A Quick Look at the GED Test

By: Diana Gordineer

Some little known facts and history about the GED test.

A Quick Look at the GED Test

The GED tests have become an important part of American adult education today. Here are some little known facts and history about the GED test you may not know.

  • GED stands for General Educational Development.
  • The GED test was established in 1942 to help returning World War II veterans receive a diploma equal to that of a student graduating at a high school level.
  • Since then millions of adults have gained employment and educational opportunities as the GED test is recognized throughout North America by nearly 90% of employers and higher education institutions alike and more than 95% of employers nationwide hire GED graduates on the same level as high school graduates in terms of hiring, salary, and advancing opportunities.
  • It is estimated that nearly 12.6 million people have earned their high school equivalency since 1942.
  • There are approx. 3,500 official GED testing centers in the United States, Canada and abroad.
  • The GED test measures the academic knowledge and skills expected in students who have had 4 years of high school and consists of 5 separate tests: Science, Language Arts-Writing, Language Arts-Reading, Social Studies, Science and Mathematical skills.
  • The average age of a student who takes the GED test is 24.7 years old.
  • The GED test is administered to over 800,000 adults each year.
  • Some well known public figures have also earned their diplomas by passing the GED tests including: actor/comedian/author Bill Cosby, Olympic gymnast and gold medal winner Mary Lou Retton, founder of Wendy’s fast food restaurants Dave Thomas, actor Michael J. Fox, singer Vicki Carr, and comedian/actor Chris Rock.
  • When you pass the GED test, it puts you in the upper 25th percentile in terms of class rank, letting colleges know that you have the knowledge and the skills equal to that of students applying from traditional high schools although some colleges require you to take further tests such as the ACT or SAT to qualify.
  • It is estimated that 1 in every 20 college students are GED graduates.
  • Ninety percent of colleges nationwide recognize the GED.

I hope this information helps any of you who may be taking the test to understand it better, for more information contact your local GED testing center. Best wishes and good luck!

By Diana Godineer, a writer at Helium.com

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