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About the GED Exam

Not having your high school diploma can seriously affect your future earning potential. Last year, the average wage for a person with a high school diploma was $35,000 per year, compared to only $25,000 for a person without one. That amounts to over $500,000 less earnings during a your entire career!

A high school diploma or its equivalent is also necessary for acceptance to college so getting your diploma will help you earn more and get ahead. If you left high school without graduating and your high school class has graduated, you are probably eligible to take either the GED (if you live in New Jersey) or the TASC (if you live in New York).

Click on the links below to learn more:

  1. About the GED
  2. How is the GED scored?
  3. Contact Dr. Donnelly about GED lessons
  4. Read our GED and TASC Reviews
  5. Buy Best-selling GED Test Prep Book
  6. GED Exams by Subject
    1. GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Exam
    2. GED Mathematical Reasoning Exam
    3. GED Science Exam
    4. GED Social Studies Exam
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Dr. Donnelly can teach you the correct approach for each type of question that will appear on the HiSET, the GED or TASC tests. This will significantly increase your chances of getting the required score to attend the school of your choice.

Private GED tutoring with Dr. Donnelly is available either online via Zoom or in-person at either his San Diego-based office or his Manhattan-based office in New York City (depending upon the time of year).

Dr. Donnelly is very proud that every single one of his GED students has passed the GED exam on his or her very first attempt! We are confident that he can do the same for you.

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Overview of the GED Exams

Exam Format and Structure

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The GED Exam

The GED is now made up of four subject area tests and one written essay. There are a total of 8 sections but the number of questions can vary in each of the sections. The GED uses raw score points since not all test items are worth just one point. You are given about 7 hours to complete the tests.

GED scores range from 100-200 for each subject on the GED test. To earn a GED Passing Score, students will need to score at least a 150 on each subject and a total score of 600 or higher for all four subjects in order to receive the GED test credential. A GED Passing Score demonstrates high school equivalency in that subject.

If a student scores a 170 or greater on any subject they will also earn an "Honors" score . A GED Passing Score with Honors and demonstrates career and college readiness (CCR) in that subject.

The new GED tests are focused on four specific content areas:

  1. 1. GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
  2. 2. GED Mathematical Reasoning
  3. 3. GED Science
  4. 4. GED Social Studies.

GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test

Reasoning Through Language Arts Section of the GED

The GED Reasoning Through Language Arts test lasts 2.5 hours. The first section of the test includes reading and language questions and concludes with an Extended Response (essay). You will have a 10-minute break before the second section, which includes reading and language questions only. There are a variety of question types including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, drop-down, and drag-and-drop.

Your reading comprehension skills are assessed via questions based on single passages and on passages that are paired together. Most questions (75%) are based on informational texts, which include workplace documents, general nonfiction, and nonfiction related to general interest social studies and science topics. The remaining 25% of the questions are based on fiction selections.

Your language skills are assessed via questions that require you to review and edit written text and select words and phrases so that the final product is written correctly. These questions involve selecting the correct sentence structure, agreement (subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent), capitalization, punctuation, homonyms, and possessives.

GED Mathematical Reasoning Test

Mathematical Reasoning Section of the GED

The GED Mathematical Reasoning test evaluates your ability to solve mathematical problems and apply math to a variety of contexts. You will have 90 minutes to answer approximately 46 questions. For the first five questions on the test, you will not be able to use the calculator. You can take up to 12 of the 90 minutes with these questions.

Check all of your work carefully before you leave this section of the test. You will not be able to return to these problems once the online calculator is enabled. For the rest of the test, you’ll have access the online calculator by clicking on the calculator icon. You can also take your own hand-held TI-30XS MultiView™ calculator to use on test day.

approximately 45% of GED math questions involve Quantitative Reasoning which includes problems with positive and negative whole numbers, decimals, and fractions; ratios, proportions, and percents; data and statistics; and geometric measurement.

The remaining 55% of GED math questions involve Algebraic Reasoning which includes expressions, polynomials, equations, inequalities, linear equations, quadratic equations, and patterns and functions.

GED Science Test

Science Section of the GED

The GED Science test evaluates your ability to understand, interpret, and apply scientific information. You will have 90 minutes to answer 34 questions that are based on reading passages, graphics such as diagrams, tables, graphs, and maps, or a combination of the two. You will need a minimum score of 150 to pass the GED Science Test.

You will work with six question formats on the Science Test. Many of the questions will be in the familiar multiple-choice format, but you will need to be acquainted with the other formats as well including fill-in-the-blank, drop-down, hot-spots, drag-and-drop and short-answers.

The GED Science Test contains two Short-Answer questions (each worth 3 points!) based on one passage, two passages, a graphic, or a combination. You will write your answer in a text box. Read the prompt carefully and use the online highlighter to target specific facts and information that you will use in your response. Your answer must be about one or two paragraphs long, with complete sentences and well-developed ideas. An effective response must answer the questions and use specific information from the source materials. It should not be based on your opinions or personal experiences.

Life Science topics account for 40% of the questions on the GED Science test. These biology-based topics include human body systems, cell structures and processes, health and nutrition, heredity and reproduction, genetics and DNA, evolution and natural selection, and the organization of ecosystems.

Physical Science topics account for 40% of the questions on the GED Science test. These physics and chemistry-based topics include atoms and molecules, properties and states of matter, chemical reactions, energy and work, motion and forces, waves, electricity, and magnetism.

Earth and Space Science topics account for 20% of the questions on the GED Science test. These geology/astrophysics-based topics include the structure of Earth, plate tectonics, geological cycles and processes, renewable and nonrenewable natural resources, weather and climate, the solar system, and the universe.

GED Social Studies Test

Social Studies Section of the GED

The GED Social Studies test evaluates your ability to understand, interpret, and apply information about history, geography, government, economics and civics concepts. You will have 70 minutes to answer 35 questions that are based on reading passages and interpreting graphics such as charts, graphs, diagrams, editorial cartoons, photographs, and maps. You will need a minimum score of 150 to pass the Social Studies Test.

You will work with five question formats on the GED Social Studies Test. Many of the questions will be in the familiar multiple-choice format, but you will need to be acquainted with the other formats as well including fill-in-the-blank, drop-down, hot-spots, and drag-and-drop.

Civics and Government topics account for 50% of the questions on the GED Social Studies test. These topics include modern and historic governments, constitutional government, levels and branches of the U.S. government, the electoral system, and the role of the citizen.

U.S. History topics account for 20% of the questions on the GED Social Studies test. These topics stretch from colonialism and the American Revolution through the Civil War and Reconstruction into the modern era of industrialization, immigration, two world wars, the Cold War, and the movements for equal rights.

Economics topics account for 15% of the questions on the GED Social Studies test. These topics include basic economics concepts and systems, the government and the economy, and labor and consumer economics issues.

Geography and the World topics account for 15% of the questions on the GED Social Studies test. These geography/astrophysics-based topics cover major stages in world history as well as the relationship among resources, the environment, and societies.

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