What can be studied with a GED?

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What can be studied with a GED?
I have seen that many homeschoolers in South Africa are going the GED route. This had me wondering, what can be studied with a GED? I matriculated in the late 1990’s from a government school and in order to study further, at a university, you had to have passed with exemption. This has not changed, however, there are alternatives to the NSC matric…

Noo goes to a school that does the IEB Exams and I am now looking into the different Grade 12 equivalent exams for my younger three children.

Firstly, what is the GED?

The General Education Development (GED) tests are a group of four subject tests which, when passed, provide certification that the test taker has United States or Canadian high school-level academic skills. It is an alternative to the US High school diploma, HiSET and TASC test.

Secondly, what benefits do South African’s get from completing the GED?

A GED® homeschool grade 12 equivalent is a popular alternative to getting a matric online. It is a grade 12 equivalency credential recognised in SA, accepted by TVET colleges and overseas and online universities.


PLEASE NOTE: You MUST check with the universities of your choice that they will accept these foreign qualifications. A matric with exemption or in this case a GED plus a certificate of exemption is the minimum requirement for admission to a university. Faculties may set additional requirements for admission to their degree courses.

Update received on 12 September 2018 regarding FOREIGN CONDITIONAL EXEMPTION for South African with a GED®

There is now a date regarding the phasing out of Foreign Conditional Exemption for South Africans with a GED®.

The GED is still recognised as a foreign grade 12 option by SAQA.*

USAf has confirmed in writing that they will not consider applications for foreign conditional exemption from South African-based holders of the GED® who

a. Register for, or begin work on the GED® after the end of 2018. (This will allow people currently enrolled for the GED® to complete the credential, seek admission to a foreign university and apply to the Matriculation Board for foreign conditional exemption. It will however, mean that this route will be closed to new South African GED® candidates); or

b. Obtain the GED® credential after December 2019.

This means that the GED is still recognised as a foreign grade 12 equivalent but that FOREIGN EXEMPTION will not be issued to South Africans anymore as from the end of December 2019.

This means that after that date, South Africans with a GED® who wish to apply for a DEGREE course at a university, will have to qualify for one of the OTHER CATEGORIES of exemption, which we have already listed on this page below.

The GED is still recognised as a foreign grade 12 option by SAQA.* Source

Thirdly, what are the subjects that are covered in the GED Exams?

The GED exams cover five core subject areas: mathematics, social studies, science, reading and writing. The level of mastery required to pass the GED exams is generally equivalent to that of a high school graduate.

The GED mathematics test consists of 50 questions covering number theory, algebra, geometry, and data analysis and statistics. Each content area contains approximately the same number of questions. This test is divided into two timed segments of 45 minutes each. On the first part, you are allowed to use an approved calculator but not on the second part. Eighty percent of the questions are multiple choice, while on the others you’ll label information on a graph or write your answers in a space provided. Expect to solve word problems and interpret information displayed in charts, graphs, diagrams and tables.

Social Studies
The social studies section of the GED test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The questions test your general knowledge and your ability to understand and analyze information in documents included on the exam. You can expect questions about civics and government, geography, economics and history. The history questions include both world history and U.S. history unless you take the test in Canada, which tests Canadian history. You will have 70 minutes to complete the social studies test.

On the science portion of the GED test, you will complete 50 multiple-choice questions in 80 minutes. The content areas covered are physics and chemistry, life science, and earth and space science. Many of the questions will test your vocabulary and basic understanding of concepts and principles normally studied in high school science courses. Some questions will require you to analyze and interpret scientific information presented in charts, tables, graphs and diagrams.

The reading test measures how well you can understand and interpret written passages, both fiction and nonfiction. Seventy-five percent of the questions are about fictional passages from literary selections with the other 25 percent coming from nonfiction passages such as workplace or business-related documents. The test is 65 minutes long with 40 multiple-choice questions.

You will complete the GED writing test in two parts. On the first part, which is 75 minutes long, you will read passages and answer 50 multiple choice questions covering four components of writing — sentence structure, usage, mechanics and organization. On the second part, you will write an essay expressing your opinion or viewpoint on an assigned topic with which you should be familiar. You have 45 minutes to complete your essay.[Source]

During my research, I found GED practice tests are the best way to prepare for your GED exam in 2019. Test-Guide.com’s free GED sample questions provide you with an opportunity to assess how well you are prepared for the actual GED exam.

Has your child completed the GED? I’d love to hear your opinion and experiences.



Official GED Website
*SAQA (the South African Qualifications Authority) has evaluated the GED® and found the National Senior Certificate as its closest comparable qualification.

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