June 4, 2015

Combining GED Test Scores

Test scores within the current series can be combined only with other test scores in the same series. For example, candidates taking the current series may pass Language Arts and Social Studies but fail the other parts of the test. Those candidates can retake the failed parts of the test and combine the new scores with the previous scores from the parts of the test that were passed resulting in a completed five-part GED test. Once the 2012 version is released, however, candidates will not be able to combine scores from the current version with scores from the new version. For example, on December 28, 2011 any candidate who passes the Mathematics and Science portion of the test but fails the rest will not be able to keep the passing scores from that version of the test because the new version will be released on January 1, 2012. In this particular case, the candidate would have to retake the entire battery of GED tests.


This is done because the current version of the test was released in 2002. Ten years will have passed once the 2012 version is released. The curriculum standards from 2002 to 2012 will be very different. The question types, content, and cognitive standards will be different for each version. Expectations in each content area may have changed. It is possible that the passing standard will differ between the current and future version.

GEDTS is attempting to ensure that all current GED candidates are aware that test scores from the two versions will not be combinable. Testing center websites, testing staff websites, and GEDTS websites are posting official announcements regarding this matter. Also, GEDTS will distribute a press release to national media to attempt to reach anyone who will be affected by this matter. Each state and jurisdiction is working to create letters to notify candidates of the changes. GEDTS is also attempting to put together an awareness campaign so that no one will be blindsided by the introduction of the updated test version.

Understanding GED Scores

At first glance, GED scores can be difficult to understand. Most people who will be taking the GED are used to the scoring system found in most schools, where test scores range between 0 and 100 based on the number of questions on the test and the number answered correctly. For example, if a test has 50 questions and the student answered 10 of them wrong, the test score would be 80, meaning 80% of the questions were answered correctly. GED scores, however, are a whole different ball game.

The GED is intended to reflect the knowledge that comes with a high school diploma, so the test is given to a number of high school seniors to establish a benchmark of what a good score includes. Also, the GED is a standardized test, which means there are a multitude of factors which go into scoring it that are not easily fit into a scale of 0 to 100. Finally, the GED actually consists of several different tests. Each individual test has its own score, and they are averaged together for the total official test score.

Based on the test results of high school seniors taking the GED, it has been determined that a score of 500 is about average, meaning that approximately half the seniors will score higher than 500 and about half will score lower. Based on this, the GED authorities set 450 as the minimum passing average total score. Plus, to pass, a person has to score at least 410 on each test. In other words, you can’t score 750 on one test and use it to average out your score of 200 on another test. On each of the separate tests, you must score at least 410 and your average must be at least 450 for all tests to pass the GED.