It is unfortunate but true that thousands of New Yorkers do not graduate from high school, but an equal number choose to earn New York General Educational Development (GED) diplomas. This high school diploma equivalent is accepted by 96% of employers and schools in North America. If you want to give yourself a fighting chance in today’s competitive job market, use this guide to help you pass the New York GED exam and change your life for the better.
New York GED Format
The information you will be tested on is based on the curriculum high school students must complete to earn their diplomas. The test is split into five sections: science, math, reading, writing, and social studies. The writing portion has an essay question. While you are not expected to be an expert on any particular topic, you are required to write a well thought out essay. You are allowed to use a calculator for the first half of the math test, but you should bring lots of scratch paper as well.
The New York GED exam is designed to test your reading, writing, and math skills as well as you ability to think critically and solve problems. There are a total of 240 questions, besides the essay question, and you will have about 7.5 hours to complete the exam. The test is available in English, French, and Spanish. Those with visual impairments can get the test in large print, Braille, and audio.
About the New York GED Scores
The New York GED exam follows the standard scoring model set by the American Council on Education. The maximum score possible on each part of the exam is between 200 and 800. Collectively, you must earn a 2250 to pass. No test can get lower than 410, otherwise it is an automatic fail and you will be required to retake that part of the exam.
In New York, there is a 60-day waiting period between retakes and you cannot take the test more than 3 times within a 12 month period starting when you first take the New York GED exam.
Eligibility Requirements for the New York GED Test
The minimum age to take the exam without restrictions is 19. You must also be a resident of New York for at least 30 days prior to taking the test. You cannot already possess a high school diploma or equivalent, graduated from an accredited high school in the U.S., be currently enrolled in a K-12 program, or have previously taken the GED test in another state and earned a passing score.
If you are under nineteen but at least 16, you can take the GED exam as long as you meet specific prerequisites. You can find more information about these requirements at an official GED testing site or the New York State Education Department (NTSED) website.
New York GED Exam Registration Information
There are two ways you can register for the New York GED exam. You can download the application from the New York State Education Department website (www.acces.nysed.gov) and mail it in. You’ll need to submit a copy of your identification and any relevant documentation as well as choose two testing dates that are eight weeks out from when you submit your application. The other way is to register at an official testing center. You can find a list of GED testing facilities on the NYSED site.
There is no charge to take the GED test or retakes in the state of New York.
Preparing to Take the Test
Studying for the GED exam improves your chances of passing it the first time. If you prefer to study on your own time and terms, you can buy GED study books and practice tests from online and offline retailers. There are numerous websites online that also offer free or paid GED study materials. This allows you to prepare for the test according to your own needs. You can skip the topics you already know and focus on the ones you don’t.
For those that prefer the structure of a classroom setting, many community colleges and adult learning centers in New York offer GED preparatory classes. These classes will take you through each section and frequently test you to make sure you are learning the material.