GED stands for General Educational Development. You may have heard people refer to the GED as the General Educational Diploma or the General Equivalency Diploma, but these are incorrect. GED is actually the process of earning the equivalent of your high school diploma, which is called a GED certificate or credential, if you pass the GED Test offered by GED Testing Service.
If you’re over the age of 16, the GED® test provides you with the opportunity to earn a certificate or diploma that is widely recognized as the equivalent of a high school diploma. Many schools will accept GED® test certification for entrance into a college or university program if your GED® test scores are at least equivalent to those of recently graduating high school seniors. Because more than 17 million people have passed their GED® tests since the beginning of the GED® test program in 1942, the chances are that you will blend in quite well on a university campus after you pass your test.
The GED® test is administered only at one of more than 3,400 official GED®test centers around the world; the official GED® test is never given online. There are a few things you might want to include in any GED® test prep you feel you should do, and one of the most important is visiting the GED® test website. There you will be able to find out more about the test, testing locations, and test dates, and requirement you will have to satisfy in order to achieve passing GED® test scores—and your GED® test passing certification.
The GED® test consists of five parts
As the first step in preparing for your GED® test, you should become familiar with the test’s structure and content. There are a total of five tests that must be passed before you can earn your GED® test diploma or certificate.
In the Language Arts, Writing test, you will answer multiple-choice questions in which you must identify errors and make corrections in sentence structure, usage, mechanics, and organization. You will also write an essay that presents your opinion and explains your views on a subject or issue of general interest.
During the Social Studies test, you will be tasked with answering multiple-choice questions drawn from history, economics, geography, civics, and government. The test gauges your understanding of the basic principles in each. To do well, you must be able to read passages, cartoons, graphs, and charts. There are different U.S. and Canadian versions of the Social Studies test.

For the Science test, multiple-choice questions are drawn from the fields of life science, earth and space science, and physical science (chemistry and physics). Answering the questions requires a combination of excellent reading skills, specific knowledge, and the ability to interpret scientific data. Data may be presented in paragraph form and in graphs, maps, tables, figures, and charts.
The Language Arts, Reading test includes multiple-choice questions that test your ability to understand the information presented in approximately seven excerpts from newspapers, magazines, novels, short stories, poetry, drama, and business or legal documents. The test covers both fiction and nonfiction materials.

Finally, there’s the Mathematics test. There are algebra, measurement, and geometry questions, as well as some that cover number theory, data analysis, and probability. Most are word problems and involve real-life situations or ask you to interpret information presented in graphs, charts, tables, and diagrams. Part I of the exam allows you to use a calculator. A calculator is not used in Part II. The test center will provide the calculator, a Casio fx-260, for your use during the test. If you are going to devote any time to GED® test prep, you might want to become familiar with this calculator’s operation. You will also be given a page of math formulas to use during the test, and you will record some of your answers on either standard or coordinate plane grids.

The GED® test has a simple structure

Language Arts, Writing                 

                    Question Type                                                                                                        Number of Questions                   

Sentence corrections, revisions, and construction questions                                                                        50
Essay question                                                                                                                                              1
Time Allotted: One 75-minute session, one 45-minute session. Total: 2 hours

Social Studies
          Question Type                                                                                                 Number of Questions
Multiple-choice                                                                                                                     50
Time Allotted: 70 minutes

           Question Type                                                                                                Number of Questions
Multiple-choice                                                                                                                     50
Time Allotted: 80 minutes

Language Arts, Reading
               Question Type                                                                                               Number of Questions
Multiple-choice                                                                                                                      50
Time Allotted: 65 minutes

Question Type                                                                                                              Number of Questions
Multiple-choice and grid-ins (with calculator)                                                                       25
Multiple-choice and grid-ins (without calculator)                                                                  25
Time Allotted: Two 45-minute sessions. Total: 90 minutes

The GED® test is administered only at one of more than 3,400 official GED®test centers around the world; the official GED® test is never given online. There are a few things you might want to include in any GED® test prep you feel you should do, and one of the most important is visiting the GED test website. There you will be able to find out more about the test, test contents (including sample questions), testing locations, test dates, and any requirements you will have to satisfy in order to achieve passing GED® test scores—and your GED® test certification.

In November 1942, the United States Armed Forces Institute asked the American Council on Education (ACE) to develop a battery of tests to measure high school-level academic skills. These tests gave military personnel and veterans who had enrolled in the military before completing high school a way to demonstrate their knowledge. Passing these tests gave returning soldiers and sailors the academic credentials they needed to get civilian jobs and gain access to post-secondary education or training.

ACE revised the GED Tests for a third time in 1988. The most noticeable change to the series was the addition of a writing sample, or essay. The new tests placed more emphasis on socially relevant topics and problem-solving skills. For the first time, surveys of test-takers found that more students (65%) reported taking the test with the intention of continuing their education beyond high school, rather than to get better employment (30%).
A fourth revision was made in 2002 to make the test comply with more recent standards for high-school education.
A fifth revision was released on January 2, 2014, to be delivered on Pearson VUE, a proprietary computer-based testing platform.
There are more than 3,200 Official GED Testing Centers in the United States and Canada. Testing centers are most often in adult-education centers, community colleges, andpublic schools. Students in metropolitan areas may be able to choose from several testing locations.

Official GED Testing Centers are controlled environments. All testing sessions take place in person (not online) according to very specific rules, and security measures are enforced. Breaks may be permitted between tests, depending on how many tests are being administered in a session. There may be restrictions on what test-takers may bring into the testing room.
There are approximately three to six GED test forms in circulation at any time. This measure helps catch test-takers who may be cheating. As with any standardized test, the various test forms are calibrated to the same level of difficulty.

Possible scores on an individual test within the GED battery, like those on an individual section of the SAT, range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of 800. A score of 800 on an individual test puts the student in the top 1% of graduating high school seniors. ACE issues recommendations for what constitutes a minimum passing score for any given sub-test (currently 410) and for the test as a whole (currently 2250—i.e., an average of 450 per test across all five sub-tests). Although most GED-issuing jurisdictions (for the most part, Boards of Education of U.S. states) adopt these minimum standards as their own, a jurisdiction may establish higher standards for issuance of the certificate if it chooses. Many jurisdictions award honors-level equivalency diplomas to students meeting certain criteria higher than those for a standard diploma in a given jurisdiction. Some districts hold graduation ceremonies for GED Tests passers and/or award scholarships to the highest scorers.

Colleges that admit based upon high school grades may require a minimum score on the GED test for admittance based upon the test. For example, Arizona State University requires an average sub-test score of 500 in addition to the certificate.

If a student passes one or more, but not all five tests within the battery, he or she needs only retake the test(s) s/he did not pass. Most places limit the number of times students may take each individual test within a year. A student may encounter a waiting period before being allowed to retake a failed test. Tests must be completed by the expiration date, which is generally every two years on the last day of the year.

Many government institutions and universities regard the GED test credential as the same as a high school diploma with respect to program eligibility and as a prerequisite for admissions. The U.S. military, however, has explicitly higher requirements in admissions for GED test takers to compensate for their lack of a traditional high school diploma.The test is administered to a representative sample of graduating high-school seniors each year, about 30% of whom fail the test. That only 70% of these students pass the test may show that it is harder than commonly believed.