Many people go through high school and for various reasons, do not receive a diploma. Others do not get the opportunity to go to high school. Whatever the reason for not finishing high school, as an adult you can get your diploma at any time. In many cases, the knowledge you have gained in life is the same as that necessary to get a high school diploma. The General Equivalency Degree (GED) test allows you to get a high school diploma as an adult. The American Council on Education (ACE) manages the GED process.
Prepare for the test. Regardless of how long it has been since you were in high school, test-taking requires some preparation. The GED test is made up of five sections: social studies, science, math, reading and writing. Use the resources available to you to prepare for the test. There are many books and study courses available in bookstores and libraries.
Take a practice test. Make sure to follow the guidelines when taking your practice test. Take your test as if it was the real thing. Find a private, quiet place, and complete the test in the amount of time necessary. Grade your own test and be honest. No one is going to check your practice test. Make an honest evaluation of your practice results. Decide if you think you can take the real test and pass. If so, go to step 4. If not, go to step 3.
Take a preparation course. If you did not pass the practice test, you may want to consider taking a GED preparation course. Some commercial companies offer preparation courses that can assist you in getting the score necessary to get your diploma. If a preparation course is too expensive, you have options. Many community centers offer GED prep classes. Check with your local community college, as many of them offer assistance to adults wanting to get their diploma.
Register for the GED test. Tests are given regularly. Each state and county runs registration in its own way with its own fees. Your local school system or community college should have the information you need. If you took a preparation test, you should be able to register through your test prep course. The American Council on Education also posts upcoming dates and registration deadlines on its website.
Take the test. Show up at your testing center with your registration information. Make sure to be on time.
Get your degree. In two or three weeks, your GED scores will come in the regular mail. You will need to have made at least a 60 percent overall score to pass the test. If you made the 60 percent level, you will have the equivalent of a high school diploma. If you did not make the 60 percent level, you can take the test again. You can take the test as many times as you need to in order to get your high school diploma.
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- It always helps to study before a test. Even if you do well on a practice test or in a prep class, make sure to spend some time studying the week before your actual test.
- Note that the GED test cannot be taken online or at your home.
- Check with ACE for the legitimacy of your prep vendor if you are not going through a community college.
- "The GED for Dummies"; Murray Shukyn; 2010
- "American Council on Education"; GED Testing Service
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images