SAT vs GED: Which of the Two Exams Is Harder?

Applying to colleges after high school is an intimidating task.

This happens especially when you’re going about it without proper guidance. In the United States and Canada, two similar tests are often confused with one another – GED and the SAT.

Students take both the tests towards the end of high school. However, the purpose of each is different, so are the testing criterion.

If you wonder which test you’re supposed to be taking, you need to know that those different purposes are.

The purpose of this article is to define GED and the SAT.

This will give you a clear understanding of the meaning and purposes of the two. On the basis of which you can easily opt for the necessary one.

The GED Exam

The GED or the General Equivalency Diploma is taken by students who could not complete their high school careers. The purpose of this exam is to prove that you are capable of earning a high school diploma.

Many jobs’ minimum eligibility criterion is either a high school diploma or GED in the US and Canada. This exam was first conducted to rehabilitate war veterans by becoming eligible for applying to those jobs.

GED comprises a combination of subjects like literacy, science, and mathematics.

The purpose is to test the general understanding of the candidate of each of those subjects. Each MCQ question on this test comprises 5 options, and the candidate is to select the correct answer for each.

A GED test includes 240 questions, one of which is an essay type question. Each candidate gets 7 hours and 15 minutes to complete the test.

The SAT Exam

Students who want to apply to colleges for undergraduate programs take the SAT or the Scholastic Assessment Test. The purpose of this exam is to test which college you’re academically fit to apply for.

Most universities in the US and Canada need an SAT score before admitting students. A few colleges in UK and Australia also require an SAT score for the same purpose.

Different SAT scores make you eligible to apply for different colleges.

The purpose of the test is to assess candidates’ mathematics, reading, and writing abilities.

Students usually take the SAT in their junior year of high school. They can re-take the exam in their senior year if they wish to improve their score. The highest possible score for an SAT exam is 2400.

The test is divided into 10 different sections, some of which comprise essay-type questions while the others comprise Multiple Choice Questions. The test takes 4 hours to complete.


Both SAT and GED both prove that the candidate is capable of being a high school degree holder.

However, GED is taken only to prove that so that the candidate can apply to certain jobs.

On the other hand, the SAT is eligible to apply for an undergraduate degree in colleges across the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.

Both tests differ in their pattern and marking scheme and should not be confused with one another.

Read: Is AP Capstone Worth It?

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