GHSGT Test Guide

The GHSGT Test Summary
What: The Georgia High School Graduation Test assesses students’ eligibility to earn their high school diplomas.
Who: Tests are administered to students attending high school in the state of Georgia.
Where: The GHSGT is administered at the high school where a student taking the test attends.
When: Testing first occurs in eleventh grade.
How: The GHSGT is administered in paper and pencil format.
Type: The GHSGT is a required high school graduation test for Georgian students.
Why: The GHSGT helps teachers figure out areas in which students need improvement in order to graduate from high school.
Time: Test-taking time varies.
Language: English
Preparation: Students can prepare for the GHSGT by taking practice exams and familiarizing themselves with the test format.
Cost: Free

By: Jessica McNally, Tests.com Contributing Writer


The Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) is an exam that all Georgia high school students must take during their school career. The purpose of the GHSGT is to identify individual students who may need additional educational support in order to earn their diplomas. Test scores provide valuable information to students, parents, and teachers about a student’s academic strengths as well as areas that may need improvement.


About the Test


All students enrolled in Georgia high schools who are seeking a diploma are required to take the GHSGT. The test consists of a Writing Assessment segment in addition to four core sections including:


  • Math
  • English Language Arts (ELA)
  • Social Studies
  • Science


Students take the GHSGT for the first time when they are in eleventh grade. The test is administered in segments; students take the Writing Assessment portion in the fall term, and the Math, ELA, Social Studies, and Science portions of the GHSGT in the spring. If a student does not pass the GHSGT on his or her first try, there are multiple retest opportunities available before graduation.

If a student fails to pass the required GHSGT tests, but has met all additional graduation requirements, he or she may qualify for a “Special Education Certificate” or “Certificate of Performance.” This type of certification allows a student to exit high school and return to make another attempt at passing the GHSGT tests. A student may take the exams as often as needed in order to earn a high school diploma.


Test Format and Preparation


Prior to taking the GHSGT, it is important for students to familiarize themselves with the test format. On Georgia’s Department of Education website, students can find a number of different practice tests and test guides to help them study for each section of the GHSGT. 

One of Georgia’s high schools, Upson Lee High School, offers a GHSGT study guide on their website. Below are a few of their study tips as well as information about test content and format that students may find helpful when preparing for the GHSGT.




The Math section tests students on their problem solving abilities in the key areas of mathematics. This section includes problems in such areas as:


  • Number types
  • Averages
  • Percentages
  • Probability
  • Geometric figures


Social Studies and English Language Arts


Both of these GHSGT sections assess a student’s ability to understand, evaluate, and analyze written passages about a variety of different topics. It is important to read passages carefully but quickly, focusing not on minute details but instead on the overall message the author of the passage is trying to convey.




Students tend to have the most difficulty with the illustrated graphs, tables, and charts in the Science section. Thus, it is vital to understand how to read and interpret each of these in order to pass. Here are a few questions to ask when approaching charts, tables, and graphs:


  • What is being shown by the data that is represented?
  • Can any trends be detected?
  • Is there anything remarkable about any of the shown data points? If so, what is it that is unusual?


Writing Assessment


When writing the required essay, it is critical for students to show the test graders that their writing is clear and organized. Prior to writing the essay, it is a good idea to jot down notes and to form a quick outline in order to arrange thoughts and ideas. This will help students stay focused when they begin forming a response.


To find test preparation materials, see our GHSGT Test Directory.


Sources: Georgia Department of Education, Ulhs.upson.k12.ga.us