Not having your high school diploma can cause you to miss out on many beneficial opportunities in life such as getting a college degree or obtaining a high-paying job. Luckily, earning a Tennessee General Education Development (GED) credential can help you get past the roadblocks and achieve your dreams. Here are some frequently asked questions about the Tennessee GED program.
Tennessee GED Test Format
The GED exam is divided into five subtests with each one representing a specific topic taught in high school:
- Language Arts: Reading (40 questions, 65 minutes)
- Language Arts: Writing (50 questions one essay question, 120 minutes)
- Mathematics (50 questions, 90 minutes)
- Science (50 questions, 80 minutes)
- Social Studies (50 questions, 70 minutes)
In total, there are 241 questions, and all of them (except the essay question) are multiple choice. The test takes about 7.5 hours to complete, but most GED centers divide the testing over several days. Accommodations are made for people with learning, physical, and psychological disabilities. However, arrangements must be made in advance of the test date. For the math test, the facility will provide you with a calculator to use on the first part of the exam but not the second.
Passing the Tennessee GED Test
Passing the Tennessee GED exam requires two things: earn over 410 on the individual subtests and a collective score of 2250 or more. You will need to retake all or part of the exam if you do not earn the minimum score on the exam or any of the subtests. Tennessee allows candidates to take the GED exam up to three times in one year. There is a waiting period of 30 days between retakes. However, this waiting period may be waived at the discretion of the Chief Examiner of the testing center.
Eligibility requirements can change. It is best to contact a GED testing center directly or visit the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website for the most current information about qualifying to take the GED exam. However, the basic requirements are:
- Tennessee resident
- At least 18 years of age
- If you are 17 years old, you can take the test provide you are not in school, enrolled in a GED option program, and have an age waiver signed by the superintendent
- Haven’t received a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate
Registering for the Tennessee GED Exam
Registration for the test must be done at a local GED testing center. You can find a list of testing facilities at the Tennessee Department of Education website ( visit www.tn.gov) or the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website. You must fill out an application, show government-issued identification, and submit all paperwork related to your eligibility. Your identification must show your date of birth, photograph, address, and signature and cannot be expired. Acceptable forms of ID include:
- Driver’s license
- State ID
- Military ID
The fee for the GED test is $65 for all five tests and $10 to $15 per subtest.
Studying for the GED Exam
The best way to study for the Tennessee GED exam depends on your learning style. If you prefer a classroom setting where you can interact with the instructor and other students, then you should take a GED prep course at a local college or adult learning center. These courses are also available online and through distance learning programs for those people that need more flexibility. For the more independent study types, you can purchase GED study materials such as workbooks and practice tests and design your own review course. There are lots of GED forums and websites that can provide supplemental information and support.