The History of the GED

The General Education Development (GED) test was developed out of necessity in 1942. At that time, young men were being shipped out to war before they could complete high school. As a result, many of them did not get their high school diplomas which were needed to obtain work. To fix this problem, they were allowed to take the GED test which is considered the equivalent of a high school diploma. Today, millions of people around the world use this test to improve their lives.

GED Test Revisions
The first time the test was revised was in 1972. This revision expanded the number of subjects people were required to know and understand. It was also redesigned to test the person’s ability to think critically. This was to ensure the people entering the workforce had the skills necessary to be good employees during a time when use of technology was increasing.

About a decade and a half later the test changed again. In 1988, the GED test required a writing sample that was graded by a human. Additionally, more emphasis was put on topics that were socially relevant and focused on solving problems. This change was a reflection of the 65% of test takers that wanted to use the GED to get into a college or university rather than get a job.

The last revision occurred in 2002. More business-related questions were incorporated into the test and the existing questions were changed to reflect issues that were more relevant to the majority of adults that took the test.


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