are tests that help students to earn a high school diploma based on their potential and understanding of the curriculum as taught to them in the schools of Georgia. These tests are administered to students in their eleventh grade to assess if they are worthy of holding the high school diploma. In case the students do not exhibit the abilities that a high school diploma holder is expected to possess, then the result of the test is used to guide them towards instructional courses so that they are able to overcome the weaknesses and bring up their potential to the required level.
In order to assess students, the tests are scored on a standard scale. Only those students who have passed the test as well as the writing assessment test are eligible for the diploma. Hence, it is essential to understand the scoring requirements before a student appears for a test. Understanding the scoring system helps in many ways as follows.

    • It helps to make the student aware of the test that he is about to take. This increases the student’s confidence level.
    • Having first-hand information about the scoring scheme of the tests makes it possible to identify the strategies for answering the different types of questions in the best possible way. This helps to improve the overall score, thus enhancing the chances of excelling in the tests.
  • By understanding the score requirements students can set their aims. Setting such targets inspires students to work hard and achieve the desired score.

Different GHSGT Reports
There are various reports generated on the basis of the scores received in the tests. These reports can be for students, for the schools or for the system.  A list of the reports is given below.

    1. Student Label – This score report contains the scale scores achieved by students in the tests and the performance level achieved in them. This report is for the students and contains other details that are required for making a permanent school record of the student’s performance.
    1. Student Content Area Summary – This is a more detailed report of the performance that includes the scale scores of each subject area, performance level description and domain description, which indicates the number of questions answered correctly.
    1. Individual Student Lexile Report – This report provides information about the student’s reading ability. It compares and scores the reading ability of students against the difficulty of textual material presented to them.
  1. Student Achievement Roster – This report is for the schools and provides the list of students who have taken the tests. It mentions the scores received in the tests, performance level as well as mentions the test that the student has not taken.

Apart from these, other reports generated from the test results are as follows:

  1. Remediation/Retest Roster
  2. School and System Content Area Summary
  3. Student Population Summary Report
  4. School Invalidation Report

Understanding the Scoring System
The tests are administered in four content areas, which are English language Arts (ELA), Science, Mathematics and Social Studies. In order to understand the scoring system of these tests, it is essential to understand the existing variation in curriculum. The schools in the US state of Georgia are undergoing a transition of curriculum from the older Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) to the recent Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). Hence, there are three different curriculums of the four content areas – QCC, Transitional and GPS. Along with the curriculum, a change is also observed in the tests administered to students attending different curriculums. The version of the test that a student takes in his eleventh grade depends upon the curriculum that he has attended in his previous grades. Hence, the scoring system also depends upon the version of the test that the student has taken.

Scoring Range and Standard Passing Score

  • All QCC and Transitional curriculums have a score range from 100 to 600 with 500 as the standard passing score.
  • English Language Arts (GPS curriculum) has a scale score ranging from 100 to 350 with the standard passing score as 200.
  • The scale scores for Science (GPS curriculum) range from 100 to 370. The passing score is 200.

Performance Levels
The students can be classified into different performance levels according to the scores received by them. Performance levels differ according to the version of the test. The QCC and Transitional versions of the tests have three basic performance levels which are as follows.

  • Pass Plus
  • Pass
  • Fail

The GPS version of the test has four performance levels, which are as follows:

  • Honors
  • Advanced Proficiency
  • Basic Proficiency
  • Below Proficiency

Determining the Performance Level According to GHSGT Scores

  1. QCC and Transitional Curriculums

For all content areas, a score below 500 is given ‘Fail’ as the performance level. Other performance levels for different subject areas aligned to the QCC and Transitional curriculums are given below.

  1. Pass – 500 to 537
  2. Pass Plus – Above 538


  1. Pass – 500 to 534
  2. Pass Plus – 535 or above


  1. Pass – 500 to 530
  2. Pass Plus – 531 or above

Social Studies

  1. Pass – 500 to 525
  2. Pass Plus – Above 525
  1. GPS Curriculum

ELA and Science

  • Below Proficiency – Below 200
  • Basic Proficiency – 200 to 234
  • Advanced Proficiency – 235 to 274
  • Honors – 275 or above

Good Scores in GHSGT

There is a great difference between simply passing the test and passing the test with a good score. This achievement is acknowledged and is also reflected in the performance level as depicted in the score report. A ‘Pass’ or ‘Basic Proficiency’ indicates that the student has been able to meet the requirements for the diploma as well as AYP or Adequate Yearly Progress standards. A higher score signifies that the student has exceeded these standards and is hence very capable. This is also represented by the performance level in the score report. If the student is able to score high, he is sure to have a brighter future as his diploma will hold greater value over other diploma holders. Hence, in order to have a progressive future you will have to work towards attaining a high score in the test.

Tips for Scoring High on GHSGT

Certain tips are helpful for attaining an edge above the others. Some of the tips that can be followed in the test are as follows.

    1. Set your aims before you start preparation. Gain knowledge about the scoring system of the tests and make efforts to reach your target score.
    1. The multiple choice format provides the opportunity to work the problem backwards. This helps in eliminating incorrect options and arriving at the best answer option in case of confusion.
    1. Reading the question carefully helps to identify significant details of the question that helps you to arrive at the answer.
    1. Read all answer options carefully.
    1. There is no penalty for an incorrect answer in the GHSGT. Hence, in case the students are not sure of the answers, they can resort to guesswork. This may help students to gain some additional points.
    1. Do not waste time on difficult questions. Answer the easy questions first as all questions carry equal marks. You can come back to difficult questions later. However, it is not wise to leave a part of the test unattempted by wasting time on difficult questions.
  1. You have about three hours for each test. You must keep a track of your speed while answering the questions by timing yourself.

There may be many strategies to score a bit more than what you would have otherwise scored. However, there is no comparison of strong preparation before the test. For scoring well in GHSGT it is essential that the student works consistently throughout the school time. Moreover, it is also required that the student devotes some time to exclusive preparation immediately before the test. Only then will he be able to put up a good performance and also make the best of tips and strategies to score well.