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A Guide to the North Carolina GED Program

The North Carolina General Education Development (GED) certificate is designed to provide adults an alternative way to earn their high school diplomas. If you were not able to graduate from high school, the GED diploma is your ticket to better wages, more job opportunities, and access to higher education. Here is a short guide the North Carolina GED exam.

North Carolina GED Test Format

The North Carolina GED diploma is a testament that you have obtained a high school level of education. The test, therefore, is based on the five main subjects taught in high schools across the nation: reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. The GED is designed to test your knowledge and your ability to think critically to solve problems.

Each of the five tests has 40 to 50 multiple-choice questions. The only exception is the writing test which also includes an essay question. The majority of the questions require you to read a short passage and then answer questions about what you have read. The math test does require you to do calculations, and you will be provided with a calculator for the first 25 questions of this exam.

GED tests are available in English, French, Spanish, Braille, large print, and audio. Reasonable accommodations are made for people with physical, psychological, and learning disabilities.

How to Pass the North Carolina GED Test

A minimum cumulative score of 2250 is required to pass the GED. That averages out to 450 per test. The lowest score you can get on any one test without failing is 410. However, you have to make up those points on another test to be sure you reach minimum passing score. All GED scores are placed on a percentile from 0 to 99 which indicates a person’s educational rank compared to high school students. For example, a score of 610 on a test places the person in the 10% of his or her class.

Any test you fail can be taken again. The specific retesting rules vary between GED testing sites, so it is best to contact the one in your area for up-to-date information about retesting.

North Carolina GED Eligibility Requirements

In North Carolina, the minimum testing age is 18. If you are under 18 but at least 16, you may sit for the GED test if you have a signed release form from the superintendent of schools and permission from a parent or guardian. Additionally, those who have already graduated from high school or obtained a high school diploma or equivalent cannot sit for the test. More information about eligibility requirements can be obtained from a local GED testing facility or the North Carolina Community Colleges (NCCC) website (www.nccommunitycolleges.edu)

How do I Register for the GED and What Does it Cost?

All 58 of the state’s community colleges are official GED testing sites. To take the test, you will need to submit an application to a testing center and pay the exam fee. The fee is $25 for the full battery of tests. Retakes are free. You will need to bring valid photo identification, you social security card, and all relevant documentation with you when you register for the test.

Preparing for the Exam

For many people, the most effective way to study for the GED test is to take a preparatory course. These classes provide an in-depth review of the topics you will be tested on. You can sign up for these classes at a community college, an adult education center, or online.

If you are self-motivated and disciplined, you can try independent study using GED instruction materials like study guides and practice tests. Going this route allows you to customize your learning experience to suit your needs. For example, you will be able to study at your own pace and on the subjects where you are weakest. GED study materials can be purchased at bookstores or retrieved from the library.