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GED Programs - What To Know

GED Programs - What To Know


Education is the key to finding and keeping a job and improving your earning power. Americans without a high school diploma earn an average of $504 a week and have a 7.4% unemployment rate and those with a diploma earn $692 a week and have a 5.2% unemployment rate; add a Bachelor's degree, and the average is $1,156 a week and a 2.7% unemployment rate.[1] That's a compelling argument for education, but many low-income Americans do drop out of high school, often for reasons beyond their control. If you don't have that diploma, how can you improve your chances of getting and finding work or earning a higher degree? The General Education Diploma, or GED, is the answer.

The GED is an internationally recognized test program to qualify for a High School Equivalency Certificate. In fact, it is the only high school equivalency credential recognized in all 50 states! The tests cover basic subject areas in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. It takes a little over seven hours to complete the whole test. Passing the test gives you the chance to pursue higher education or improve your employment status.

Qualifications and Requirements
Space is a critical part of effective study. Make your study space comfortable, and customize it according to your personal preferences.

Individuals who are over 18 years old and have no high school diploma are eligible to take the GED test. Applicants must also meet their state, provincial or territorial requirements for age, residency and the length of time since they left school. Visit the website for a complete list of testing administrators in your area.

Once you know that you are qualified to take the test, the next step is to start prepping. Here are some simple guidelines on how to get ready:

Set Aside Money for The Test and Review Materials.

Part of your preparation is to set aside money for necessary textbooks, online materials, and testing fees (which vary significantly by region.) For reference, testing fees fall from $50 to $100 overall for the set of five tests. You take these tests separately, so the price for each test can vary.

Create A Study Space

Space is a critical part of effective study. Make your study space comfortable, and customize it according to your personal preferences. You should also take time to evaluate your study needs, depending on your current situation. If you have children and run a household, assigning a specific area and time will most likely help you make the most of your studying. It may also help to schedule a definite time of the day for studying and inform your family of your new schedule to discourage interruptions.

Study for The Test (Even If You Don't Think You Need To)

The GED is a rigorous four-part test, so it's important to study as well as you can and make enough time to review. Research shows that those who study for the test have higher chances of passing. Some may think that their general knowledge and various skills gathered through informal training, casual reading, and life experience will suffice. Data from 2007 shows that out of over 600,000 individuals who took the tests, only close to 70% passed.[2] Your chances of passing will be much better with an effective study program.

Don't jump the gun, though. Before you pick up any review materials, take the GED Ready practice test, which will help you plan your study program. There are three options to access these practice tests: you can get them from different publishers, through official websites, or attend a prep class near you.

Some people prefer to review on their own during their free time. You can also set personalized goals by participating in a GED online review program. If you study most effectively in a group environment, then it is best to attend classes. Some states even offer free classes! Search online to see where the nearest class in your area is.

You can study on your own, but remember that you must take the test in person at an accredited testing area. The test-taking process occurs in an official, regulated environment.

Take Your Practice Test and Review Your Score Report

Check the score report and identify the areas where you did not do well. It will save you both time and money to focus on subject matter that you find unfamiliar or difficult. Your study time will be limited, so you need to use it where you most need it!

Take the Test When You Feel You Are Ready

Taking the GED test is the single most crucial part of the program: this is when the final verdict will happen. Feeling unprepared, unsure, or just plain bad on the big day will affect your results, so you want to take the test on a day when you feel calm, assured, and ready. Schedule the test ahead of time so you can prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Try to watch some videos on what to expect on the exam day. Just search YouTube), what to bring, and other essential tips.

You can check your scores on the same day as your test. They will be accessible via the MyGED online portal, under the My Scores section. If you fail the test, you can still take a test module. You can take two subsequent module retests without restrictions in between retakes. However, if you fail the second or subsequent retest, you'll have to wait 60 days before trying again. This rule applies to each successive retake.

Celebrate Your Victory

Once you pass the test, you should celebrate your big accomplishment! Gather up your closest friends and family and celebrate your victory. You have come a long way already, and you're on your way to a better future!

Pay It Forward

Once you get your GED diploma and go on to pursue higher education or better employment, it will be rewarding to share your journey with someone else going through the GED Program. You can put the knowledge and experience you have gained to good use by helping and inspiring others. Reach out to other people about to embark on the program, or contact your local testing center to see how you can help.

Final Word

Success depends highly on individual skills and credentials, and if you don't have a high school diploma, you may feel like you have no chance. The GED Program is your golden ticket to better opportunities, the best way for you to improve and officially register your professional skill-set. It will open the door to higher education, better employment, and much more. Don't pass up this chance to improve your life. Log on to, register for the program, and give yourself a big pat on the back. You've taken your first step toward lasting success!