This Is What Happens When You Fail the GED

What Happens If You Fail the GED Test?

When it comes to passing the GED test, many people find it hard to achieve, and some even fail when they first try it. This is a common occurrence, and you are not to blame, as it is not exactly an easy test.

Forty percent are known to fail the exam at least once. If it happens to you, you should not be discouraged, as you can still try it again.

What happens if you fail the GED test?  If you fail any of the GED test subjects, you will have two subsequent retakes of the examination. This is with no restrictions between retakes. If you fail the third or any subsequent retest, you need to wait 60 days for your next attempt.

This article will provide more details about failing the GED test and what needs to be done to ace the examination.

Failing the GED Test

As mentioned, if you fail any GED test, you can retake that subtest as many times as needed for you to get the diploma.

It is normal to feel disappointed if you fail the exam. You need to reassess, regroup, and make a plan to pass the GED test as soon as possible.

You will get two retests at a reduced rate in some states, but after a year from your first testing appointment, you need to have these retests, or your full fee will be due again.

Check-in with your state regarding the policy for the GED test. 

The GED, or the General Education Development, exam is a battery of four separate tests. This type of examination is taken by people who did not finish their regular high school curriculum.

The four tests cover the main subject areas of Science, Social Studies, Reasoning Through Language Arts, and Mathematics.

If you manage to pass the GED, you will get a diploma upon the successful completion of those four subtests. This diploma has the same benefits as the diploma that students earned during their high school life.

How Much Are Retake Fees?

The GED Testing Service fee per subtest is about $20. If you happen to fail the exam and you have to retake a GED subtest, the $20 fee is waived, but it is limited to a maximum of two retakes.

On the other hand, you are required to complete the retakes within a year to get this offer. After that period, you have to pay the full and regular fee.

How Many Retakes?

The good news is that there are no restrictions on how many times you can retake a subject test.

However, you need to follow the waiting period requirements that apply to your state laws.

After three takes, you need to pay the full testing fee again. The same policy will then be applied to you to retake the subtest twice without paying the $20 fee within the 12-month time frame.

Registration Process

You do not need to register again, as you already have an account on the GED website.

All you should do is log in and register to retake one of the four subjects through your same account.

You can choose and select the testing location and the time and date. As you can see, the price will also be discounted.

GED Passing Score

To pass each of the four modules, you need to accumulate at least 145 points out of 200.

This means that you are minimally required to get an overall score of 580.

Averaging is not an option, so you need to get a total score of at least 580 points and scores of at least 145 in any of the four modules.

If you didn’t pass one of the four-module tests but attained a relatively high score on the other modules, you still do not pass the GED test.

You will be required to retake that failed subject until you can pass the score of 145.

GED Score Levels

For every GED module, you can expect to have four score levels. Among those is the below-passing category, while there are three passing categories.

The modules are scored on a 100-200 scale, and the following criteria apply:

  1. GED Below Passing Score – This is a score of 100 – 144, which means that you didn’t acquire enough points to pass this module. The GED test passing score is 145 on all four subjects.

  2. GED High School Equivalency Passing Score – This score level is 145 – 164, which means that you have demonstrated a good amount of skills and knowledge needed at the high school graduation level.

  3. GED College-Ready Score – This score level is 165 – 174, which means that you have shown a good amount of skill and knowledge acceptable for a college application.

  4. GED College Ready + Credit Score – This score level is 175 – 200, which means that you have been shown to command knowledge and skills beyond average. You can even earn up to 10 college credits depending on the subject area and the school.

Things to Consider When Retaking the GED Test

If you fail, it is not the end of the world. As mentioned above, you can retake within the limits and time frame.

After you fail, you will most likely know which subject you are the weakest at, so it is vital to focus on it and practice and review it again.

Retaking Subject Tests

If you didn’t get the required passing level score on the entire exam, you have the option of re-taking the test that is below the passing level.

Also, when you are looking to improve your GED scores, you can retake the subjects as many times as you like.

Just follow state laws on retake policies. Most states allow up to three retakes within a year.

However, after two attempts, there might be a waiting period of up to 60 days.

Prepare Well

When you fail, you need to make sure that you are as optimally prepared as possible. You also need to consider looking at your study plan and use different test-taking strategies.

Luckily, you can prepare specifically for the section you need to retake. Many vocational and community colleges offer face-to-face GED prep courses. 

GED Score Report

If you fail, you will be able to see your GED score report, which can help you in so many ways.

Here, you can find all the essential information about the fields in which you have demonstrated a good amount of knowledge and the fields in which you scored badly.

Usually, your GED report card will provide your score reports indicating whether you passed or what score range you are in.

It also gives you an idea of the skills that need attention and improvement.

Correct Answers

As mentioned above, you must have at least 145 to pass the GED test. It is quite difficult to translate that to the number of questions you need to answer properly.

If the math is right, it shows that you need to have over 60 to 65% of correct answers, but to give an answer is not easy to do.

This is why it is important to know which one of the subtests is easy for you to take.

It is difficult to figure out the number of questions you need to answer correctly because it varies from one test to another.

If you start answering the GED social studies test on one day, you will have to answer 36 questions, while on the next day, the number of questions will be 45.

However, what will not change is the number of points earned on each of the modules.

Why is that? This is because not all the questions will result in the same points. All the subtest answers are worth one point only, but some other questions can have two or many answers.

However, there are other questions for which you need to choose multiple correct answers. In this kind of scenario, each of the answers is worth one point.


Overall, it is common for not all students to pass the first time, but you can always retake the exam.

This is good news for many test-takers. If you do not pass all four subtests, you don’t have to take all of them over again.

You just need to retake the modules that you didn’t pass. You can retake any of the subject tests as many times as you want in order to pass.

Just check in with your state policy so that you can take advantage of different discounts when retaking the exam.

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