Get the most from a GED program with these four tips

Poverty, homelessness, pregnancy, insecurity at home, and mental health challenges can all affect a student’s likelihood of graduating high school. GED programs offer young adults another option to complete their education and succeed. Photo: Shutterstock.

A General Education Development program, or GED, is nationally recognized for providing high school-equivalent education. GED programs and the testing and certification process help those unable to complete high school gain the same workforce opportunities later in life as those who did graduate. Comprised of online classes, in-person prep, and a series of tests, GED programs help people advance their careers in an increasingly competitive national job market. Importantly, earning a GED is a crucial component of many of our workforce development programs.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the national average for high school completion reached a record high in 2017, with 84.6 percent of students earning their diplomas. Numbers have stayed consistent ever since, but this means that one out of five students will not receive their certificates for one reason or another. 

Poverty, homelessness, pregnancy, insecurity at home, and mental health challenges can all affect a student’s likelihood of graduating high school. However, GED programs offer these young adults another option to complete their education and succeed in their careers long-term. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about GED programs and tips for earning your certification. 

Frequently asked GED questions. 

What is a GED? 

A GED certificate is nationally recognized as the equivalent of a high school diploma. It certifies that you have the same level of education as a high school graduate, even if you did not complete secondary school. 

Will a GED help me find a job? 

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for most jobs today, making it difficult for those without one to advance in their careers. While some industries don’t need this level of education, having a GED ensures you are not limited in your job search by education. 

Is the GED available in my state?

Every state has a GED or HiSET program; both are high school equivalency programs. While requirements differ in every state, your certification is nationally recognized for the GED and HiSET. Some states require attending GED prep classes or additional exams, while others allow students to prepare in any way that is best for them.

How much does a GED cost? 

GED testing costs approximately $30 per test, costing roughly $120 for all four exams. However, prep materials or courses may incur additional costs. Some states offer free testing or subsidies to cover the cost of testing, and many workforce development programs will assist in covering the costs.

Tips for getting the most from a GED program

If you are preparing to take the GED, follow these four tips to ensure success: 

  1. Study far in advance – Most students take an average of three months to prepare, but the time needed will depend on your individual needs and ability to study. The sooner you start preparing, the better your chance of passing the first time. 
  2. Allow yourself plenty of time – You may be tempted to take the test soon if you’re actively looking for work, but don’t take the test until you are ready. You are only allowed a certain number of attempts per year, and it is better to prepare and pass the first time than have to sit through many testing sessions. 
  3. Start with more accessible subjects – Not everyone is gifted in every subject in school. Starting with the most challenging topics in your prep classes may discourage you from continuing your GED program. Creating more straightforward issues will build confidence and get you used to the testing process.
  4. Don’t give up – The most critical advice we can give is not to give up! It’s okay if you don’t pass the first, second, or fifth time. Getting your GED is worth the effort because it will open opportunities to achieve more in your career. 

If you want to sign up for a GED prep course, take your exams, or find other post-secondary educational opportunities in your area –  Check out our workforce development programs here.