GED- What's On The Test For The General Education Diploma

June 17, 2019 0 Comments

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:






Basic Math, Geometry, Basic Algebra, Graphs and Functions

115 minutes

One break in between calculator and non-calculator sections

46 questions (approx. 5 without a calculator)

Language Arts

Reading comprehension, Identifying and creating arguments, Grammar and Language

150 minutes:

One 10-minute break between parts 2 and 3, 45 minutes for essay

20 questions

1 essay

30 questions

Social Studies

Reading for meaning, Analyzing historical events and arguments, Using numbers and graphs (all related to social studies)

70 minutes

(no break)

50 questions

1 essay


Reading for meaning, Designing and interpreting experiments, Using numbers and graphics (all related to science)

90 minutes

(no break)

50 questions (includes 2 short answer of 10 min/each)

By analyzing the exam breakdown chart, students can see that most sections have approximately fifty questions. The format of these questions tend to be multiple-choice with four answer options. However, there are alternative drag and drop, fill-in-the-blank, drop-down, and other answer options reserved throughout the exam. Each section has a unique alteration to the question count, whether it be an essay, short answer, or division of sections based on key content. Regardless of the alterations, the key content assessed should stay consistent with the subject matter.

To assist with your goals, Smart Edition Media has created a study guide that provides essential lesson material as seen on the GED. Complete with lesson quizzes and simulated exams, the guide will give hands-on practice for any student. Each guidebook provides access to convenient online resources and exams for extra educational diagnostics.

Click here to view the study guide or view additional information at the official GED site.