Just give me my GED, dammit!

After taking the GED examination, I was more than a little confident in my failure of the exam. Ironically, it was my “best” subject that I was sure I had failed.

The exam itself was not necessarily as bad as I had expected. The GED examiner really made the atmosphere comfortable and, I suppose, exciting. I knew I had done everything I could to prepare, besides working on essay writing more, and I knew that this exam was the only solution to the serious pickle I’d gotten myself in. You do not usually hear about people dropping out of middle school and making it far in life, but I’m bound and determined to be the exception to that proverbial “rule.”

The other examinees were an interesting bunch—that’s for sure! When taking an incredibly important test, it is usually an excellent idea to try to be on time. Apparently, however, some did not believe the test was as important as I did, as one person showed up hours late for the exam. She was turned away.

The other examinees consisted of the young, the old, and the weird. One particular woman, who had obviously had an incredibly tough life, was not the least bit shy. When the examiner told everyone about our breaks, she specifically asked about whether she would be able to go outside and smoke. She told us that she had quit many times; in fact, she had quit for more than 10 years. Each time she quit, however, she would take up the habit again (obviously). She had tried the patch and myriad of other products to quit, but the addiction was too tough.

I could not help but question whether nicotine was her only addiction. Really, she resembled methamphetamine addict. She obviously did not care much for herself, as her hygiene was obviously lacking. Being that I’m a “dental fanatic,” one of the first observations I made about her was her general lack of teeth. For me, that would be an utter nightmare, but it was relatively obvious that she was unable to obtain proper dental care. Even with her downfalls, such as talking way too much, I admired her, as she made one of the best decisions she could have possibly made—and that is to get a GED.

She made the decision to pursue a GED because she was unable to find a good job. She said that she would work at various places, but, because she lacked a high school education, she would eventually have to “leave.” I’m sure by leave she really meant “fired,” and there’s a good chance that it had nothing to do with her educational shortcomings. Either way, it certainly could not hurt her to pursue this endeavor.

She also solidified my desire to obtain my GED and pursue higher education for this single reason: I did not want to end up like her. I wanted a better life; I wanted to make better decisions. Nothing I have said above is an attempt to degrade this woman, and I truly hope that she has been able to change her life. She is an unfortunate example of how poor decisions can adversely affect your life. However, she did one thing many others do not: She tried to find a solution. She made an effort to change things.

I forgot the results were on their way.

It generally takes 4-6 weeks before you receive the results of your exam. If you pass, you receive your diploma. If you fail, you are, I assume, given your scores for all sections (to help you prepare) and told which sections you failed.

Because it takes so long before you receive your results, I simply forgot about the exam. The fact that I genuinely believed that I had failed a portion of the exam did not help so much; it was as if I wanted to forget about it. I was disappointed about my dismal performance on the essay and wished I’d prepared better. I was more worried about having to wait months to take that section again, as well as having to tell Sheri and my other tutors about my failure. I did not want to disappoint them.

One morning, I was awoken by my father telling me I had received mail. Judging by his general excitement, and knowing that I never received any mail except from the army, I knew exactly what had arrived. I was tired, however, and apparently did not care enough to actually get up at that moment; instead, I wanted to sleep some more. My father was pissed that I did not immediately jump up to go get my mail—and he made his disdain rather clear.

Twenty minutes after being rudely awaken, and after realizing I was unable to go back to sleep, I decided to go downstairs and get my mail. I asked my mom, “Where is it?” She got out of her chair with something in her hand, walked up to me, grabbed me for a hug, and said, “You got it! I’m so proud.”

She was nearly in tears and her pride was evident. I was irritated, however, because I don’t like being touched and I was still in that “waking up” stage of the “morning” (afternoon). It was almost as if I was experiencing sensory overload and, at any time, I was going to explode.

Naturally, my first question was how they even knew I’d passed. I assumed they had opened my mail, so I was rather pissed and I was fully prepared to press charges. My mom quickly pointed out that it said “diploma enclosed” on the front of the envelope. I was a little peeved that the GED people decided to stamp that on there.

Perhaps the postal employees take special care of envelopes with “diploma enclosed” clearly printed on it with red ink. Or not.

My scores were better than expected. In all, I received a relatively high score in all subject areas with mathematics being the clear winner. My hard work certainly paid off, as I received a “79 percentile rank” in the mathematics portion of the exam. I think that translates into being in the top 21 percent of graduating high school students, but I can’t be sure. The scores are not the easiest thing to interpret. (In order to determine scores and such, they test high school seniors.)

My writing score was disappointing, but I obviously did better than I expected. I received a 33 percentile rank. Prior to actually taking the exam, I expected to receive a much higher score. Even though I passed, it really messed up my average—and that seriously irks me!

Several years later, when I was considering going to dental school, I emailed the Ohio State GED Administrator. I told her that I did not perform as well as I’d hoped on the writing portion and that I was curious if I would be able to retake only that section.

Her response was surprising and did not give me much faith in my fellow humans! She told me that my score was actually above average and a good score. She told me not to worry about it. She also told me that you are not allowed to retake any part of the exam if you passed it, unless you retake the entire exam.

Note: Perhaps it is silly to say this again, but I want anyone who reads this to know that I am still very interested in hearing what you have to say about my blog. Suggestions, questions, etc. are encouraged!

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29 Responses

  1. Would it be uncouth of me to ask how old you are?

  2. Not at all.

    I am 23 now. I was two weeks into “being” 19 when I took the exam, but I did not start college until I was 21 (a couple weeks shy of being 22).

    Perhaps that is a question I should have addressed in previous posts!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Yes, I think you could have addressed it earlier. :)
    You’re welcome.

    Let me know if you’d like some constructive, well-meaning, I swear I’m not a witch most of the time, criticism sometime.

  4. Haha.

    Your constructive criticism is always welcome. ;)

    Thanks again.

  5. Well, you write extremely well and your story is VERY interesting . . . but the truth is, I think you don’t get more comments because your posts are so long.

    People are LAAAAAAAZZZYYY. They will click on your page, see you wrote a novellette and bolt for the ESC button.

    You’d be far better off breaking off a post like this one into segments. Telling the story a piece at a time. Even if you write it all at once . . . break it down and post some pieces of it later.

    It’s not a reflection on YOU, just on the general populace.

  6. Haha! Thanks for the constructive criticism.

    You are exactly right and that has been a concern of mine. Blogging is still relatively new to me, so it is rather difficult for me to judge how much to write and how many details to give. My original idea was to be as detailed as possible.

    Plus, I won’t run out of stuff to say so soon. ;)

    Thanks for the compliments as well. Writing is my passion, and this blog has certainly solidified that. I really enjoy writing for “it,” even if I don’t have millions of readers. ;)

  7. hey, good blog.

    keep it up

  8. The 33 percentile means that you scored better than 77% of all GED test!!! That was a great score! The 79% in math was not as god as you thought you scored about the same as 80% of all of the other math scores.

    I just finished my GED on Tuesday, looking forward to getting mine in the mail as well. I am like you and want a great score!
    I am 43 and have taken many other test and know that, this is how scoring is done. The less the persentile. My essay was too long and I could not finish, my better subject as well. I however did not feel the need to practice and didn’t realize how off my sense of of time was. Hopefully I do as well as you.

    Dawn

  9. hey i was wondering if you would be so kind as to tell me how i did on my ged, below i will provide you with my scores in each subject however it was not graded by percentiles
    but with a different grading system, 410 being th lowest you can score and 800 being the highest.

    language arts-writing=500

    social studies=560

    science=660

    language arts-reading=800

    mathematics=490

    total=3010

  10. Dawn

    When you score in the 79th percentile, it means you scored 79% better than all graduating seniors from high school would. basically, 99% would mean you scored in the top 1%.

    I am waiting on my GED writing score as we speak. I can’t wait because if it is anything like my other scores, I will have a battery average over 700 which would put me in the top 1% of all graduating seniors. I did exceptionally well and never studied for any of the tests; testing just comes natural to me. 670 in social studies, 800 in science, 760 in reading, 710 in math. I am hoping for some thing around 750 for writing, but I can get as low as 560 and still get a battery average of 700.

    bun.d

    you have a battery average of 602, which is 152 above what is needed to pass. A 602 battery average also puts you at around the top 11%. Not bad.

  11. well i have to retake my writing portion tomorow hopefully its a done deal

  12. Your story is very encouraging to me. You probably know as well as I do that it is extremely difficult to move forward without a high school diploma\ GED. My situation is a little more complicated. I have three children between the ages of 7 to 10 years old; I live in an area where public This is very encouraging for me, because I dropped out in the seventh grade. And you transportation is far (I don’t have a car) and I have no one to encourage or help me in times when it’s most needed.

    But despite of any situations or challenges, I am more determined to successfully pass my GED test. I have set the stage in my mind as to me receiving my diploma in my cap and gown. I know for sure without a doubt that when this day come to pass for me, I’ll be happy and cry.

    In this life with all its requirement that diploma will be a door handle for me. Where I can turn the knob and open the door to greater and more opportunities. So every time I get discourage about my low score on the pre-test, I mind myself Kim you can do it. And no matter how hard it seems, do not GIVE UP. This what keeps me more determined and optimistic.

    So I just want to say that “I’m proud of you”. And like you, I wish everyone else success not only in obtaining their GED; also achieving goals in for their lives.

    Wish everyone the best!!

  13. I Must say, this piece of writing is very articulate and descriptive. I truly admire your structure and the unique way that you molded your own attitude and personality into it.

    keep it up…and keep on inspiring!

  14. Your story has inspired me. I too, dropped out of school in the sixth grade, although my story is a bit different. I was a street kid, did drugs, lived on peoples couches etc. But then I met my wife. She has made me into a better person, I’ve been sober for years, and now, I really want to make something out of my life. The problems against me are difficult to bear though. I have epilepsy, and dyslexia, as well as bipolar, and have serious issues with stress. Though I can read okay, my reading comprehension isn’t great. In fact, my wife is typing this for me right now, because my spelling is so bad you wouldn’t hardly be able to read what I wrote. I took a pretest online with my wifes help. With the exception of the social studies test, I failed everything. The social studies, I passed with a perfect score, but only because my wife explained all the questions to me. But I know she can’t be there when I take the test, so I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to start, I know I need serious tutoring, but because of my mental illness, the person would have to be extremely patient, and I don’t have money to pay someone to tutor me. I want to do this though, I want to be proud of who I am, and have a descent job, and be able to have nice things, and have my parents be proud of me. I just wish I knew where to start.

  15. I have a question, i just took the ged test today, and i didnt finish my essay, apparently i lost track of time, but anyways im wondering if its possible if I could still possibly pass, im pretty sure I did well on the other section its just erking the hell out of me someone please help!!!

    Thanks,
    Jerron

  16. iam afraid taking the ged test thinking already im going to fail as i have fail al in life dropout when i was 17 married at 18 and have 2 kids now kowingly that i need an education to get a better job. seeing my sister now 17 and she is almost graduating high school it was more like a wake up call that all my family and friends are already graduated and have there master degree i feel leftout but yet im afraid i dont think sometimes im smart enough i barely remember when i was in 10th grade and they are going to test for all the 4 years people do have high expectation for me especially my mother she is always telling me when im going to take the exam when are u going to bring your diploma but i dont want to dissapoint her again if i dont pass and i have seen that look before and i dont think i could see it again i would just burst into tears

  17. I was wondering how long does it take to get ready for the actual GED test. I have a friend and she is a really hard worker. However, she is unable to go to school right now, can anyone give me an estimate of how long did it take you to get ready for the test?

    Thank you.
    Carl

  18. I have taken the test many times.failed by 10 ponits.Iam have a leanering dis.The math is the problem and spelling.What can i do?Ive gone to ged classes nothig works.Just about ready to give up.

  19. hi..am 18..years old and about to write my ged.i really like yo blog….it’s really inspiring. as am in the process of writing my ged, first i was really scared of what might come on the tests but when i read your post,it says u are a grade 6 dropout? so i thought,a grade six dropout passing ged? what about me? so keep up your “blogging”(hahahaha)cuz u never know whom it inspires(4 real)

  20. hi, can someone help me answer this question? The passing score for the ged test in the new york state is 2250. Is it possible to retake the test even though you pass it with 2250?

  21. hey hi you there :)
    i really liked your blog!
    but i have a big big question
    i’m gonna get my ged scores next week and i’m really really nervous about it
    all day i’m just thinking ” what if i don’t pass itt ” and you know
    you already lived this heh
    so my question is !
    what if i just need some points to pass it?
    can i take one exam again to complete the passing score?

  22. to be completely honest. i’ve never tooked the ged test.My first time should hopefully be wednesday,but the requirements in my state ranges from 16-and up.being that 16 and 17 will have years old have to go through too many procedures to even be accepted for the testing processe,my brother has been through alot since our rough times start.he’s my idol,very educated,college grad to be more pacific.i wouldn’t want him to go through the hassle again for one person.Im very confident ill pass.

  23. Thats great, i took all my tests in three weeks. I dropped out in the 11th grade and regretted it for 11 years. I finally achived the complishment in September ot 2007. Thanks for sharing your story. P.S. my total is 2720 and i didnt even study for the tests

  24. Thanks, Angela — and everyone else for all of your comments. Good luck in future endeavors and congrats on your past successes. It’s all about learning from our mistakes and I think several people in the comments have made that astoundingly clear.

  25. I enjoyed your story, it gives me hope as I anxiously await my math test results.

  26. This was a great blog. My second time reading it. I read it before I took my GED test and I am reading it again : ) It was well written. Thank you for taking the time out to post. The GED can be an exciting, yet scary journey for many of us, older or younger. I am in my 40′s and graduated High school from a country other than the USA. Jamaica, the most beautiful island. I had to get that in there : ) Hence, I had to take the GED in order to pursue my dream of working with children in a Preschool setting. I searched the internet like many others before me, seeking support and advice. To everyone out there, don’t let go of your dreams, work hard daily. Don’t let anyone tell you a GED means nothing. It is the beginning of many positive things. After taking my GED June 18th, 2012, I was so scared that I had failed. I questioned every answer I chose. But guess what, July 25th, 2012 I got my results and I passed! My scores are as follows:
    Reading 750
    Writing 550
    Mathematics 450
    Science 530
    Social Studies 500

    Total 2780
    Please don’t give up. God Bless you all, and thank you for reading.
    Karen

  27. Good post!! =)) I took my GED 5 days ago and the days have never been so slow as they are now. I am confident that I passed math, writing, and reading, but I’m not sure about the Social Studies and Science. I love those subjects, but they were harder than I expected. I tried my best though. So, I’m very eager to get my results. Ahhhhhh!

  28. Great post! I studied my butt off but just could not pass the math for some reason. I ended up getting a 410 on math but I took the test end of 2013 and I still failed because all my other test were over 410 but i didnt reach 2250 which sucks.

    I am skipping the 2014 GED version. As soon as I get some extra money i am going with http://www.secretgedloophole.com and finish my diploma with them. My cousin got his through them and now he is in college studying business management.

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