If you’re reading this, there’s a 99.9% chance that you aren’t surfing right now.

And that’s ok. The ocean isn’t going anywhere.

Unless you look at it from a global warming point of view – in which case it is, very slowly but very surely, going somewhere.

But that’s a point for another day! We just wanted to make it clear that if your child was schooling online and wasn’t tied to a 3 or 4 term school calendar, you could, if your heart so desired – be surfing.

And it would be nice to know what your online schooling options are, should the day come that you’d like to swap your collared shirt for a wet suit.

If you’ve been considering taking the online GED, a whole lineup of questions may be running through your mind about this type of certification. What’s the difference between the GED and a school leaving certificate such as the NSC? Do employers and colleges care which one you have? Are there limits to what you can do with a GED versus an NSC or British International certificate?

The GED, short for (General Educational Development) test is a group of four subject tests that, when passed, certify that one has achieved the US high school educational standards.

The four online GED subjects are as follows:

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Math

Once you pass all four exams in the online GED test, you’ve earned your online GED credential. This credential serves as a diploma showing you have a 12-grade level knowledge base—even if you didn’t graduate from a traditional high school.

You can greatly increase your chances of passing your online GED the first time round by knowing what to expect in the test.

While the questions change from test to test, the format of the GED exam stays the same. Since we love being a resource that empowers people to finish their high school education, we’ve broken down the GED Test for you.

This is what it will look like:

The breakdown

The GED test consists of five chapters organized in a standardized format. All tests combined add up to 7 hours and 5 minutes. Here’s the different sections and the time allotted for each test.

1. Language Arts: Writing

The first section is special in that it’s split into 2 parts, each with their own time period.

Part 1 – 50 Questions – 75 Minutes

This first part covers sentence structure, word usage, and grammar mechanics. The test consists of groups of text that must be corrected according to proper grammar rules.

Part 2 – 45 Minutes

This is the essay portion of the test. Test takers must write an essay on a given topic. The purpose is to illustrate cohesive ideas while demonstrating an understanding of sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, etc. Topics are always opinion oriented so that it won’t require specific subject knowledge.

2. Social Studies – 50 Questions – 70 Minutes

Topics covered include American history, world history, civics, and government, economics, and geography. Test takers can expect to see graphs, excerpts from documents such as the Declaration of Independence, copies of legal documents, and more.

3. Science – 50 Questions – 80 Minutes

This portion covers basic information regarding biology, earth and space science, physics, and chemistry. Test takers must be able to apply scientific methods and knowledge to a variety of situations. You can expect to see graphs, charts, diagrams, etc.

Many would say science sections on standardized tests are more about reading and correctly interpreting than actual science and scientific knowledge. Be ready to quickly process information and respond to it and you should be fine.

4. Language Arts: Reading – 40 Questions – 65 Minutes

This section will test your ability to read, comprehend and interpret. The test will have five fiction and two non-fiction passages typically around 300-400 words long. Don’t worry about knowing literature. Just be ready to read and analyze.

5. Mathematics – 50 Questions – 90 Minutes

This test is actually split into two sections. In the first section, you are allowed to use a calculator. During the second portion, you may not. The areas of math covered are:

  • Number operations
  • Geometry
  • Statistics
  • Algebra

Your questions answered

Which option is right for you?

Most colleges and employers accept applicants with a GED diploma.

Before applying, verify that the school/college will accept your GED diploma — a few do not.

Is it a good idea to get a GED diploma instead of a high school diploma?

For different reasons, many of today’s students have dealt with interruptions in their education. A GED diploma is equivalent to a high school diploma. It offers more opportunities than not having a diploma at all. Although many colleges and employers accept the GED certificate, some may prefer a high school diploma.

Is the GED recognized in South Africa?

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluates each submission of a foreign qualification on a case-by-case basis. The GED is eligible for evaluation as a South African National Senior Certificate or NQF L4.

What colleges accept the GED Diploma?

Nearly 98% of U.S. colleges accept the GED certificate, according to the GED Testing Service. This includes community colleges, vocational schools, private universities, and public universities. College students can study online or in person after earning a GED certificate.

Each school and program has its own admission requirements. Applicants should do research to see what requirements and supplemental materials they need to apply. Placement tests, for example, could be a requirement.

Can I study further with a GED?

Many GED graduates have been accepted for further studies into colleges and are studying both in South Africa or abroad.

Each university/college has the final say and their own criteria for acceptance and we cannot guarantee acceptance at every institute.

Helpful tips to prepare for your online GED exam

Don’t just study hard, study smart

Understand what is in each of the four exams.

Focus on the areas that are unfamiliar to you or that you find more challenging. To accommodate all the subject areas, develop a flexible study schedule and study when you are most alert.

Don’t jump to conclusions

Some questions require careful analysis. Most of the wrong answers are those that appear right at first glance. Often test writers will place misleading answers to confuse you. Instead of falling into this trap, choose the best answer based on what the question is asking you.

Know the tricks

Be aware of trick questions.

There’s a reason for the information that is shared in the actual question. Don’t ignore anything in the question.

Absolutes are not the correct answers

Any answer with absolutes like “greatest,” “always,” or “never” are often incorrect.

Beware the “except.” Questions with “which of the following is NOT true” or “except” are often missed or read too fast. Answer these questions by covering the word “except” or “not” then choosing the answer that doesn’t belong.

Practice makes perfect

Gain more exam confidence by practicing for the test as much as you can. Make the most out of your free practice exams by:

Tackling one section of the exam at a time.

Understanding the questions you got wrong by reading the explanations provided in the corrected answer. It helps printing the assessment copy and reading through the questions and answer explanations.

Lastly, try taking the tests with shorter time constraints each time you retake them.


To pass the GED test, you need to score 145 on each of four sections and have a total score of 580. If you receive 175 or above on any section, you will earn a College Ready + score.

If you score below 145 on any one test, you can usually retake it twice without any waiting time. However, if you need to take a test a third time, you must wait 60 days. There is typically no limit on the number of times you can retake a test in any given year. However, rules for retesting may vary slightly from country to country.

Free trial

Find out more about the GED curriculum and enrol for our free trial to explore our e-learning environment.

The key to being a successful adult, and more importantly, a successful parent, is knowing what all your options are and choosing the best one.

You might think it’s defined by things like a keen interest in the newspaper. Or knowing exactly what to do in any given emergency. Or understanding how taxes and rebates and fiscal-this-n-thats work.


The key is having a rich knowledge of the various curricula offered and understanding what opportunities each one brings for your child.

Nothing says adulthood quite like searching for useful information to make the best possible adult decisions for your children’s schooling careers.

And that’s just what we’re here to help you to do.

What is the GED and what can it do for you?

The online GED offered by Think Digital Academy, is equivalent to a high school qualification, so you can use it to apply to college, just like you would with any high school qualification. Although the GED is based on the American educational system, it is recognised worldwide. More than 98 % of colleges and universities in the United States accept the GED. Although universities in South Africa do not accept the GED, most other tertiary institutions do. Contact the institution you would like to attend to enquire about their entry requirements.

The great news is that employers recognise the GED, so, if you have the necessary skills and experience, you can apply for positions requiring a high school qualification. Your GED qualification can also significantly increase your earning potential.

Passing the GED exam can give you better opportunities for work in the future. And don’t think that you’re alone in preparing for or wanting to earn your GED: there are 20 million GED graduates around the world.

Is the GED right for my child?

Many students aren’t cut out to complete a standard high school qualification, and it usually has nothing to do with learning ability. Unlike a high school qualification, the GED can be completed in as little as three months. This makes it an ideal option for older students who would like to prepare for a career or college studies. The only requirement is that students are 17 when they write the final GED exams. There is no maximum age limit.

The GED only comprises four subjects – Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. The great news is that you can take one subject at a time. More than 20 million students worldwide have obtained their GED and you can too!

The key is to be fully prepared for your final exams with comprehensive lessons, hundreds of simulated questions, practice tests and lots of support.

What is covered in the GED?

The GED test has four main areas of testing:
Mathematical Reasoning
Reasoning Through Language Arts
Social Studies

Mathematical Reasoning

Students should be familiar with Maths concepts, measurements, equations, and be able to apply Maths concepts to solve real-life problems. The final exam consists of a 115 minute online assessment which can be taken at any GED testing centre. The Maths paper has two parts and calculators can be used for the second part. You don’t have to memorise the formulas as you will have access to formula sheets. The final assessment comprises of multiple-choice questions, fill in the blank, select an area, and drop-down options.

Reasoning Through Language Arts

Test topics include reading for meaning, identifying and creating arguments, grammar and language. The final test is 150 minutes. It consists of three parts which include an extended response and multiple- choice questions.

Social Studies

Students are required to read for meaning, analyse historical events and arguments and use numbers and graphs. Students are not required to memorise countless dates and events or capitals of countries, but rather interpret text, numbers and graphs. The final test is 70 minutes long and calculators are allowed. The test comprises multiple choice questions and other question types such as drag and drop, fill in the blank and choose from a drop-down list.


Students need to understand science concepts, know how to read graphs and charts displaying scientific data, and use reasoning to interpret science information. The Science test is not a memorisation test. Students do not need to memorise the periodic table of elements, but will need to recognise names and symbols of key elements to answer the questions.

Exam costs

In the US, prices vary from state to state, see the cost for your state on the GED Testing Service website.

South African students are required to register as international students on the GED website. The GED test costs $75 USD per subject, so the total for all four subjects is $300 USD. Boston City Campus and Business College VUE Testing Centres are exclusively authorised to offer the GED® Examinations within South Africa. There are currently 40 testing centers nationwide.

In order to successfully complete your GED, a passing score of 145 out of 200 must be obtained. On successful completion of all tests, students will receive an electronic version of their GED® High School Equivalency Credential issued by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington, DC. You can also order a hard copy of your GED diploma or transcript. Don’t panic if you don’t pass all four tests! Students are allowed to test the same subject two additional times without a wait, and requires a 60-day wait period between additional attempts. There is no minimum grade to qualify for a rewrite, but it will incur a test fee. The GED® test score report will provide students with detailed feedback to address the skills they need to work on.

How old do I need to be to take the test?

Students are required to be 18 years old to write the test with no restrictions. If you are 17 years old, you must complete and submit a Parental/Guardian Consent form. Once the form is reviewed and approved, you will receive a notification to schedule your test.

Due to government rules, no one 16 years of age or younger is allowed to test.

Students can view their results within 24 hours.

The best part is that students can complete their GED from anywhere they like, whenever they like.

We’ve made completing the GED super easy by providing:

  • Subject matter experts to teach the content
  • Weekly reports delivered straight to your mailbox
  • Online tutors to guide and assist you with content related queries
  • Study notes to help you prepare for assessments
  • Instant feedback on all your assessments
  • Online support 6 days a week

With all this in mind, you’ve most likely made up your mind and decided that completing your GED through Think Digital, would in fact be the best decision for your child’s education.

And you’d be right.

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Enrol for our free trial to explore our e-learning environment.

When a business takes the leap to expand to another country, like in our case, to the United States of America, rebranding is inevitable. And we are excited by both the expansion as well as the rebrand of our award winning South African online school, now known as Think Digital Academy.

Our CEO, Ms Janessa Leita, explains, “As Think Digital College continues to grow in South Africa, and online education gains further popularity under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw it prudent to spread our wings to the USA – a goal we have been working on for some time now.”

She elaborates further with, “The expansion to the United States of America has become a reality as we have now registered our first institution in the state of Florida.”

What happens when you open doors in a new country?

With the first phase of global expansion of any business, online schools are no exception, there must be evolution. In this case, cultural evolvement was necessary. Janessa explains, “Our international expansion has however, meant that we have had to change our name in the process, as the word ‘college’ refers to a tertiary institution in the USA. As a result, our exciting new name Think Digital Academy was birthed.”

When certain things change (like our name) others remain the same

Think Digital Academy is undoubtedly built on the vitally fundamental pillars of Think Digital College, that of quality, advancement, and integrity. This online school that was born and launched in South Africa, which recently scooped the international 2020/21 Corporate Livewire Prestige Award, has carried over its finest traits to the American market. While this growth has been taking place, and remaining true to our mission, we have not skipped a beat in serving the online students of South Africa in the process. The Prestige award was a great honour, one that drove home the message that all online students and stakeholders should be assured of exceptional service in a safe, online school environment. Now we aim to bring the same standard of online schooling to the United States of America.

Energised, excited and exhilarated

There is no better time to use some alliteration to express the sheer joy and passion we are moving forward with as a team and organisation. Think Digital Academy is an online schooling brand that we will grow from strength to strength, but never losing sight of our online students, ensuring they always have the best available education and service delivered to them.

“Our online students are our why, they are our purpose. And everything Think Digital Academy keeps striving to do, will have these fine, young people top of mind” emphasises Janessa.

You can find more information on our online school curricula or feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

Free trial

Enrol for our free trial to explore our e-learning environment.