Below are answers to FAQs about the GED®.
Click here for Online GED Technical Support and Troubleshooting
- What is the GED®?
- What subjects does the GED® test?
- What is the pass mark on the GED® test?
- Is the GED® recognised in South Africa?
- Is the GED® a Matric?
- Can candidates with a GED® credential apply to a South African university?
- Can you study at a tertiary institution with a GED®?
- How long does it take to prepare for the GED®?
- Is there a minimum requirement to write the GED®?
- Is there a readiness test to check if I am ready to write the GED® tests?
- When do I get my GED® test results?
- Can a candidate rewrite if s/he fails?
- Are accommodations allowed for candidates with learning disabilities or special educational needs?
- What does it cost to enrol with OnlineGED.co.za?
- What are the technical requirements of my pc or laptop for using the GED Academy™ online classes?
- How much data do I need to do the online GED® course?
- How do I book the GED® Tests?
- Where do I write the GED® Tests in South Africa?
- Can foreign immigrants write the GED® tests in South Africa?
The GED® is a high school Grade 12 equivalency* credential.
In the early 1940’s veterans returning to the Unites States after World War II needed to obtain academic credentials to get civilian jobs and gain access to tertiary education or training. The GED® test was developed for this purpose, similar to an adult matric. It has subsequently been written by more than 17 million students in the USA and around the world, including South Africa!
All fifty states in the United States officially offer the GED® tests and they are written in more than 3000 testing centres worldwide.
GED® Performance Standards
“The total testing time for the full battery of four subject-area tests is comparable to the current international test at approximately 8 hours. The performance standards were set based on a standardization and norming study conducted with US high school graduates who received their diplomas in 2013. The minimum passing score for the GED® test represents that a student that passes the GED® test is in the top 85% of the graduating class of US High School Seniors.
The GED® test has a range of 100 – 200 Scaled Score points and is subdivided into four performance levels:
[Please note that levels 3 and 4 are only applicable or relevent in the USA.]
Performance Level 1: Below Passing (Scaled Scores 100 – 144)
Performance Level 2: Pass/High School Equivalency (Scaled Scores 145 – 164)
Performance Level 3: GED® College Ready (Scaled Scores 165 – 174)
Performance Level 4: GED® College Ready+Credit (Scaled Scores 175 – 200)
Any student who achieves a minimum score of 145 on all four subjects has passed the GED® test and is awarded a high school equivalency credential from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Washington, D.C. The higher performance levels are designed to stratify student performance and provide post-secondary institutions additional information about a student’s skills and knowledge, as follows:
● Students who earn a GED® College Ready score likely have the skills to start credit-bearing college/university-level courses, without the need for placement testing or developmental/remedial education courses, depending on the policies of the institution to which they are applying. This represents the top 27% of high school graduates in the U.S.
● Students who earn a GED® College Ready+Credit score have demonstrated some of the same skills that are taught in college/university-level courses. These students may be eligible for up to 10 semester hours of college/university credit, depending on the policies of the institution they are attending or to which they are applying. This represents the top 8% of high school graduates in the U.S.”
The 2014 GED® test consists of four subjects which you can book to write on different days:
- Reasoning through Language Arts – 150 minutes (including a 10-minute break)
- Mathematical Reasoning – 90 minutes
- Science – 90 minutes
- Social Studies – 90 minutes
Each test is scored on a scale from 100 to 200 and you must get 145 for each subject to pass. This means you should answer at least 60-65% of the questions on each test correctly in order to pass.
You must pass each test in order to pass the GED® overall.
*SAQA, the South African Qualifications Authority, has evaluated the GED® and found the National Senior Certificate as its closest comparable qualification. Candidates with a GED® credential may be eligible to apply for a Certificate of Evaluation from SAQA which states that the closest comparable qualification in South Africa is the National Senior Certificate (matric) or an NQF Level 4 qualification. You can read this for yourself on their site here: SAQA
Click on the image on the right to view it full size and see an example of a SAQA Certificate of Evaluation.
No, the GED® is considered to be a foreign grade 12 equivalent*. The nearest comparable South African qualification is the National Senior Certificate, grade 12 or matric. See the question above.
Yes. Universities South Africa (USAF, formerly known as HESA) recognises the GED® credential.
Once a student has completed the GED® and meets the requirements as per the Gazette , he/she may apply to USAf for consideration.
USAf has also confirmed that should a student’s application be successful, the student will potentially receive one of the below documents:
- Foreign Conditional Exemption
- Senatorial Discretion
- Mature Age Exemption
GED® graduates may apply to USAf for a letter of foreign conditional exemption with their GED® credential, accompanied by an a letter of admission to a degree course from an appropriately accredited US university** OR a the required score on the SAT test**,
You can confirm this for yourself on the USAF website here:
There is no guarantee that a GED® graduate will be issued with a letter of foreign conditional exemption from USAf, not that a University will accept his/her application.
Click on the image (right) to see the full size example of a letter of foreign conditional exemption issued by USAf.
We can assist our enrolled clients with guidelines for obtaining a letter of admission from a US university on request.
Click here to view our growing list of universities and private tertiary institutions which accept candidates with a GED® and foreign conditional exemption.
Below is the Certificate of Foreign Conditional Exemption which was issued to a GED® graduate once she had been accepted to study at a South African university.
Different faculties of different institutions may have their own entrance criteria, so it is always best to first check with the institution of your choice. However, in general, the GED® credential is recognised as being equivalent* to Grade 12. See the question above. Read our GED® Success Stories
The online study material, powered by Essential Education, that we offer is self-paced, so the time it may take candidates to prepare and feel ready to book their tests may vary, depending on the candidate’s level of education prior to starting the online course.
Enrolment is for one year starting anytime, but this can be renewed if necessary.
There is no prerequisite qualification. To write the GED® tests, candidates must be age 16 or older and must have a form of South African identification with a photo and signature, such as a Smart ID, ID book or Passport.
If you use a passport, check that it also shows the candidate’s signature.
Students who have reached about grade 10 level or higher usually manage very well.
Yes, on the website of the GED® Testing Service you can download free GED® practice tests for each of the four GED® tests.
You can also purchase a GED® Ready Test for each subject at $6.00 per test. According to the GED® Testing Service, this is “the only practice test built to tell a student if they are likely to pass the real thing.”
There are also free Assessment Guides for Educators which you can download to see a detailed description of the content of the tests for each subject.
For South Africans, you can purchase the GED Ready® Tests using most debit cards, credit cards or pay by EFT for R100 (very close to the $6 available from the USA) at the following link: http://ged.org.za/index.php/product/ged-ready-practice-test/
When you have written and passed all four tests you will receive an electronic version of your GED® High School Equivalency Credential, issued by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington, DC.
You get one free paper diploma posted to you, but you have to follow the instructions in the email you receive and claim it .
You do not get a free transcript. You have to pay for a hard copy to be sent to you from the USA.
You can apply online for a hard copy at a cost of USD $15 plus postage. We can send our enrolled clients guidelines for this application on request.
Click on the image of the Transcript to see a larger version.
Yes, the test may be rewritten twice. If a candidate fails twice, the test may only be rewritten again 60 days later…(but we’ll help you prepare to succeed!)
Yes…Click here for information about accommodations and the necessary application forms: Accommodations
To apply for disability accommodations, candidates must contact the Pearson VUE International GED Testing Service Booking Line in the UK. Here is a local Johannesburg number you can dial which redirects you to them: 011-083-6433. Their office hours are 09h00-17h00 UK time.
Click here for prices and registration information. Enrolment is for one year’s access to the online GED® study material which can be extended for another year if necessary.
Technical requirements for Essential Education’s GED Academy™:
1. Internet Browser: Use only the Chrome browser on a laptop or desktop computer
On a tablet, iPad or other mobile device use the Puffin Web Browser
2. PDF viewer (built in Chrome)
3. Monitor Resolution: 1280×768 or higher
4. Sound card and speakers or headphones
You can check that your system (browser, flash, operating system etc) is up to date at this link:
Below are more useful downloads which are free:
1. Chrome Browser: https://www.google.com/chrome/
2. Mobile Flash Browser: puffinbrowser.com or flashbrowser.com
3. Adobe Flash Player: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
4. Adobe Reader: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
5. Directions to clear your browser’s cache: https://kb.iu.edu/d/ahic
How much data do I need to do the online GED® study course?
There are a lot of factors that go into this and so it is not possible to give an exact figure.
A typical student would use around 1-4 GB to work through the entire online GED® program.
Currently, the overall size of the data files for the content is approximately 11 GB, however a GED® student won’t need to access all of that content during use of the program. This is not an upper bounds either though, because a student may download the same piece of content multiple times.
Here are some of the factors that influence data usage:
- The student’s customised lesson plan allows them to skip content they already know. The more content they can skip, the less data they will use.
- If a student retakes a piece of content, they might have to download it again or they might not, depending on their caching settings and how much time has passed since they last took it. If a student were to attempt each lesson twice, that could double their data usage for the program.
- The student may choose to take optional content or not, such as: review lessons, computer essentials lessons, and extra practice tests.
Most content falls into the range of 1 MB – 15 MB per piece and the average is probably around 5 MB, the largest piece of is around 30 MB, but technically the system is set to allow content up to around 50 MB per piece.
Candidates must book their tests themselves online at the official GED® Testing Service website at https://ged.com/. A fee of USD $60 per test must be paid online using a credit card. Click here for screen-shotted guidelines through the process of Online GED Test Booking.
Please note that candidates must have a South African ID or passport with a photo and signature, in order to write the GED® tests.
Foreigners must have a study permit or refugee status in order to be allowed to write the tests in South Africa. See below.
This is in accordance with the Immigration Act and regulations set out by the Department of Home Affairs.
There are 38 GED® test centres in South Africa at Boston VUE Testing Centres. When you book your tests online you will be given the option of choosing the test centre closest to your address and the address of the test venue, a contact number and a map will be provided.
You can choose from the available dates and time slots and book a test date and time that is convenient for you.
Yes, foreigners who are legally living in South Africa may write the GED® tests at local test centres.
However, foreign immigrants may not go through the regular online booking process and arrive at a test centre to write their GED® tests.
They have to go through a complex application and internal process. The application may take at least 10 working days to be reviewed.
In accordance with the Immigration Act, only students who have a South African ID or passport, a valid study permit, refugee status or foreign nationals residing in South Africa and holding any valid (non-expired) permit/visa, issued to such an individual by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), deemed to be in transit (travelling in the Republic as a tourist), or as a citizen from a SADC country visiting the Republic for a period not exceeding the minimum allowed period by the DHA, before being required to apply for a temporary residence permit, may request to make use of a Boston City Campus & Business College PEARSON VUE Testing Centre, in order to participate in proctored online GED-assessment events. Candidates with an expired permit/visa will not be permitted to participate in booked tests.
In order to request to make use of a Boston City Campus & Business College PEARSON VUE Testing Centre, all foreign nationals must email an official request to email@example.com and include the proposed Boston City Campus & Business College accredited VUE Testing Centre, a clear certified scanned copy of a valid passport and permit/visa and all other related travel documentation. GED.org.za (head office in South Africa) reserves the right to charge for the administration processing of these applications.
*SAQA (the South African Qualifications Authority) has evaluated the GED® and found the National Senior Certificate as its closest comparable qualification. SAQA evaluates each submission of a foreign qualification on a case by case basis and therefore students with a GED® are eligible for SAQA Foreign Qualification evaluation.