The GED, or General Educational Development, is commonly referred to as a General Education Diploma. Candidates looking to take the GED tend to be looking for post-secondary education or employment which requires a high-school diploma or equivalent. Although each school, program, or employer may have specific requirements for its applicants and a high school equivalency, the GED is the most commonly observed of the options.
The GED cannot stand in as a traditional high school diploma. However, candidates who earn a GED have a more significant amount of options for education, employment, and salary than a candidate without a high school diploma at all. The GED will assess a student on knowledge and skills within four main subject areas: mathematical reasoning, reasoning through language arts, social studies, and science. These subject exams are meant to assess students on the practical knowledge and skill base that would have been obtained within a traditional high school setting. Passing the exams and earning a GED will provide institutions and employers overall insight to a candidate’s capabilities.
The GED sections out each subject as a separate exam to help students pace themselves appropriately through the knowledge assessment. Although there is a specific schedule and time limit appropriated to each of the subject exams, the pacing of the overall exam is designated to the student. This allows for flexibility between the subject shifts for a candidate.
The GED exam and subject breakdown is as follows: