Score To Pass Ged Essay

If you’re thinking of taking the GED exam, you’re probably wondering how it’s scored. So just what is a good GED score? The answer to that depends on what you’re hoping to accomplish with your GED diploma. For instance, those who plan to go to college afterwards might want to aim for a higher score than those seeking high school equivalency only. Read on for the details on the GED scoring system and what the scoring levels can mean for you.

What is a Passing Score on the GED?

Each GED subject test is scored on a scale of 100-200 points. To pass the GED, you must earn at least 145 on each of the four subject tests, for a total of at least 580 points (out of a possible 800). You have to pass each subject test individually, so a 580 is only good enough if it means you got 145 on each section. If you failed one subject test but did well enough on another to bring the total up to 580, that’s still not a passing score.

The good news is you don’t have to take all four at the same time or even pass all four at the same time. If you don’t pass all of the subject tests the first time around, you can retake the ones you failed without having to retake the ones you passed. Your best scores from each attempt will be added up to get your total score to qualify you for your GED credential.

GED Scoring Levels

The GED is not merely pass/fail. Scores are actually classified into four score categories, each representing a range of possible scores. The scale below shows the score per subtest that would give you each designation.

Below Passing: 100-144

If you score 144 or below on any subject test, you cannot pass the GED, no matter what your scores on the other subject tests. You will need to retake any subject tests that you did not pass the first time around until you are able to do so.

GED Passing Score: 145-164

If you pass all four subject tests and your scores fall in the 145-164 range, you earn a GED Passing Score/High School Equivalency. This indicates that you have adequately demonstrated high school-level knowledge and skills.

GED College Ready: 165-174

A score in this range gives you a higher distinction—GED College Ready. If you’re hoping to go to college after obtaining your GED, this is a great goal. It shows colleges that you are college-ready and may not need remediation to catch up before starting a degree program.

GED College Ready + Credit: 175-200

A score in this highest range shows that you already have some of the knowledge and skills that would be taught in the first year of college. At some colleges, this can translate into credits which can let you skip certain classes, saving you time and money. Not all colleges accept credits earned through the GED program, so check with the schools you’re interested in to find out.

Learn more about GED College Ready and College Ready + Credit.

Want to know where you’re likely to score? Take the GED Ready Official Practice Test, available on MyGED.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!


Thinking of taking the GED exam? Of course one of the first things you’ll want to know is how the exam is scored and what you need to pass. Here’s a guide to what your GED score means.

How is the GED Scored?

What we call the “GED exam” is actually four separate subject tests.

You can choose to take these four tests all at once, or you can spread them out as much as you want. You will need to complete and pass all four in order to receive your GED credential.

Each subject test is scored separately on a scale of 100 to 200 points. That means that after you’ve taken all four subject tests, your total score will be out a total of 800 possible points.

Subject Test Score Range
Reading Through Language Arts 100-200
Mathematical Reasoning100-200
Social Studies 100-200
Science100-200
TOTAL400-800

What GED Score Do I Need to Pass?

To pass the GED, you need at least 145 out of 200 on each of the four subject tests. That means your total score for the entire set of exams will need to be at least 580.

Note: You need a GED score of at least 580 AND a score of at least 145 per subject test. If you failed one of the subject tests but scored high enough on another to still bring your total score to 580 or more, this is NOT a passing score. You will need to retake the subject test you failed.

How Many Questions Do I Need to Get Right to Pass?

To pass each GED subject test, you need to earn a scaled score of at least 145 out of 200. So how many questions does that translate into? The answer isn’t quite so simple.

The number of questions on each subject test can vary slightly from test to test. For example, you could take the Social Studies test one day and be asked 35 questions and on another day, you could have a test version that has 38 questions. What won’t change, however, is the number of POINTS on each subject test.

You see, not every question is worth the same number of points. Each answer on the test is worth one raw point, but some questions have more than one answer. A “typical” multiple choice question with only one correct answer is worth one point, but other questions might ask you to select more than one correct answer. In these cases, each answer is worth one point. A single question with two correct answers is worth two points, and so on.

The number of raw points on each subject test is:

Subject Test Number of Raw Points Available
Reasoning Through Language Arts 65
Mathematical Reasoning49
Social Studies 30
Science 40

For Mathematical Reasoning and Social Studies, the points are equal to the number of possible answers in each test. In Science, this is also true except for the two short answer questions, which are worth 3 points each (and on which partial credit is possible, so you could score 1, 2, or 3 points on a short answer question).

Reasoning Through Language Arts is a little different because it includes an essay that is scored differently from the rest of the test. The essay is worth 20% of the total score for that subject test. That means that the essay is worth roughly 13 points, leaving you with 52 answers on the other questions.

The conversion from these raw points to your scaled score (100-200 per subject test) is not a simple formula, and the GED Testing Service doesn’t publish how exactly this scoring magic happens. What they do say, though, is that to pass each subject test with a 145, you need to get 60-65% of the available points on the test. If we use 65% to be on the safe side, that means that to pass you would need approximately:

Subject Test Approx. Number of Points Needed to Pass
Reasoning Through Language Arts 42 out of 65
Mathematical Reasoning32 out of 49
Social Studies 20 out of 30
Science 26 out of 40

What are the GED Score Levels?

There are four different GED score levels, and three of the four indicate a passing score. The GED score levels are:

  1. Below Passing
  2. GED Passing Score/High School Equivalency
  3. GED College Ready
  4. GED College Ready + Credit

The scale below shows the score range per subject test that would land you in each score category.

Your personal goal for your GED score may vary in part based on the plans you have for after finishing your GED. If you’re thinking of going to college, a better score can look better to admissions officers and could even lead to earning college credits before you even go!

Here’s what each score level means:

GED Score Levels

GED Score LevelScore Range (per subject test) What It Means
Below PassingUnder 145You did not earn enough points to pass.
GED Passing Score/ High School Equivalency145-164You have demonstrated high school level skills.
GED College Ready 165-174Your skills show that you are ready for college. This looks great on a college application.
GED College Ready + Credit 175-200You have shown above-average skills that may earn you college credit, depending on the school.

If you want more information on how a College Ready or College Ready + Credit Score can benefit you and how the program works, visit the GED Testing Service website.

What Happens If I Don’t Pass the GED?

Unfortunately, not every student passes the first time, but you can always take the exam again. The good news is that if you don’t pass all four subject tests the first time, you don’t have to take them all over again. You only need to retake the sections that you didn’t pass.

You can retake any or all of the subject tests as many times as you need to in order to pass. You even get a discount on the subject tests you have to retake (varies by state; find out your retake price).

Need to schedule a retake? Register by logging into MyGED.

Prepare to Pass

The best pass to make sure you pass the GED is to be prepared. Try our 5 Ways to Study for the GED Online. Then, when you’re ready, take a practice test to give yourself a better idea of how you are likely to score on test day.

About Sarah Bradstreet

Sarah is an educator and writer with a Master’s degree in education from Syracuse University who has helped students succeed on standardized tests since 2008. She loves reading, theater, and chasing around her two kids.


Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!


0 thoughts on “Score To Pass Ged Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *