How to Get a GED Diploma. The General Educational Development (GED) program is designed to give a high-school education to diverse populations. The program provides a diploma to home-schooled children, farmers and immigrants who were unable to attend high school full time as well as to those who dropped out of high school early. To get a GED diploma, you'll need to take and pass the official exam.

Locate the GED testing center nearest you by using the locator page on the GED website (see Resources below). Most test centers require you to make an appointment at least 2 days before you plan to take the exam.

Gather the appropriate fees to take the GED test. The exact fee varies according to the individual test center, but is usually around $40 for the first test. Re-tests usually cost around $10.

Save money and time on GED preparation with online testing resources. Websites such as GEDforFree allow students with full-time jobs and other responsibilities to take sample tests at their leisure (see Resources below).

Hone your skills at reading graphs and charts to complete the science section of the GED exam. This section features multiple-choice questions on biology, chemistry and physics with diverse visual elements.

Practice reading and writing essays on a variety of topics to get ready for the writing section of the GED exam. Ask a friend to select a dozen topics that help you focus on proper outlining and spelling.

Learn to compare and contrast, writing on the same topic with different points of view to help you get a GED diploma. The reading section of the exam features a compare and contrast section to test critical analysis skills.

Look through arithmetic, algebra and trigonometry books to get comfortable with word problems. The latest update in the GED exam features a number of word problems in the math section to combine reading, calculation and logic skills.

Study forms that you encounter in your daily life to help you get a GED diploma. The social studies section of the exam has sample forms for voter registration, taxes and loan applications to test practical applications of civics.

Take some GED prep or refresher courses at a local community college or adult education center to prepare for the final exam. Most of these programs offer classes that focus on different portions of the test, such as social studies, science, literature, math and essay-writing. Other programs offer an overall GED prep course that covers all these sections as well as test-taking strategies.

Wait 10 to 14 days after the test to receive your scores, your transcript and your GED diploma in the mail at no charge. If you want extra copies of these items, you'll need to pay a small fee (usually around $10).


  • Complete your studies for the GED exam with a timed pre-test. You should set a watch timer to 1 minute less than the time allowed for each section of the exam. (During the official exam, you will want this extra time to review your work.) It's wise to take your pre-test in a quiet room in your home to simulate the controlled conditions of the GED exam.