Are you:

  • Currently on the fence about continuing your education?

  • Looking for a higher salary in your job?

  • Considering entering an entirely new job field?

The one thing that all these options have in common is the need for a high school diploma or a GED.

Learn more about what a GED is and the steps you can take to start your GED journey!

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What Is a GED?

GED traditionally stands for General Educational Development Test. However, you may also hear that it stands for Graduate Equivalency Degree or General Educational Diploma.

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The test is made up of 4 subjects:

  • Math

  • Science

  • Reasoning Through Language Arts

  • Social Studies

The purpose of the GED is to provide you with a credential that is equivalent to a high school diploma.

When passed, you receive an official GED credential from your state that will open up multiple doors for your future!

What to Expect During the GED

Below is more information on what to expect in each section and how to prepare:

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Math Section Includes....

  • Time: 115 Minutes for 2 Parts (1 part will require a calculator)

  • Multiple choice questions about basic math, geometry, basic algebra, and graphs/functions

  • A Math Formula Sheet with the equations and formulas you need to use on the exam

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Social Studies Section Includes...

  • Time: 70 minutes for 1 Part

  • Multiple choice questions about civics and government, U.S. history, economics, and geography of the world

  • You will not need to memorize dates — however, you should know how to analyze historical information

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Reasoning Through Language Arts Section Includes...

  • Time: 150 minutes for 3 Parts

  • Multiple choice questions about grammar, language, argumentative writing, and reading for meaning

  • Part 2 is a written essay section that you have 45 minutes to complete

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Science Section Includes...

  • Time: 90 minutes for 1 Part

  • Multiple choice questions about earth and space science, life science, and physical Science

  • A Formula Reference Sheet with formulas you need to use on the exam

Tips on Preparing for the GED:

  1. Find the best way you know how to study! For some of us, it can be through taking practice exams, reading and highlighting study guides or even drawing images that represent what you're learning. Find out your best strategy and stick with it!

  2. Do NOT waste time on memorizing dates, formulas, and equations! Remember, you will have reference sheets on the Math and Science Tests that can help you.

  3. Buy or rent prep guides. You can find GED Study Guides online and in various bookstores.

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What are some good ways to prepare for the GED?

The Difference Between a High School Diploma and a GED

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  • An official credential that shows that you have the skills and knowledge that a 12th-grade student (high school senior) has

  • Taken if you didn't graduate high school and want to apply for college or a job

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High School Diploma

  • An official document that a 12th-grade student (high school senior) earns once they complete all classes and requirements needed to graduate

  • Doesn't require extra tests to be taken

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Scenario: Mary, a 30 year old, wants to begin a new job as an office assistant but she didn't graduate high school. She has money saved up and lots of free time to prepare. Should she apply to earn her GED?

Pros and Cons of a GED

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  • You can use your GED to apply for college, even if you didn't complete high school!

  • In many jobs, you can earn more money with a GED instead of nothaving one and not receiving a high school diploma!

  • There is no time limit to receiving your GED, making it a flexible option.

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  • The GED costs money to take (between $30 and $46 per subject test)

  • Some colleges and jobs may not accept a GED over a high school diploma

  • It can be time-consuming! Preparing for the exam takes about 2-3 months, depending on your schedule.

Is Getting a GED Right For Me?

While considering whether or not you want to get your GED, make sure to take into consideration whether getting your GED is the right move for you.

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Answer these questions:

  1. Do I want to earn more money in my job field?

  2. Do I want to further my education and earn a credential without returning to high school?

  3. Do I have the time to dedicate myself to studying and taking tests?

If you have answered "YES!" to any of the questions above, you should take the next steps to earn your GED!

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