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Massachusetts GED Guide

Lack of education is a common reason people don’t achieve their dreams. While you may not have been able to graduate high school as a teenager, that doesn’t mean you must go through life without the educational credentials you need to get ahead. The Massachusetts GED certificate is considered by the majority of employers and post-secondary schools to be a high school diploma equivalent. Here is information about the Massachusetts GED and how you can earn this important diploma.

Massachusetts GED Format

The GED program was started in 1942 to provide a way for young men sent to war during their high school years to earn the degree they needed for employment. The exam is based on the mandatory subjects students must study in high school. The test is broken into five parts:

  • Language Arts -Writing Arts
    • Part I (50 questions, 75 minutes)
    • Part II (essay, 45 minutes)
    •  Language Arts, Reading (40 questions, 65 minutes)
    • Social Studies (50 questions, 70 minutes)
    • Science (50 Questions, 80 minutes)
    • Mathematics (50 questions, 90 minutes)

There are a total of 240 questions plus one essay question. The questions are all multiple choice and you will have approximately 7 hours to complete the exam.

Passing the Massachusetts GED Test

Passing the Massachusetts GED test requires a minimum score of 2,250. Each test is worth between 200 and 800 points and your cumulative score will be ranked on a percentile rank between 1 and 99. This is to show how your test score compares to those of graduating high school seniors. While you should shoot for an average of 450 for each test, you will have to retake any test that scores below 410.

All tests must be completed before you can retest any portion of it. Massachusetts allows you to take the test over several days, but the entire exam must be completed within one year of registering. There are other restrictions regarding retesting. For more information, contact the local GED testing center or visit the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

Massachusetts GED Eligibility Requirements

To sit for the Massachusetts GED exam, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The minimum age is 18. You may take the test at 16 or 17 if you provide an official letter of withdrawal from the last school you attended.
  • Massachusetts resident
  • Non-residents may sit for the test but the scores are sent to their home state
  • Not enrolled in any K-12 program or received a diploma or equivalent from an accredited program

Registering for the Massachusetts GED Exam

Registering for the Massachusetts GED test is easy. Visit the GED testing facility closest to you and submit an application. You can find a list of testing sites on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website (www.doe.mass.edu) You will need to submit photo identification at the time of registration.

The testing fee is $65 for the full battery of tests ($60 for the test and $5 for the diploma). It costs $15 to retake individual portions of the test. If you don’t show up for the test or are late, you will be charged a $25 penalty fee and not allowed into the exam.

Preparing to Take the Test

It is estimated that up to 70 percent of candidates do not pass the GED exam on their first try. Approximately 60 percent of high school students wouldn’t pass the GED test either. Needless to say, preparation is essential if you want to earn this credential. You have a couple of study options available to you. A good one is to enroll in a GED prep course that will take you through the material you will be tested on. If your schedule doesn’t allow enough time to take a course, you can learn independently using GED study guides available for purchase at bookstores or from the library.