The job market is not the same as it used to be. If you want to obtain personally and financially fulfilling employment, you must have the right education. However, the lack of a high school diploma can put a crimp in anyone’s ambition. Thankfully an alternative exists that is acceptable to employers and universities around the nation. It is called the Missouri GED (General Educational Development) diploma. Here is a short guide on how you can earn this high school diploma equivalent.
Missouri GED Test Format
The Missouri GED Test is administered and regulated by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The exam follows the nationally recognized format created by the American Council on Education. The test contains 240 questions and 1 essay question on five subjects that are taught in almost all high schools in North America and breaks down as follows:
- Math – 50 questions
- Social studies – 50 questions
- Science – 50 questions
- Language arts: reading – 40 questions
- Language arts: writing – 50 questions, 1 essay question
You will have 45 to 80 minutes to complete each individual test, which is a little over 7 hours for the entire exam. A calculator will be provided to you to use for the first half of the math test.
Passing the Missouri GED Exam
To earn a Missouri GED diploma, you must pass the exam with a score of 2,250 or better. An employer or school, however, may require you to exceed that score to qualify for the job or educational program. The lowest score you can get on any one test is 410 and you must retake any portion of the test that earns 409 or below. All GED scores are graded on a percentile of 0 to 99 that is used to assign class rank. For example, scoring 610 on each test places the candidate in the top 10% of the class.
There is a 60 day waiting period before you can retake any portion of the exam and test scores are good for two years. You must pass all of the tests within that time frame or your test will be invalidated and you’ll have to start again.
Eligibility Requirements to Take the Missouri GED Exam
In Missouri, you can take the GED exam if you are 18 years old or over and a resident of the state. Seventeen year olds can take the test if they have formally withdrawn from school. Sixteen year olds must complete at least 16 credit units of high school education and obtained written permission from the school superintendent before they can take the GED test. Home schooled teens aged 16 must have written permission from a parent or guardian and have achieved the requirements of 167.031 RSMo regarding class instruction. (visit www.dese.mo.gov)
Preregistration is required to take the Missouri GED. This can be done online or in person at an official GED testing site. You can download the application from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website and mail it in with a cashier’s check or money order for the $20 application fee. The fee can also be paid online with a credit card. You will receive a confirmation after which you can set an appointment for the test at your local testing center. The testing fee is $20 for the whole exam and must be paid when you arrive to take the test.
How to Prepare for the Test
Ask anyone who has taken the GED test and they will tell you that it is challenging to pass. To give yourself a fighting chance, you should study the topics you will be tested on. You can do this by enrolling in a GED prep course offered by an adult education center or community college. You can also find these courses online. Another option is to purchase GED study guides and use those to review for the test in your own time.