Requirements for Earning your GED

What is the G.E.D. and who qualifies for this test? Those who cannot receive a traditional high school diploma can choose to pursue a G.E.D. Read on to learn more.

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The GED (General Education Development test) is an exam that covers five academic subject areas and measures basic high school skills. It is similar to a high school diploma, but is slightly less recognized by certain educational and military institutions. The test requires students to apply basic skills to real life situations.

Generally, anyone 16 years of age or older, who does not have a high school diploma and is not enrolled in high school is eligible to take the test. Students who are 16 or 17 and have dropped out of high school must get a letter of withdrawal from the high school principal showing that they are no longer enrolled. There are specialized regulations in some parts of the country, so check with your state Department of Education.

Those interested in taking the GED should prepare in advance for the exam. Effective ways to prepare for this test include practicing test questions, reviewing the basic subjects covered in the test, and learning test taking strategies. Subjects covered include Language Arts/Writing (including writing an essay), Social Studies, Science, Language Arts/Reading and Mathematics. The GED is a standardized test. It is recommended for students to take GED preparation classes that include at least one practice GED test.

Although the GED is not so widely recognized as is a high school diploma, many community colleges and some state and private colleges do accept it as equivalent. Those who are unable to earn a high school diploma should pursue a GED. A high school diploma usually takes four years, whereas a GED takes about seven hours. Those who have a GED can find higher paying jobs than people who lack both the GED and the high school diploma.

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