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Sarah Bradstreet

How Many Questions Can I Miss on the GED?

How many questions can I miss on the GED
 
If you’re planning to take the GED, of course one of the first things you’ll want to know is what score you need. Maybe you’re feeling great and aiming for a high score to try to get college credit. On the other hand, you might be feeling a little less confident and are wondering, “How many questions can I miss on the GED and still pass?” We’re here for you. Read on to find out how GED scoring works and what you need to pass.

How Does GED Scoring Work?

To pass the GED, you need a scaled score of at least 145 out of 200 on each subject test, for a combined total of at least 580.

So each subject test is out of 200 points… does that mean there are 200 questions??? NO! Your score out of 200 is a scaled score. What that means is that the GED Testing Service takes your raw score—the number of answers you got right on the test—and converts it into the scaled score out of 200.

The number of questions on each GED subject test can actually vary a little from test to test. There is no set number of questions. There is, however, a set number of raw points that you can earn on each subject test. Not every question is worth the same number of points, which is why the number of questions can vary a bit.

The number of raw points on each subject test is:
 

Subject Test Number of Raw Points Available
Reasoning Through Language Arts 65
Mathematical Reasoning49
Social Studies 30
Science 40

Most of the time, 1 question = 1 point. This is true on “typical” multiple choice questions where there is only one right answer, or on fill-in-the-blank questions with one answer, etc.

Sometimes, though, a question may have more than one right answer. You may get a multiple select question, which is like multiple choice but you choose 2 or more correct answers. In these cases, the question is worth however many correct answers there are. So if you need to choose 2 correct answers, the question is worth 2 points, and so on. You might also get a fill-in-the-blank or drop-down question with more than one blank. In these cases, again, the number of answers is the number of available points.

There also may be a few questions where each answer is worth less than one point if the answers are dependent on one another. An example might be a drag-and-drop where you are asked to drag three items into the correct order. Even though there are technically three answers, this is not a three-point question. Since there is only one possible arrangement of the three items that would make the question correct, it would only be worth one point for the whole question.

There are a couple of other odd cases. On the Science subject test, there are two short answer questions. These are each worth 3 points even though there is only one answer for each. On Reasoning Through the Language Arts, there is one essay that is worth 20% of the total score for that subject test. That means that the essay is worth roughly 13 points out of the 65 raw points, leaving you with 52 available points on the other questions.

So… How Many Questions Can I Miss on the GED?

Because of the way the points work, that’s not exactly the right question. Some questions are worth more points than others. The question you really want to ask is, “How many POINTS can I miss on the GED?”

To pass each subject test with a 145, GED Testing Service says that you need to get 60-65% of the available points on the test. If we use 65%, that means that in order to pass:

  • Reasoning Through Language Arts: You need 42 raw points to pass, so you can miss 23 points.
  • Mathematical Reasoning: You need 32 raw points to pass, so you can miss 17 points.
  • Science: You need 26 raw points to pass, so you can miss 14 points.
  • Social Studies: You need 20 raw points to pass, so you can miss 10 points.

Remember that these guidelines are just estimates meant to help you prepare. Don’t cut it close! You should always aim for more than the minimum number of right answers.

What Can I Do to Help Myself Pass?

There many great resources to help you prepare to pass the GED. Here are a few to get you started:

Improve your GED math score with Magoosh!
About Sarah Bradstreet

Sarah is an educator and writer with a Master’s degree in education from Syracuse University who has helped students succeed on standardized tests since 2008. She loves reading, theater, and chasing around her two kids.


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