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What Happens If I Don’t Pass the GED Test?

April 19, 2021

Girl studying for GED

We all know failure is sometimes a part of success, and this is true even with the GED test. If you don’t pass the first time, you have a few opportunities to do better in certain areas of the test. You can study, then retake the test and do better. It’s possible to pass

Many people before you have not passed on their first try. They improved a knowledge area, then passed on a second or third attempt. You can do it! We’re going to help you answer several questions, like: 

  • How many times can you take the GED test?
  • How do you prepare to retake it?
  • How much does a retake cost? 

You only truly fail if you give up. You can keep learning and try until you pass. You are capable of it. Remember why you want to succeed, and use the tips below in your next attempt.

How Many Times Can You Take the GED Test?

Retakes policies and holds are determined by your state, please check your state’s specific requirements. 

It’s natural to feel disappointment and maybe anger if you don’t pass a subject test the first time.  Many students have trouble with a particular subject within the GED—they might struggle with math, for example. So, you can retake the subject test you didn’t pass. This lets you study just that subject more intensely until you can pass its test.

How Much Does It Cost to Retake a Test Subject?

You may be able to retake subject tests for free. The GED Testing Service doesn’t charge another fee if you need to retake a subject. Test locations might also decide to give you free or low-cost retests. Just ask about it.

What Are the State Policies for Retaking the GED?

Most states let you retake a subject test without any kind of waiting period. After three attempts, including the first, they usually give you a waiting period of 60 days before the fourth attempt. To confirm pricing and all other rules, look up the specific GED testing policy in your state.

What Score Do You Need to Pass the GED?

If you don’t pass the first time, you might only need to raise your score a small amount in a particular subject test. You don’t need a perfect score. 

Here’s a more specific breakdown:

100 to 144: This score is below passing. 

145 to 164: Congratulations, this indicates that you demonstrate high school level skills and knowledge.

165 to 174: This indicates that you’re prepared to enter college without remediation and may be eligible to bypass placement exams. 

175 to 200: You’ve shown above-average skills and knowledge and may be eligible to bypass placement exams and earn college credits in certain subjects/schools.

How to Prepare for Your Retake Test

But how do you actually study? First, look at your scores and ask yourself a few questions to figure out what areas you struggle with: 

  • Did you answer every question? Did the test time run out first? 
  • Did you use a calculator on the math or science portions? Do you need to learn how to use one? 
  • Are you struggling with the written essay? Did you directly answer the writing prompt? Did you write a long enough essay?

Look for any areas where you need to improve, then pick the study guides that will raise your skills in that area. Keep reading the practice questions and answering them aloud until you are confident you can answer them on the test.

Then, take a GED practice test. When you finish, it will tell you if you are likely to pass (a score of 145 points or higher), too close to call, or are not likely to pass. This will give you a great idea of whether you need to study and practice more or not.

Study with Expert Materials

Remember, if you only struggle in one or two areas, you can pick out the study materials for those areas and practice hard with them. This will save you time and help you improve in the areas where you really need it.

On, you can get practice questions, classes, practice tests, and more. You can retake the GED as many times as you need, so you’ll succeed if you keep studying!


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