All About the GED: South Carolina

Earning a passing score on the General Educational Development (GED) test could allow you to pursue college, earn a promotion, get a new job or enlist in the military. If you pass the GED test in South Carolina, you'll be awarded with a South Carolina High School Equivalency Diploma.

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Taking the GED Test in South Carolina

According to the South Carolina State Department of Education, about 9,000 people take the GED test each year in South Carolina, and approximately 70% of these test-takers pass (www.ed.sc.gov). The GED test is currently only available in English in South Carolina. However, South Carolina Educational Television offers a program designed to help adults learn English for the test (www.scetv.org). The GED test takes approximately seven hours to complete and consists of 240 multiple-choice questions and a written essay. The test can't be taken online, and you must register at a testing site approved by the American Council on Education (ACE), which oversees GED testing (www.acenet.edu). The GED test is composed of five separate subject areas:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Mathematics

Eligibility Requirements

To take the GED test in South Carolina if you're under 19, you must provide an official withdraw form from the high school you previously attended. Although you may be eligible to take the GED test if you're a temporary resident of South Carolina, you can only earn the high school equivalency diploma if you're considered a permanent resident. If you're currently enrolled in an alternative high school program in South Carolina, you're not eligible to take the GED test, but you can test if you're completing an adult education program. Before taking the exam, you must present a government-issued photo ID. Other eligibility requirements, as stated by the South Carolina State Department of Education, include:

  • You should typically be at least 17 (you might test at 16 under certain circumstances)
  • You shouldn't be enrolled in a traditional high school
  • You shouldn't have a high school diploma

Adult Education Programs

Adult education programs are located throughout South Carolina and are supported by the South Carolina State Department of Education. These programs offer GED preparation classes, official practice exams and online GED preparation programs supported by instructors. You might also have the opportunity to begin earning college credits while enrolled in an adult education program. You should register for classes or tests within the county or public school district that you reside in.

Preparing on Your Own for the GED

If you wish to study at home, Steck-Vaughn offers GED practice tests and also can provide you with a study plan based on your practice test results (www.practice4ged.com). In addition, ACE provides an official practice test through the GED Testing Service (www.gedtestingservice.com). ACE also offers some sample questions, which are available on their website. A televised GED preparation program is supported by South Carolina Educational TV network.

Passing the GED Test

The GED test measures your academic ability in comparison to recent high school graduates. To earn a passing score on the GED test, your total standard score must be at least 2250. The score for each of the five subtests must be a minimum of 410, but you must average 450 on all sections. This means that a higher score on one subtest can compensate for a lower score on a different subtest.

Retesting Information

In South Carolina, you're limited to retesting a total of two times per subject area in a given calendar year. Also, if your total standard score is less than 2150, you must retake the entire GED test. However, if you've earned a score greater than 2150, you may retest only on the areas where you didn't receive the minimum score.

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All About the GED: Maryland

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