GED® stands for General Educational Development, General Education Diploma, or General Equivalency Development. The GED® was created in 1942 to help veterans coming home from war apply to college or gain employment. Now it's used to give high school dropouts a second chance. It is not necessary for students who have earned a high school diploma.
The GED® is used to demonstrate a student knows as much as a high school graduate. In the U.S., students must be age 16 and not currently enrolled in high school. It costs about $100 to $150, depending on the state. The GED® is about 7 hours long. It tests math (including basic math, geometry, algebra, graphs and functions), language arts (including reading, grammar, language, and a written essay), social studies (including reading and analyzing historical events and using numbers and graphs for meaning), and science (including the meaning of science, experiments, and using numbers and graphs).