Obtain your High School GED

About this article
For those who don't have a high school diploma, earning the GED certificate can be a good way to make up for it. The certificate demonstrates high school equivalency and can open doors to opportunities in employment or higher education. Read this article to find out how to obtain your GED credential.
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Taking the GED Test

About 40 states in the U.S. and most Canadian provinces offer the GED exam as a way for those who didn't earn a diploma the traditional way to show high school-level understanding of the main academic subjects. (States that don't use the GED will offer some other high school equivalency testing option.)

The GED test can be taken at official GED testing centers; residents can use a locator tool found on the GED website (www.ged.com) or contact their local school district or community college to find the closest center and the details on high school equivalency options in their immediate area. Help is also available online via the GED site's Live Chat option or by calling 1-877-392-6433 (1-877-EXAM-GED).

Many resources are available to help students prepare for the GED exam. Online videos, study materials, practice tests and local adult education classes are some of the options. Again, the GED website and one's own school district or state department of education are good starting points.

GED Test Subject Areas

All GED tests will cover four subject areas: reasoning through language arts, math, science, and social studies. Scores of 200 are possible in each of the subject areas; a score of 150 is a passing level and 170 is a good indication of college- and career-readiness. The subject tests range from 90-150 minutes and can be taken one or two at a time or all at once.

Passing scores on all four sections are needed to earn the GED credential. Individuals who fail the exam as a whole or a section may do retakes of all or part of the GED until successful completion. Keep in mind that states have different rules for retake options, so check with yours for more information.

How to Register and What Are the Fees?

Registration steps also differ slightly from state to state, but setting up a free online account on the GED website is a good first step. Most states allow residents 18 years and older to register online and also schedule their test and pay on the website; your online account will walk you through the steps and requirements for your own state. States typically require additional documentation for 16- and 17-year olds to take the test.

Cost also varies from state to state, but is usually in the range of $30-40 per subject area. Vouchers might be offered to offset some costs, and retakes are often discounted.

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