Studying Online for Your GED: What You Need to Know
The problem with letting your high school education slide is that employers consider you against applicants who have finished high school. In most cases, employers will choose a college degree over a high school degree—and a high school degree over no degree.
As a teenager who’s left high school early, you don’t realize that you’ll be competing for the rest of your life against people who finished their education. But you realize it fairly quickly when you’re out on your own.
Luckily, there’s the GED test. The GED, which stands for “general education development,” is a test that grants you a high school equivalency diploma if you pass. The diploma is equal to a high school degree. If you earn it, you can go to and online college or university, attend job-training classes, and apply to jobs that ordinarily would be closed to you without a diploma.
The GED tests basic high school skills
The GED is designed to test you on high school knowledge. It consists of five sections: math, reading, writing, history, and science.
Most of the test is multiple-choice. The reading section tests your reading and critical thinking skills. The writing test involves a multiple-choice grammar section, as well as a five-paragraph essay. The math section involves multiplication and division, fractions and decimals, algebra, geometry, and some statistical analysis. Science and history both test your knowledge in the subject matter, but most students with good critical reading skills pass.
Why should you try for your GED?
You can’t go to college without it. You can’t apply to many government-based jobs without it. You can’t enter some job training programs without it. Many employers won’t hire you without it. And you can’t apply to many professional jobs without a online college degree, which you can’t earn unless you have a high school diploma or GED.
To get a GED, you don’t need to take a class: you just need to pass the test.
You might see a lot of GED classes advertised, both online and in real-world venues. But it doesn’t matter if you take classes or not, or whether your classes are online or traditional. The only thing that matters is the score you get on the test.
Choose a program that works for your schedule.
That said, it does help to take classes before you take the GED. Knowledgeable teachers can give you evaluative tests to find your subject-area weaknesses and strengths. They can answer your questions, help guide your study time, give you access to study materials, and even help you sign up for the test.
Many adult learners find they need the help to get caught up. Some have been out of school for years—even decades. Even high-level students often enter GED classes with low math skills, because they haven’t had to use algebra and geometry since they left high school. Without help, these students can become discouraged.
However, it can be difficult to find the time to attend a traditional school. Many of those who enter these classes are adult learners with children and jobs. If this is the case for you, consider an online program with a flexible schedule. This allows you to arrange study and class time around your work and family responsibilities.
Watch out for fraudulent programs.
When looking for online study programs and resources, you may find some sites that offer you a GED or access to the GED test for a fee. These sites are fraudulent.
GED tests are administered in person at official testing sites in many cities throughout the U.S. They are not administered online, and no GED study program can issue you a degree. If any school or site offers to give you a degree for a fee or issue one if you take their class, they are not legitimate.
If you left high school before earning a degree, the GED can give you a second chance. It’s accepted nearly everywhere a high school diploma is accepted, and it opens the door to continuing your education and landing a higher-paying job. Classes can be an immense help in passing the test—but they’re not required.
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Distance Learning Policies and Procedures
How to Get Your GED: Common Questions and Answers
BoxFreeConcepts: General Educational Development (GED) Diplomas
Study-Online.net: Questions and Answers About the GED Test
BusinessWeek: America the Uneducated
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