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What the Change in the GED® Test Scoring Means for Adult Learners

What the Change in the GED® Test Scoring Means for Adult Learners

Change is nothing new in the world of adult education. In the past two years, teachers and students have encountered the introduction of a new GED® exam, the entry into the marketplace of two other high school equivalency tests (the TASC™ and HiSET® exams), and new college and career readiness standards. On January 26, 2016, GED Testing Service® announced a few changes to the GED scoring system. In this blog post, we’re going to take a deeper dive into what these changes are and what they mean for your learners.

The first (and probably most impactful) change for your learners is the scoring of the GED test. For many years, the passing score was 150; now, it will be reduced to 145. This change was enacted after intense research and data were collected from previous test-takers. Any test-taker since January 1, 2014, who received a 145 or higher on the GED exam can retroactively be given a passing score on the exam.

It’s not unusual for adult learners to be working on their GED credential for many years and continuously miss the passing score by just a hair. I have seen this firsthand in many instances, and for me, it stuck out with one student in particular. This learner was dedicated—she used every resource possible, from tutoring to online learning tools and workbooks. She was motivated to earn the GED credential not only for herself but also because she had to pass in order to keep her job. Despite all of her efforts, she kept falling short on the math section. Now that the passing score has been reduced, not only would she have passed, but also she would have kept her job. For all the adult learners who have tried so hard and been so dedicated, this small scoring change could make a HUGE impact on their lives.

This passing score change affects many thousands of students, and some are not even aware of it, as they had given up or used up all of their attempts. My hope is that the buzz on this topic will reach all of those learners and they will be able to move forward in their educational journeys.

The other change coming to the GED test is the addition of two new performance levels, GED College Ready and GED College Ready + Credit. The GED College Ready level is a score of 165–174 and signifies readiness for the test-taker to enter credit-bearing college courses. The GED College Ready + Credit level is a score of 175–200 and may qualify the test-taker to receive up to 10 hours of college credit. These changes will also be applied retroactively from January 1, 2014.

Hopefully, these changes will help the GED credential better serve all adult learners. However, the test remains just as challenging an exam as ever and one that is certain to keep evolving. Interested in learning more about how Plato Courseware and Edmentum Assessments can help prepare your learners for the GED test? Check out our complete preparation solutions for the GED test!


GED® and GED Testing Service® are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education (ACE) and administered exclusively by GED Testing Service LLC under license. This material [or content] is not endorsed or approved by ACE or GED Testing Service.

TASC and Test Assessing Secondary Completion are trademarks of McGraw-Hill Education. Copyright © 2016 by CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC.

HiSET is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service (ETS). Edmentum products are not endorsed or approved by ETS.