How Hard is the GED Test?

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Are you taking the GED soon and nervous about what to expect? Are you curious about how hard the GED test is? Well, we can help you with just that.

The GED is a great alternative to a high school diploma, proving that you have at least a high school level of proficiency. The test is used by individuals nationwide who have not completed a formal education. However, it would be best if you were adequately prepared for what the test throws at you.

Keep reading to see information on how the test is structured, the average GED scores, and some helpful tips for test prep.

Is the GED Test Hard?Is the GED Test Hard?

The GED test can be challenging if you do not prepare. However, it is easily passable. The exam is not as hard as you think. To pass the exam, you only need to score 145 or better. This means answering more than half of the questions correctly. Students who score even higher even have the possibility of getting college credit by simply taking the exam.

If, for some reason, you opt to take the exam while still in high school, it may be a little easier. The more removed you are from the material, the harder it may be. However, that does not mean you cannot pass. Several GED practice tests and sample GED test questions will aid you in passing.

However, not passing is not the end of the world. You are eligible to retake the exam on subject tests where you score under 145.

What is the Hardest Part of the GED Test?

What is the Hardest Part of the GED Test?

When thinking about which areas of the exam are most difficult, most people will say the math or science portions. These are often the hardest areas for students to pass. For this reason, math is often the exam that most students save for last to allow themselves the most study time.

That math test covers several areas. It is split into two sections, quantitative reasoning and algebraic reasoning. However, you do not have to sit for both sections straight through; you get a break in between to stretch your legs and breath easily. If math is the least of your worries, the next section will give you a breakdown of each section you can expect on the GED exam.

Is the GED test harder than high school? That’s a hard question to answer; many high schools offer different curricula, unlike the GED exam, which tests students on the baseline education requirements. Overall, the hardest portion of the test will vary based on your strengths. For example, if you are someone who is naturally good at math, your struggles may be in the reading and comprehension portions of the exam.

What is on the GED Test?

What is on the GED Test?

Contrary to popular belief, the GED exam is not one exam. Instead, it is made up of 4 different subject tests. These include:

  • Mathematics
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Each of the four exams can be taken separately when you are ready, each for a different cost.

Math Subject Test

The math subject test combines several basic concepts, and students are even given a formula sheet to use during the exam. This is helpful because you must know how to apply the formulas rather than memorize the actual formulas.

Topics covered in the exam include graphs, algebra, geometry, and basic math. This portion of the exam includes several types of GED test questions. Students can expect multiple choice, drag and drop, area-related questions, and even fill-in-the-blanks. The exam lasts 1 hour and 55 minutes with small breaks.

Reasoning Through Language Arts

This portion of the exam covers language arts and reading skills. The exam is looking to assess if you are able to draw conclusions from the information you read and how to identify arguments in a passage. Grammar and basic language structure are also included in this section.

This test’s “English” portion comprises the three sections mentioned above and one essay, which students are given 45 minutes to write. This exam portion lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes, with small breaks in between.

Though this section may not be one of the hardest, you must pace yourself through the exam. The reading portions may cause fatigue, so getting adequate rest and taking the exam when you are alert is your best bet. Do not schedule your exam on a busy week where you will likely tire easily.

Social Studies Subject Test

Unlike the other exams, the social studies test is only 1 part. The GED test questions within this section are much like the others. They include multiple choice, drag & drop, and even questions on selecting an area. This exam has no breaks, and students will have 1 hour and 10 minutes to finish.

For this area of the examination, you won’t be tested on the dates of events or things like state capitals. Instead, this section is more reading comprehension based. You will need to know how the government functions. Previous test takers recommend using the US Naturalization test as a baseline for what to study.

Science Subject Test

Last but certainly not least, the science exam! The science exam mimics the structure and format of the social studies test. However, you will have 1 hour and 30 minutes for its completion. This section focuses on how to interpret data. Students must understand graphics and how science experiments should be structured. You are allowed a calculator if needed.

Can You Use a Calculator on the GED?

Can You Use a Calculator on the GED?

The simple answer to this question is yes, you can. However, do not get too excited too soon. Most calculators now can perform the same functions as cell phones and can be seen as minicomputers. For that reason, all calculators are not allowed on the GED exam. If you plan on using a calculator, it must be one specific type, the TI-30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator.

If you are taking a virtual version of the GED exam, calculators are accessible on-screen during the math, science, and even social studies exams.

What is the Average GED Score?

What is the Average GED Score?

According to the GED Testing Services, the average overall GED test score in 2020 was 149.6. A passing score on the GED exam is 145. These averages are important for many people, including yourself. One place it is certainly important is universities and colleges. These institutions use the averages to adjust their admission requirements.

We won’t leave you hanging if you’re wondering what the subject test averages are.

GED Test Prep: 3 Helpful Study Tips

GED Test Prep: 3 Helpful Study Tips

Now that you know what to expect, it wouldn’t be right if we did not give you helpful tips on conquering the exam. Use the three tips below to help you pass all of your exams in one take.

Don’t go in blind

With all of the resources available, it would be foolish to walk into the GED exam without first using some sample GED test questions for preparation. Even if you think you have a good handle on the exam for what to expect, you should take at least one GED Practice test. There are several books, websites, and even preparation programs to get you ready for your exam days.

Study with friends or groups

Finding a study group is a good way to help you retain information. Study groups have been proven to help you learn faster and fill in learning gaps you may have. A study group doesn’t have to be a group of friends; several online avenues will help you build and find this community. Not only can you get creative with finding groups of like-minded individuals on social media, but there are also paid courses and classes available to you for prep.

Don’t neglect the essay

Though math and sciences are seen as the hardest subjects, do not neglect the essay. Most individuals are unsure of what to expect and think they can wing it. Don’t be that person; the essay, as well as all other questions, will have an impact on your score.

You can do some great simple things to help with essay writing on the exam. This includes finding points in your passage that will support your thesis. Draw attention back to this by quoting these points in your passage. Lastly, when writing your conclusion, restate the main idea and reiterate the information mentioned in your passage. Use these tactics and general essay writing rules to help you succeed.

Wrapping Things Up: How Hard is the GED Test?

Don’t be afraid, the GED exam is difficult, but with some preparation, you’ll be ready! Though there are four subject matter tests, the math and science portions are generally considered the hardest. However, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to make sure you are using the resources around you to get the score you desire. One big thing that is consistently reiterated is the use of GED practice tests; utilizing them to understand the various GED test questions will be a game-changer when taking the exam.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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