If You Fail One Part of the GED Test Do You Have to Take the Whole Thing Over?

By Samantha Anderson; Updated April 25, 2017
Check your local GED testing center to for details on retaking subject tests.

The General Educational Development Tests (GED) are the industry standard in high school equivalency testing. The test includes five subject areas: mathematics; language arts reading and writing (including essay); science; and social studies. If you took the GED and failed one or more of the sections, do not fret. You can retake the test when you are ready. Check the policies in your state to find out if you can retake individual subject areas.

What is a Passing Score?

In order to pass the GED, the composite score must be 2,250 or greater. You must score 410 or greater in each subject area to pass. A passing score demonstrates you have attained the knowledge equal to or greater than 40 percent of graduating high school students.

How Long is the Test?

You are given 7 hours and 5 minutes to complete the five subject areas of the GED. There are over 3,400 testing centers and each manages testing procedures independently. Some centers require the test to be taken in one or two sittings for all five subjects. Other centers administer subject exams individually.

How do I Retake the GED?

Scores for each subject range from 200 to 800. If you scored less than 410 on any area of the exam, you will have retake it. GED policy limits retakes for each subject to two per year. Some testing centers may require you to participate in remediation before retesting. Contact your area testing centers to find out if you can retake one subject at a time. Locate your state on the GED Jurisdictional Testing Policies webpage and see GED Retesting for details on local retest policies.

How is My Score Calculated After a Retake?

Scores from each subject are considered individually. The highest score for each section is counted. Remember, you need a 410 in each section and 2,250 total score. Consider this scenario. The first time you take the exam you earn the following scores: mathematics- 360; reading- 430; language arts- 500; science- 400; and social studies- 550. Your total score is 2,240. If you retake the mathematics and science tests and score a 410 and 450 respectively, your new scores in these two areas will replace the previous ones and the total score is now 2,340. If your state does not offer testing in only one subject at a time and you retake the whole exam and score a 400 in reading, your passing reading score from your first exam is counted.

About the Author

Samantha Anderson was first published in 2005. Her press releases and news briefs were available on her employer's internal proprietary website and she maintains a personal beauty and fashion blog. Anderson graduated from the University of Florida in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in business and public relations.