What is a GED?

GED certificateIf you didn’t complete your high school education the first time around, there’s still a chance for you to earn an equivalent diploma known as General Educational Development (or a GED). The GED high school credential is accepted by more than 95 percent of U.S. employers, colleges and universities. Passing the GED exam can mean a better job or admission into higher education. Achieving a high school diploma can also improve your self-confidence and will encourage your children to finish school.

What is the format?

The GED exam measures communication, information-processing, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in five content areas: reading, writing (including an essay on an assigned topic), mathematics, science and social studies. The complete GED exam lasts more than seven hours.

Who can take the GED?

In order to take the GED exam, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age.
  • Be a resident of Oklahoma.
  • Have been withdrawn from a regular high school program for at least six months.

Am I too old to take the GED?

Many people think of a GED as “high school,” for 18- or 20-year-olds… but thousands of people in their 50s, 60s and even older get their GEDs. Earning a GED diploma qualifies you for more jobs and higher education, and that’s a good thing at any age.

How can I prepare for the GED?

You can prepare for the GED in two ways: through independent study or by taking a preparation class. If you choose to study independently, there are a number of resources available. Go to your library to check out their free study materials or go online to find free study materials and free practice tests.

If you choose to take a preparation class, expect to invest some money and time. Most classes meet for about four to six weeks, and the costs will vary. Many classes are sponsored by local school districts, colleges and community organizations.

How long should I study before taking the test?

It depends on how long you stayed in school, how well you can read and do math, your ability to think critically and how much you study for the test. Many people prepare months in advance by taking classes and practice tests. A local adult education program can offer guidance in gauging your readiness.

Will the GED allow me get into college?

Yes. More than 95 percent of colleges and universities admit GED graduates. After obtaining your GED, you may be required to take the ACT and/or the SAT, depending on which colleges you want to attend. Certain colleges may require additional testing for course placement in subjects such as math. You may also be eligible for federal, state or local financial aid so visit fafsa.gov.

So, if you’re ready for a fresh start, for more education or for a better career, it’s not too late for the GED.