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The Definitive Practice Test Guide for the GACE

About the GACE

The Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators, or GACE, has developed a series of exams that are required to teach in the state of Georgia. These exams are collectively referred to as the GACE exam. The specific exams you must take will depend upon the grade level and subject you intend to teach.

Despite the variance, all elementary school educators in the state of Georgia must take the GACE Tests 001 and 002, along with any additional exams. When combined, these two sections are called exam 501. Test 001 covers Reading and Language Arts, Social Studies, and Analysis. Test 002 covers Mathematics, Science, and Health Education, and the Arts.

The questions are often in varying formats, but may include multiple-choice, multiple-answer, fill-in-the-blank, and potentially other types. There are some questions that do not count toward your score, but you will not know which questions these are while taking the exam. The total duration for Combined Test 1 and II is five hours, including breaks. The total testing time is four hours.

Taking the GACE exam can be stressful, since it is imperative that you do well in order to become a certified elementary educator in Georgia. It always helps if you learn as much about the exam and what to expect before your test day.

In addition to understanding all of the exam sections and content tested on the GACE, you can better prepare yourself by having a good idea of what to expect on testing day, how to best study, and tips for acing the GACE.

Sections of the GACE

Test II Health Education, Physical Education, and the Arts

Since the Test II Health Education, Physical Education, and the Arts section only occupies about 17% of the GACE Elementary Education Test II, you may be tempted to neglect review of these areas. But even 17% can drastically alter your test results. The questions you will see cover the fields of health and physical education and the arts, as the title indicates. The concepts are all basic, but intrinsic to good teaching of these subject areas. See how much you know by accessing these practice questions, as well as our equally free study guide and flashcards.

Test II Mathematics

The concepts covered in the Test II Mathematics section include numbers and operations, fractions, measurement, and basic geometry. Algebraic thinking is also assessed, as are instructional practices for teaching the listed concepts. Your performance on mathematics questions will constitute about 53% of your score on the GACE Elementary Education Test II. See how familiar you are with this area of teaching by trying our questions. There’s more practice available with our free flashcards and study guide.

Test II Science

Scientific investigation and inquiry form the basis of questions in this section of the test. Concept areas covered in the Test II Science section include Earth science, physical science, and life science. Questions about science occupy about 30% of the GACE Elementary Education Test II. Try these questions to assess your competency in the science areas tested. Check out our free flashcards and study guide also.

Test I Reading and Language Arts

The Test I Reading and Language Arts questions make up about 50% of the GACE Elementary Education Test I. Questions in this section of the test deal with the content and instructional practices used when teaching students in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Knowledge and skills in the areas of vocabulary development and grammar are also emphasized. You will need to be able to accurately match teaching strategies to specific content. Use these questions to test your skill in these areas and be sure to access our free flashcards and study guide, as well.

Test I Social Studies

The Test I Social Studies questions occupy about 25% of the GACE Elementary Education Test I. Questions will assess your knowledge of concepts in the areas of information processing, history, geography, and government (civics). You will also be asked to identify educational practices that are optimal for teaching students in these areas. The following questions should give you an idea of how prepared you are for this section of the test. Our free flashcards and study guide should help, as well.

What to Expect on Test Day

Before taking the exam, the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators recommends that you do several things to prepare. First, verify your test location and reporting time 24 hours prior to your testing time, since there can be occasional changes. Second, we advise you to print out your admission ticket prior to arriving for the exam. This can be done by logging into your GACE testing account and printing it. This will ensure you have all of your information available.

It is also recommended that you plan to arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time on your admission ticket. If you arrive after the scheduled time, you will not be admitted and your fees will be forfeited. Leaving before the exam is prohibited, and you are required to remain inside even during breaks. Since the total duration of the exam is five hours, you will want to be sure to dress comfortably and eat a nutritious meal before arriving to take the test.

What to Bring

It is a great idea to bring your admission ticket, since it has all of your testing information on it. You will not be required to present it to be allowed to take the exam, but you may be asked for it and presenting it may speed things up. You are, however, required to present a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. This is the only item you are required to bring on your testing day.

What Not to Bring

Aside from your identification, you should not bring any other personal items or testing resources with you on the day of the exam. Examples of what not to bring include:

  • Calculator—Calculators are allowed on some exam portions, but you should not bring your own. You will have access to one within the testing software while taking the exam.

  • Personal items—No personal items are allowed in the testing room. Restricted items include backpacks, phones, purses, tablets, and any other wearable technology. Examinees are prohibited from accessing their phones or any other technology for the duration of the exam, even during breaks.

  • Pens, pencils, and scratch paper—These items will be provided to you at the testing center.

  • Headphones—If you need something to drown out ambient noise, the testing center can provide you with noise-cancelling headphones or ear plugs.

  • Accessories—Accessories, such as hair ties, scarves, ties, and jewelry are all prohibited at the testing center, with the exception of wedding and engagement rings and small stud earrings.

Best Ways to Study for the GACE Test

Take GACE Practice Tests

GACE practice tests are a great and easy way to familiarize yourself with the types of questions and content that you will encounter while taking the actual exam. Your performance on practice exams can help you to determine how much time you should spend studying the material for each of the test sections. While GACE practice tests are available from many sources, you will maximize the benefit of these exams by selecting practice tests that are published from reputable and reliable testing companies.

Use Alternative Study Methods

In addition to practice tests, many GACE examinees may benefit from using supplemental study materials, such as flashcards for the GACE test and study guides that cover the content tested on the GACE test. Studying with a variety of materials at your disposal can often help you retain information better.

Simulate the Testing Experience

Before your test day, it’s also a great idea to simulate the entire testing experience at least once or twice, including timing yourself on each test and only taking breaks at scheduled break times. While taking practice tests can greatly enhance your performance, you should also understand how you perform in a timed test environment over an extended duration. This process can help you to better allocate and use your time on exam day.

GACE Tips and Tricks

Answer the Questions You Know First

As with most timed exams, you may perform better if you answer the questions that come easy to you first, then go back and answer the rest. The easier ones will take less time, allowing you more time to go back and re-read the harder ones for you to answer. This method maximizes your use of time.

Don’t Let Anxiety Get the Best of You

Taking the GACE exam can be incredibly stressful. Your ability to pursue your chosen professional path is dependent upon achieving a passing score. With so much on the line, it can be easy to let anxiety overwhelm you. However, if you’ve been studying and are prepared, it’s important to remind yourself that you are ready to ace this exam.

The GACE is a long test, so if you feel anxiety starting to set in, take a few deep breaths and clear your mind. Then you can come back to the questions and focus on the content more effectively.

Start Studying Early

While it may be tempting to think that you can cram in the days leading up to the exam, the reality is that this method won’t provide optimal results for the majority of individuals. The GACE is a comprehensive exam that covers a wide range of subjects. To ensure you get the best results possible, it’s a good idea to start studying weeks, or even months, before your testing date.


1. How much does it cost to take the GACE Exam?

The cost of taking the combined exam is $193. However, examinees can opt to take the two tests on different days. The cost of a single test is $123. All prices include a $25 registration fee and a $28 test center fee.

2. What score do I need to pass the GACE exam?

Scoring for the GACE test ranges between 100 and 300. Any score above 220 is considered to be passing by the state of Georgia. Scores above this threshold are considered passing at “induction level”, while scores of over 250 are considered passing at “professional level”.

3. Can I retake the GACE exam?

Yes, you can retake the exam if you wish to do so. However, you must wait 30 days before registering again. The system will prevent you from doing so until after the minimum waiting period has passed.

4. When will I receive the results of the GACE exam?

GACE lists all of their target reporting dates for scores, so you will know this date prior to taking the exam. Generally, the target score reporting date is four weeks after you have taken the exam, though it may be less in some instances. You will receive an email from the online system once the scores have been reported and you can log on to view your official score.