Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image

General Educational Development (GED)
Introduction
 
The first GED Tests were developed in 1942 to help returning World War II veterans finish their studies and re-enter civilian life. Then, as now, the GED Tests measured the academic skills and knowledge expected of high school graduates in the United States or Canada. Recognized throughout North America, the GED Testing Program has served as a bridge to education and employment for an estimated 15.2 million people over its 60-year history. About one in seven high school diplomas issued in the United States each year is based on passing the GED Tests.
 
For more than fifty years, the GED Tests have offered personal satisfaction and broadened professional, occupational and educational opportunities for millions of adults, who, for many reasons, were unable to complete their formal high school credential. The GED Tests give adults who did not graduate from high school the opportunity to earn a high school equivalency certificate. Recognized nationwide by employers and educators, the GED certificate has increased education and employment opportunities for millions of adults since 1942.
 
The State of Oregon GED Program adheres to policies of the GED Testing Service as presented in the GED Examiner´s Manual. There is, however, some flexibility for states and other testing jurisdictions to have their own policies.
 
The following information concerns the State of Oregon specifically. For general information and for sample questions explore the GED Test Service Web Site at http://www.gedtest.org.

What are the requirements to pass the GED?
 
The standard scores for the 2002 Series GED Tests range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of 800 on each test. The maximum score for all five GED Tests is 4,000.
The average standard score for a sample of U.S. graduating high school seniors is 500 for each test in the battery (total test score = 2,500). About half of these seniors earn standard scores above 500 and about half earn standard scores below 500 on each test.
 
About two-thirds of all U.S. high school seniors earn standard scores between 400 and 600 on a specific GED Test. Standard scores lower than 300 or higher than 700 on a specific GED Test are each achieved by only about 2 percent of graduating high school seniors.
The standard score scale for the GED Tests is derived directly from the performance of graduating high school seniors. Standard scores, and the accompanying percentile ranks, provide the vehicle for comparing the performance of GED candidates to the performance of graduating high school seniors. All forms of the GED Tests are equally difficult.
 
To pass the five-test battery, the GED candidate must currently demonstrate a level of skill that meets or surpasses that of approximately 60 percent of graduating high school seniors.
 
To pass the 2002 Series GED Tests, test-takers must earn both a minimum score of 410 on each test and an average score of at least 450 on all the tests in the battery. This means a minimum total score of 2,250 with no single test score below 410.
 

What if I don't pass the first time?
 
GED Testing Service permits GED candidates to test up to three times per contract year (January 1 to December 31), based on the number of standard forms available each contract year.
 
Test scores are valid for three years from the date of the first test taken.

I started my GED Testing but I never finished. Are my Scores still good?
 
The GED Testing Service introduced the 2002 GED English Series January 1, 2002. Candidates who tested prior to this date and failed to complete all five tests successfully by December 31, 2001, must retest on the 2002 Series and are required to pay test fees.

How can I obtain a copy of my GED Test records if I took the GED Test in the State of Oregon?
 
GED Test records for the State of Oregon are stored in the GED Program Office which is part of the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. We are located on the third floor of the Public Services Building, located at 255 Capitol Street NE, Salem, OR 97310.
 
Transcripts and Duplicate certificates may be requested from the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. There is a $5.00 fee per document ordered.
 
Complete this form and mail with appropriate fees to:
 
                     Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development
                     Attn: GED PROGRAM
                     255 Capitol St. NE
                     Salem, OR 97310
 
 

Can I get my scores online?
 
You can view your scores and print a transcript at http://www.ged123.org. You must use your access code. If you do not remember your access code, please contact the testing center where you tested.
 
The school or employer can go to the website listed above and enter the verification code from the transcript. Check with your school or employer to see if they will accept a transcript printed from GED123.org or if you need to get an official transcript from the GED State Office.
 
For records prior to 2002, you will need to request the document using the above GED Request form.

What to Expect on the GED Test
 
The GED Tests (2002 series) measure knowledge in five different areas: language arts, writing (multiple choice); language arts, writing (essay); social studies; science; language arts, reading; and mathematics. An important feature of the GED Tests is an essay that documents your ability to write and communicate effectively.
 
The GED Tests usually require some preparation on your part; about two-fifths of graduating high school seniors don’t pass the tests under current score requirements. This is how passing scores for the GED Tests are set: each spring, the tests are administered to a sample group of graduating high school seniors. To pass, you must perform as well as or better than 60 percent of those seniors.
 
GED Tests
Test Area
Number of Questions
Time Limit
   Language Arts, Writing, Part I5075 minutes
   Language Arts, Writing, Part II1 essay45 minutes
   Social Studies5070 minutes
   Science5080 minutes
   Language Arts, Reading4065 minutes
   Mathematics5090 minutes
 
Although the GED Tests may look a little intimidating at first, there is no shame in admitting you need to do some extra studying. Many preparations tools are available to help you in your quest for a GED credential.
 
Additional help is also available for people who have documented disabilities.