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General Educational Diploma

Last updated 4th Oct 2022


More correctly referred to as General Education Development, a General Educational Diploma, or GED, is an internationally recognized high school equivalency testing program targeted at adults.


Originally developed back in 1942 to help military personnel and veterans demonstrate their knowledge, the general educational development test consists of a series of five sections. The list below outlines the sections used to evaluate an adult's skills and understanding:

  • Mathematics
  • Writing Skills / Language Arts
  • Reading Skills
  • Social Studies
  • Applied Science

The test can be taken either electronically or via a paper examination. Regardless of the media, the test must be taken in-person and monitored. The range of scores is similar to the SATs. Colleges and universities may require certain threshold scores for admittance, in the same way they may require certain SAT scores.

The general educational development tests are designed to measure the skills that would be attained by attending high school. Since many adults have acquired skills through life experiences, at or above a secondary school level, the GED allows these adults to demonstrate these academic abilities that are equivalent to those of high school graduates.

Related Terms

student loans, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, work-study, grants

Moneyzine Editor

Moneyzine Editor