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GED Test FAQ

How will I benefit from a Kansas State High School Diploma?

Congratulations on taking one of the most important steps of your life -- earning your Kansas State High School diploma!

  • Get a Better Job

The overwhelming majority of jobs in this country require a high school diploma. A Kansas State High School Diploma is accepted by employers.

  • Continue Your Education

A Kansas State High School Diploma is accepted at most colleges and universities across the country as proof that you have completed your high school education. Some colleges, including Butler County Community College, even have special scholarship programs for graduates.

  • Feel Better About Yourself

By earning their diploma, many graduates experience a remarkable improvement in how they feel about themselves and their lives. It makes a difference!

  • Increase Your Income

Income increases with your level of education. A better job usually means better pay. According to the US Census Bureau, over a lifetime, a GED graduate will earn $200,000 more than a high school dropout.

  • Invest In the Future

Educated parents have better educated children. Earning a Kansas State High School Diploma isn't only an investment in yourself; it is also an investment in the future of your children.

 

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What are the GED Tests?

The GED Tests are four tests in the areas of Reasoning through Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematical Reasoning. The questions in each of these tests require you to use general knowledge and thinking skills. Few questions ask about facts, details, or definitions. Even though you have not finished high school, you have probably gained knowledge and skills through experience, reading, and informal training. The GED Tests are designed to measure the important knowledge and skills, usually learned during four years of high school that you may have obtained in a different manner.

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Am I Eligible to take the GED Tests?

You are eligible to take the tests if you are not enrolled in, and have not graduated from, high school, are over 18 years of age. If you are between the ages of 16-18 years of age, you must have a disclaimer from your school district of current residence to be eligible for an adult education program or the Official GED Test.

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What are the GED Tests Like?

Below are descriptions of each of the four tests in the GED Test Battery:
Reasoning through language arts
In alignment with career- and college-readiness standards, the GED® RLA assessment focuses on three essential groupings of skills:

  • The ability to read closely
  • The ability to write clearly
  • The ability to edit and understand the use of standard written English in context

Because the strongest predictor of career and college readiness is the ability to read and comprehend complex texts, especially nonfiction, the RLA Test includes texts from both academic and workplace contexts. These texts reflect a range of complexity levels, in terms of ideas, syntax and style. The writing tasks, or Extended Response (ER) items, require test-takers to analyze given source texts and use evidence drawn from the text(s) to support their answers.
Given these priorities, the GED® RLA Test adheres to the following parameters:

  • Seventy-five percent of the texts in the exam are informational texts (including nonfiction drawn from the science and the social studies as well as a range of texts from workplace contexts); 25 percent are literature.
  • The texts included in the test cover a range of text complexity, including texts at the career- and college-readiness level.
  • For texts in which comprehension hinges on vocabulary, the focus is on understanding words that appear frequently in texts from a wide variety of disciplines and, by their definition, are not unique to a particular discipline.
  • U.S. founding documents and the “the Great American Conversation” that followed are required texts for study and assessment.
  • The length of the texts included in the reading comprehension component of the test vary between 450 and 900 words.
  • Roughly 80 percent of the items are written to a Depth of Knowledge cognitive complexity level 2 or higher.
  • Reading and writing standards, such as those found in the Common Core State Standards, will also be measured in the GED® Social Studies Test, and the reading standards will be measured in the GED® Science Test.

Mathematical reasoning
The GED® Mathematical Reasoning Test focuses on two major content areas: quantitative problem solving and algebraic problem solving.
Evidence that was used to inform the development of the Common Core State Standards shows that instructors of entry-level college mathematics value master of fundamentals over a broad, shallow coverage of topics. National remediation data are consistent with this perspective, suggesting that students with a shallow grasp of a wide range of topics are not as well prepared to succeed in postsecondary education and are more likely to need remediation in mathematics compared to those students who have a deeper understanding of more fundamental mathematical topics. Therefore, the GED® Mathematical Reasoning Test focuses on the fundamentals of mathematics in these two areas, striking a balance of deeper conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply these fundamentals in realistic situations. A variety of item types are used in the test, including multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, hot spot, and fill-in-the-blank.
The Common Core State Standards include Standards for Mathematical Practice, which describe the types of practices, or behaviors, in mathematics that are essential to the mastery of mathematical content. These standards form the basis of the GED® mathematical practice standards, which assess important mathematical proficiencies, including modeling, constructing and critiquing reasoning, and procedural fluency.
Given these priorities, the GED® Mathematical Reasoning Test adheres to the following parameters:

  • Approximately 45 percent of the content in the test focuses on quantitative problem solving, and approximately 55 percent focuses on algebraic problem solving.
  • The test includes items that test procedural skill and fluency as well as problem solving.
  • The contexts within which problem solving skills are measured were taken from both academic and workforce contexts.
  • Approximately 50 percent of the items are written to a Depth of Knowledge cognitive complexity level of 2.
  • Approximately 30 percent of the items are aligned to a Mathematical Practice standard in addition to a content indicator.
  • The statistics and data interpretation standards are also measured in the GED® Social Studies and Science Tests.
  • Candidates are provided with an on-screen calculator, the Texas Instruments TI-30XS Multiview scientific calculator, for use on most of the items on the 2014 GED® Mathematics Test.

Science
The GED® Science Test focuses on the fundamentals of science reasoning, striking a balance of deeper conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply these fundamentals in realistic situations. In order to stay true to this intention, each item on the Science Test is aligned to one science practice and one content topic.
The science practices can be described as skills that are key to scientific reasoning in both textual and quantitative contexts. The science practices are derived from important skills enumerated in the Common Core State Standards as well as in The National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education. 
The Science Test also focuses on three major content domains:

  • Life science
  • Physical science
  • Earth and space science

The science content topics, which are drawn from these three domains, provide context for measuring a test-taker’s abilities to apply the reasoning skills described in the practices. The content topics focus on science that reflects both that which is taught in many high school-level science courses and that which is most relevant and useful for an adult population. To measure this content at a range of levels of complexity, several different item types are used in the test, including multiple choice, short answer, drag-and-drop, hot spot, and fill-in-the-blank. 
Given these priorities, the GED® Science Test adheres to the following parameters:

  • Approximately 40 percent of the test focuses on life science, roughly 40 percent focuses on physical science, and approximately 20 percent focuses on Earth and space science.
  • The test includes items that test textual analysis and understanding, data representation and inference skills, as well as problem solving with science content.
  • Each item on the Science Test is aligned to both one science practice and one content topic.
  • Each item is also aligned to one Depth of Knowledge level of cognitive complexity, based on the appropriate alignment to a science practice.
  • Approximately 80 percent of the items are written to a Depth of Knowledge level of 2 or higher.
  • The contexts within which problem solving skills are measured were taken from both academic and workforce contexts.
  • Approximately 50 percent of the items are presented in item scenarios, in which a single stimulus (which may be textual, graphic or a combination of both) serves to inform two to three items. The rest of the items are discrete.

Social studies
The GED® Social Studies Test focuses on the fundamentals of social studies reasoning, striking a balance of deeper conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply these fundamentals in realistic situations. In order to stay true to this intention, each item on the Social Studies Test is aligned to one social studies practice and one content topic. 
The social studies practices can be described as skills that are key to scientific reasoning in both textual and quantitative contexts. The practices come from important skills specified in the Common Core State Standards and other career- and college-readiness standards, as well as in National Standards for History.
The Social Studies Test will also focus on four major content domains:

  • Civics and government
  • United States history
  • Economics
  • Geography and the world

The social studies content topics, which are drawn from these four domains, provide context for measuring a test-taker’s ability to apply the reasoning skills described in the practices. The content topics focus on key concepts that reflect both that which is taught in many high-school-level social sciences courses and that which is most relevant and useful for an adult population.
To measure this content at a range of levels of complexity, several different item types are used in the test, including multiple choice, drag-and-drop, hot spot, and fill-in-the-blank. Additionally, the Social Studies Test features one extended response task that requires test-takers to analyze arguments and use evidence found within brief excerpts from primary and secondary source texts.
Given these priorities, the GED® Social Studies Test follows these specifications:

  • Approximately 50 percent focuses on civics and government, 20 percent focuses on United States history, 15 percent focuses on economics, and 15 percent focuses on geography and the world.
  • The test includes items that assess textual analysis and understanding, data representation and inference skills, and problem solving using social studies content.
  • Social Studies Test items align to one social studies practice and one content topic.
  • Each item aligns to one Depth of Knowledge level, based on appropriate alignment to social studies practice.
  • Approximately 80 percent of the test items are written to DOK level 2 or higher.
  • Problem-solving skills are measured in both academic and workplace contexts.
  • Approximately 50 percent of the test items are based on scenarios in which a single stimulus (textual, graphic or a combination of both) serves to inform two or three items; the remaining approximately 50 percent of the items are discrete stand-alone items.

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What if I need testing accommodations?

If you have a documented disability that could keep you from taking the GED Tests in the way they are usually given, you might be entitled to receive testing accommodations.
Accommodations are available for people with (but not limited to) the following:

- Physical disabilities (such as blindness, low vision, deafness, impaired hearing, or mobility impairments)
- Learning disabilities (such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, receptive aphasia, or written language disorder)
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Psychological disabilities (such as bipolar disorder or Tourette's syndrome)
- Chronic health issues

If you have a disability that can be documented by a qualified professional, you should contact the local GED Examiner to request the proper forms at least 6-8 weeks prior to the scheduled test date. The GED Examiner will explain the process required to request testing accommodations. Each request is considered on an individual basis. There is no additional testing cost for accommodations.

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How are the GED Tests scored?

GED test scores are reported in two ways, in standard scores and in percentile ranks.
Below passing scores on all four tests are 100-149.  GED Passing Score is 150-169 and GED Honors Scores are 170-200.  A score of 150 represents the average performance of graduating high school seniors. The minimum standard score required to earn a Kansas State High School diploma is set so that approximately 30 percent of graduating high school seniors would not pass the GED Tests.
Percentile Ranks on the GED Tests are used to compare an individual's scores to those of a nationally representative sample of graduating high school seniors. A percentile rank is the percentage of graduating high school seniors who earned a certain standard score. This means that a GED examinee whose standard score on mathematics has a percentile rank of 62 has done as well as or better than 62 percent of graduating high school seniors in math.

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How should I prepare for the tests?

We welcome your enrollment in the Butler Adult Education program. Many adult education programs sponsored by local school districts, colleges, and even community organizations, provide the instruction you may need for the tests. You can talk to the instructors at these adult education programs to decide whether you need to study for all of the tests, or if you only need to brush-up your skills in a few areas. There is also a television series carried by cable television and most public television stations throughout the country. You can locate numerous helpful websites through an internet search. Libraries, bookstores, and the Butler Adult Education Department also carry GED study materials. To find out where adult educations programs are located across the state click here.

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What are the Adult Basic Education class requirements?

  • You must attend intensive classes Monday through Friday  Basic technology and employability skills, which are required in today’s world, are integrated into all classes  Class attendance is mandatory  Attendance policies are enforced strictly  You will learn about the attendance policy for classes in the Orientation Session.
  • Agencies paying your fees (i.e. Headstart, Mid-CAP, SRS, WIA, churches, etc.) should give you a signed, written notice with billing information.
  • You are expected to progress during a class session, but everyone’s skills and goals vary  Upon completing a class session, you may desire additional instruction to reach your goal(s) and may need to enroll in another series of classes  An additional materials fee may be charged at that time.

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Can I get letters of reccomendation?

With a 24-hour notice, we can provide you with letters of recommendation and/or reports regarding your progress, attendance and/or enrollment.

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What are the fees?

There is a $25 material fee for each Adult Basic Education session. The Official GED Test has a testing fee of $30 per test or $120 for the entire test battery.

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Is there a graduation?

If you successfully complete your GED exam by March 30, you will be eligible to participate in Butler's graduation ceremony in May. There is a small fee for the cap, gown, and diploma cover. Many students choose to attend Graduation as this may be the first time they are honored for their academic achievements. After the ceremony, a short celebration is held in the Kansas Room for graduates and their families. We really LOVE to honor our graduates!

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Are there any resources for GED prep recommended for independent study?

Below are some links to web pages that the Adult Education Instructors recommend for independent study:
http://www.thatquiz.org/
algebra2go http://www.saddleback.edu/faculty/lperez/algebra2go/
http://www.acenet.edu/AM/Template.cfm?Section=GED_TS
http://www.gedprepinfo.com/
www.homeworkkansas.org

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What should I do next?

Butler Adult Education Department can design a program geared to meet your needs. Call today for more information - 316-323-6074

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