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Frequently Asked Questions regarding the GED Test:

Who can take the test?

You may take the test in Virginia if you are:

  • at least 18 years old
  • not currently enrolled in public school
  • an ISAEP student.
  • a home school student who has completed an approved program of studies
  • if under 18, have been released from compulsory attendance by the local school division

How much does it to take the test? 

For a first time test taker the full test battery costs $58.00 at Dowell  J.  Howard  Center . Individual tests cost $10.00 each. There is a one time scoring fee of $8.00.

How much time does it take to complete the test?

The battery of 5 GED tests takes 7 hours and 30 minutes to complete. Tests may be taken individually, a few at a time, or all in one test session. 

Do I have to take classes before I take the test? 

If you are at least 18, you may sit for the GED test. However, you may want to prepare prior to sitting for the test by taking a practice test and/or classes. (See link on the GED TEST tab above.) The adult education office can schedule you for these.

What makes a GED credential "equivalent"? 

In order to pass the tests, the GED candidate must demonstrate a level of skill that meets or surpasses that demonstrated by approximately 60 percent of graduating high school seniors. 

Will passing the GED Tests get me into college? 

About 95% of U.S. colleges and universities accept GED graduates. You may be required to take placement or achievement tests to determine if you need additional coursework. You may also be required to take the SAT and/or ACT. GED graduates are also eligible for most federal financial aid programs. 

How long will it take me to get my GED? 

It depends on your skill level. You should take the official GED Practice test to determine your readiness. Classes and study guides are available to help you prepare. (See link on the GED TEST tab above.)

How many times can I take the test? 

You can take each of the 5 tests three times in one calendar year. You do not need to wait any particular length of time before re-taking a test. However, you may want to work on that area by signing up for a class or returning to class to work with a teacher to develop a plan of study. 

I got a passing score of 410 on my tests, why didn't I pass? 

To pass the test, the following must be met:    

  • You need a total of 2,250 points  
  • You must have an overall test average of 450  
  • You must score at least 410 on each test.  

How long will it take me to get my test results? 

Your results will be available to you on within a week after taking the test. 

What do I have to do to pass the test? 

You have to be able to read, compute, interpret information and express yourself in writing on a level comparable to that of 60 percent of graduating high school seniors. The test has five parts: Math, Language Arts - Writing, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts - Reading.

I need another transcript and/or certificate. How can I get one? 

To request a transcript: You can print out your own transcript by going to . Or you can contact Dowell J. Howard Center (540-662-8997) and we'll print a transcript for $5.00. You will need your name, social security/test ID number, date of birth, date of test and address.You can access the Dowell J. Howard Center GED testing information by clicking on this link: DJH GED TESTING

Is the GED test given in any other language? 

The GED test is given in English, French and Spanish. Check with your GED testing site for further information and scheduling. 

What if I don't pass all the tests the first time? Do I have to take it all over?

No. If you took the test after 2002, you may just retest in the areas not meeting the requirements. However, you may not take any one test more than 3 times in a calendar year.  You should review your test scores with a GED counselor. There is a $10.00 fee per test. 

How can I prepare for the GED tests?  

  • Take the official practice test
  • Enroll in ABE preparation classes offered through local adult education programs
  • Home study by purchasing GED study guides. These books are also available at libraries
  • Online programs are available at

Tell me about the essay topic? Can I find out what past topics have been on the writing test?

Candidates will be asked to write on a topic of general interest. The topics are brief and generally ask the candidates to state their view and support with examples from their own observation, knowledge or experience. Sample topics can be found in GED study guides and on the official GED practice test. 

How many questions do I need to get right on each of the GED tests to earn the 410 passing score? 

To receive a 410 standard score on an individual GED test, candidates generally need to answer 60-65% of the questions correctly. Remember an average score of 450 is needed for the five-test battery.

On the writing test, I got a "0", what does that mean?

A "0" comes from an inadequate essay or you wrote off-topic. You will be required to retest on both parts of the Language Arts - Writing test. 

What accommodations are available for people with disabilities?

Test accommodations are available for candidates with a documented disability. To begin the process of requesting accommodations a GED candidate should go to the GED testing site and request the appropriate form(s), or they can access the Disabilities and Health-related Needs site at:  These need to be completed in full prior to approval.


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