GED Test Scoring

GED Test Scoring

The information below applies to the current GED exam. It will be changed radically in 2014, but until then you can rely on our research for the current test

The GED consists of five standardized achievement tests that measure an applicant's high school educational proficiency in the areas of writing, reading, social studies, science, and mathematics. Applicants who pass the five subjects of the GED are certified as having successfully achieved the academic skills equivalent of a high school graduate. To pass the GED series of tests and earn a GED Certificate, an applicant's GED score is measured against the baseline performance developed when high school graduates from across the United States were administered the same GED Tests, also known officially as the 2002 Series GED Tests.

Each of the five GED tests is measured with a "standard score" ranging from 200 to 800 and a "percentile rank" ranging from 1 to 99. The ACE records a test-taker's completed GED test scores by these two measures in order to compare the resulting scores with the scores of graduating high school seniors who also took the tests. From the high school seniors tested, approximately 68 percent of the test takers achieved "standard scores" between 400 and 600.

The ACE uses the "percentile rank" in order to compare what percentage of those graduating high school seniors earned a score at or below the test-taker's standard score. As a result, if a test-taker achieved a GED Social Studies Test score of 550 with a percentile rank of 58, the numbers suggest that 58 percent of graduating high school seniors earned a score of 550 or lower on the same test.

The Minimum Passing Scores of the GED Test Battery
Furthermore, the ACE states that in order to pass the batter of five GED tests, the test-taker must achieve test scores that meet or surpass those scores achieved by 60 percent of graduating high school seniors. The local jurisdictions (comprised of the individual states, territories, or providences where the GED test is administered) have the opportunity to increase the minimum passing score, but they are not allowed to lower the minimum passing score. For the 2002 Series of GED Tests, the ACE indicates that the minimum passing scores a test-taker must achieve are as follows:

The applicant must:

  1. Achieve an AVERAGE standard score of 450 or greater across the five GED content area tests.
  2. Achieve a TOTAL standard score of 2,250 or greater for all five GED Tests.
  3. Achieve a standard score of 410 or greater on each GED content area test.

The Minimum Passing Scores of the GED Test Battery for College Admission
Applicants who wish to use their GED test scores to qualify for college entrance always should check with the college's admissions department regarding the college's requirements regarding GED scores. Specifically, applicants should inquire about the college's minimum acceptable GED score value, since some colleges may require an applicant to achieve above the minimum GED passing score.

Combining GED Test Scores
GED Testing Graphs (PDF)

Last Updated: 05/15/2014