Changes in the GED HS Equivalency Exam

GEDA GED Certificate is equivalent to a high school diploma. Michael Ormsby says in his article, “Three Reasons to get a GED Certificate,“ in the United States “39 million adults don’t have a high school diploma.” Since the population of the US is about 323, 343,000, there are about one out of ten adults functioning without a high school diploma or equivalency.

Adults especially need a diploma or GED certificate for employment and improved wages. And today, that’s usually not enough. So a GED opens doors to trade schools and colleges.

As of January 26, 2016 the GED Testing Service has recalibrated the passing test score and added two new performance levels. In most states the passing score for high school equivalency is moving from 150 to 145.

The passing score of the GED will continue to be used as a measurement of high school equivalency and to award a state’s GED credentials.

The two new performance levels include GED College Ready and GED College Ready + Credit. The former signifies a student’s ability to take college courses and the latter may qualify students for up to ten hours of college credit.

GED Testing Service President Randy Trask said, “The scoring enhancements are based on an extensive analysis of test takers’ performance data from the past 18 months, conversations with state policy-makers and elected officials, and external validation with experts.”


GED has an ongoing commitment to make data based decisions and to continue to improve the program’s effectiveness. Their recalibration of passing scores and addition of two new performance levels is indicative to this pledge.

Since 1942 about 20 million holders of GED credentials have gone on to better jobs or college programs. GED Testing Service is a joint effort of the American Council on Education and Pearson.

A student can prepare for the GED on line and when ready, take the exam. The test cannot be taken on the Internet. It covers Literacy (reading and writing), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. When finished preparing for the GED, a student will pay for the exam, and soon after the GED Testing Service will notify him/her of the place and time in their area that the test will be given.

To learn more about the GED, visit their website.

Michael is the author of four published novels—Goodbye Tchaikovsky, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, and The Koolura Series—The Legend of Koolura and Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Examiner writing articles about parenting and education. His blog features YA authors and books.

One thought on “Changes in the GED HS Equivalency Exam

  1. Joe Bock Reply

    My father who was proud of the fact that he graduated elementary school (my mother didn’t) got a GED when he was older (I think around 55 or 60). He didn’t really need it for employment or anything like that; he just felt that he should have it.

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