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Beth Gonzales

How Hard is the GED?

How Hard is the GED?

When people ask, “how hard is the GED?” they usually mean, “can I pass the GED?” The answer is the same to both questions: anyone can earn a GED. It doesn’t need to be hard. But it does require studying, practice and preparation.

What is on the GED

The GED exam contains content from 4 subject areas; reading, math, social studies and science. An extended response section requires you to answer to 2 writing prompts. If testing all in one day, the entire GED exam can take over 7.5 hours to complete.

How the GED compares to high school

The GED is a rigorous test aligned with today’s high school standards. According to GED Testing Service, the difficulty level needed to pass the GED test is the same difficulty level as needed to pass high school today. If recent high school graduates took the current GED, only 60% would pass!

How hard is the GED?

Compare the GED test with high school exams, and the GED may seem more difficult. The GED requires critical thinking and application, not just memorization of facts. GED test questions move beyond simple “yes” and “no” answers. Test-takers need to make inferences, analyze data and connect concepts. For some students, these high-order thinking skills can seem very difficult.
But the GED test doesn’t have to be hard. Preparation and practice are key to successfully passing the GED. Familiarize yourself with GED test content by taking a practice exam online. The results from this test indicate which skills you need improvement on – and where you should focus the majority of your studying.

  • Create a checklist of skills you need to review check your content list often to monitor your progress and see what else you need to work on.
  • Make a study schedule find times and days that work for you. For best results, set a goal to study for up to 90 minutes, 1-2 times a day.
  • Find prep materials visit your local library for reading materials, search online for hundreds of study guides, passages and practice exams. You can also find paid support programs through your local GED testing site.
  • Stay motivated studying can be hard work! Find fun ways to keep boredom at bay while studying.
  • Passing test scores

    The GED is not a cumulative test; you must pass each subject separately with a score of 145 or higher. Each score below indicates a different level of college readiness. The higher you score on the GED, the more options are available to you in the future!

    GED Passing score (145-164)
    is the same as a High School Equivalency level. Students show similar educational skill set as a graduating high school senior.
    GED College Ready score (165-174) indicates that you have the skills to start college-level courses. Your scores may relieve you from taking certain placement tests or remedial courses in college.GED College Ready + Credit score (175-200) shows that you demonstrate skills taught in some college-level courses. You may be eligible to earn college credits! Check with the American Council on Education credit recommendation to learn more.

    As a future GED test-taker, you have many options for studying, test preparation and materials. Find what works best for you. Set your own learning pace and test when you are fully prepared. For more information on the GED, read more at Magoosh!

    Improve your GED math score with Magoosh!
    About Beth Gonzales

    Beth is an educator and freelance creative designer who devises innovative and fun-loving solutions for clients. She works with families, students, teachers and small businesses to create and implement programs, campaigns and experiences that help support and maximize efforts to grow communities who critically think, engage and continue to learn.

    2 Responses to “How Hard is the GED?”

    1. Ally says:

      How hard is the math on the GED? I’m about to go take the GED and I have always struggled in math

      • David Recine David Recine says:

        GED math is as hard as any math can get at the regular (non-AP) high school level. If you’re not a math person, it can be a bit challenging, although it’s definitely manageable with study and practice. To get a real sense of how difficult this math might be for you, I recommend going through the 10-question math assessment from the GED’s official free test. (You may only see a little red flash icon at that link. If that happens, double click it and follow the prompts to either install or enable Flash, and you’ll be able to launch the test.)

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