GED Test Breakdown

Welcome to this overview of the GED!

If you need help studying for your GED or just want some more information about what the GED test is like, you’ve come to the right place.

What’s on the GED Test?

The GED test is actually split into four separate exams:

  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Science

You don’t have to take all four of these exams at once, but you do have to pass them all to get your GED.

The questions on the test are presented in several different formats:

  • Short answer
  • Multiple-choice
  • Hot spot
  • Fill-in-the-blank
  • Drop-down
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Extended response

Now that you have an idea of what the GED questions are like, let’s take a closer look at the different sections of the test.

46-49 questions

The Mathematical Reasoning test is split into two parts, with a 3-minute break between parts. You can use this break to go get your calculator for part two if you brought your own (or you can just use the on-screen calculator that’s provided).

For this test, there are four main topics you’ll be tested on:

  • Basic math
  • Geometry
  • Basic algebra
  • Graphs and functions

The good news is that you don’t have to memorize any formulas! You will be given a math formula sheet to reference at any time during the math portion of the test.

46-51 questions

The Reasoning Through Language Arts test is split into three parts, with a 10-minute break between parts two and three.

For this test, there are three main topics you’ll be tested on:

  • Reading for meaning
  • Identifying and creating arguments
  • Grammar and language

Parts one and three of the test contain the usual multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, hot spot and drop-down questions. Part two is a written essay, which is timed at 45 minutes.

30-34 questions

The Social Studies test has only one part, so there are no breaks at any point. Similar to the Math test, you will be able to use a calculator, whether you brought your own or use the provided on-screen calculator.

For this test, there are three main topics you’ll be tested on:

  • Reading for meaning in social studies
  • Analyzing historical events and arguments in social studies
  • Using numbers and graphs in social studies

34-40 questions

The Science test also has only one part, so there are no breaks at any point. Similar to the Math and Social Studies tests, you will be able to use a calculator, whether you brought your own or use the provided on-screen calculator.

For this test, there are three main topics you’ll be tested on:

  • Reading for meaning in science
  • Designing and interpreting science experiments
  • Using numbers and graphics in science

How to Register

To get started with the registration process, you’ll need to visit the official GED website. Depending on which state you’re taking the test in, you’ll run into some different requirements or qualifications before you can take the test.

When you register, you’ll get to decide whether you want to take the GED in a testing center or at home via online testing.

Once you pick which subject(s) you want to take, you’ll need to pay the designated fee for each one. The fee is also different from state to state.

GED Study Guide and Flashcards

Get practice questions, detailed study lessons, and complex subjects broken down into easily understandable concepts.

Study Guide

GED Scores

GED scores range from 100 to 200, and you’ll need a final score of 145 on each subject test to pass.

The GED Testing Service categorizes scores into three levels:


A final score of 145 on each test means you’ve successfully passed the GED test! This achievement is the first step to furthering your education via college, advancing in your career, and earning more money.


A final score of 165-174 on each test means you’re ready to begin taking college-level courses. You may also be exempt from taking certain placement tests or enrolling in remedial college courses, depending on your school of choice.


A final score of 175-200 on each test means you may be eligible to earn college credits. The number of credits you could earn depends on which program you apply to.

Retaking the GED

If you didn’t get a passing score on your first try, that’s okay! You can take the test two more times with no restrictions between attempts. The GED Testing Service will not charge you for these two retakes, but each state and testing center may decide to charge their normal fees.

After your two retakes, you will have to wait for 60 days before trying again. This third attempt will cost the full price.

Online GED Prep Course

If you want to be fully prepared, Mometrix offers an online GED prep course. The course is designed to provide you with any and every resource you might want while studying. The GED course includes:

  • Review Lessons Covering Every Topic
  • 1,250+ GED Practice Questions
  • More than 300 Digital Flashcards
  • Over 340 Instructional Videos
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • Free Mobile Access
  • and More!

The GED prep course is designed to help any learner get everything they need to prepare for their GED exam. Click below to check it out!



What is a GED?


A GED is a certificate that’s equivalent to a high school diploma. It gives people who didn’t finish high school an equal footing for college and career opportunities.


What does GED stand for?


GED stands for General Educational Development.


How do you get a GED?


To get a GED, you have to take and pass the GED test.


How long does it take to get a GED?


Getting your GED will take longer or shorter depending on how prepared you are to take it. You can schedule a test immediately if you feel ready to take it, or you might want to take some time to study before taking the test.


Can you go to college with a GED?


Yes! Around 98% of colleges in the US accept students with a GED.


How many questions are on the GED test?


The GED Testing Service doesn’t specify the exact number of questions on each section of the test, but this is the estimated range based on previous test-takers’ experience:

  • Mathematical Reasoning: 46-49
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts: 46 to 51
  • Social Studies: 30-34
  • Science: 34-40


Can you get your GED online?


Yes! When you register to take the GED test, you can specify that you want to take the test online from the comfort of your home.