The first step to securing your future is to make sure you have the education you need to land a good job or start your own business. If you weren’t fortunate enough to graduate from high school, you can overcome that hurdle by earning your General Education Development (GED) credential. This is a high school diploma equivalent that can help put you on the path to better income prospects or a college degree.
Virginia GED Test Format
The Virginia GED is administered by the Virginia Department of Education. It is a five-part exam that tests applicants in the following subjects:
- Test 1: Language Arts – Writing (2 parts)
- Test 2: Social Studies
- Test 3: Science
- Test 4: Language Arts – Reading
- Test 5: Mathematics (2 parts)
The entire battery of tests has 240 questions (plus an essay portion), which takes about 7.5 hours to complete. The purpose of the exam is to test your skills and understanding of key concepts rather than how well you can recall facts.
The test is administered over several days. It is available in the English, Spanish, and French languages and Braille, large print, and audio formats.
Virginia GED Minimum Score
The minimum passing score you must earn on the GED is 410 for each individual test and 2250 cumulatively. However, employers and colleges may require a higher score. If you score below 410 on a test or you do not hit the cumulative score of 2250, you will need to take the test again. You can retake all or part of the test up to three times in one year. There may be other restrictions. It is best to contact an official GED testing site for more information about retaking the GED exam.
Who is Eligible to Take the Test?
You are not required to be a Virginia resident to take the exam, but you must be at least 18 years old, out of high school, and have not acquired a diploma or equivalent. Those 16 but not yet 18 may take the GED exam if they have been home schooled, released from compulsory school attendance, participated in an alternative education program, expelled from school, court ordered, or are currently in an adult correctional facility. More information about the specific paperwork needed to verify eligibility can be obtained by contacting an official Virginia GED testing site. (visit www.vaged.vcu.edu)
How do I Register for the GED?
You will need to submit an application to the GED testing center nearest you. Photo identification, documentation of current residence (Virginia or other), and supplemental paperwork must be submitted at the same time. Once you have paid the testing fee, $58 for all tests or $10 per test for retakes, you will be able to make an appointment to take the exam.
Study Before Taking the Test
It is a good idea to study for the GED exam before you take it. Many people enroll in GED preparatory courses as a way of preparing for the exam. These classes walk you through all of the material on the exam and test you throughout to make sure you are learning the information. Another popular option is to purchase a GED workbook and study the material independently. There are many online resources that can be helpful to people who are studying for the GED on their own. Virginia also participates in the GED on TV program.