How Long Does it Take to Get Your GED?
In the United States, 11% of the working-age population has no high school credentials. This has a significant impact on future opportunities since high school education or its equivalent is often required.
In lieu of a high school diploma, a GED is often accepted when applying to the workforce and to college.
If you’re wondering how to get your GED, we can help. We’ve assembled a guide to help answer all your questions. From the requirements for getting a GED to answering, “How long does it take to get a GED?”, we’ve got you covered!
Let’s get started.
What Is A GED?
GED stands for general educational development. Possession of a GED diploma states that you have an education that’s equivalent to graduating high school.
The GED consists of four subtests. These are Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematical Reasoning, and Science.
It’s possible to take all four tests together. However, this would take up to 7.5 hours of testing time. As a result, many students choose to split the test up and go in four separate times.
The science portion takes ninety minutes, and the social studies test takes 70 minutes. These are the shortest exams. The language arts test is the heftiest portion of the GED since it takes 150 minutes with a ten-minute break built-in.
To cap it off, the mathematics portion takes 115 minutes. These are lengthy tests, but if you’re accustomed to a standardized testing environment, this is nothing new.
Should I Get A GED?
If you are in the public high school system, you can stay there up until you are 21 years of age. If you keep repeating grades, this may be presented as an option.
However, some people don’t have traditional high school as an option. Sometimes, students are presented with challenging life circumstances. Learning disabilities, instability within their family, unexpected pregnancies, and other issues may make a conventional route nearly impossible.
Other students simply don’t enjoy the high school experience. For some, it is boring—something to get out of the way before they move onto real life.
For these students, a GED may be a great option. It takes far less time and affords the same real-world opportunities as a high school diploma.
Of course, there are a few exceptions. For instance, if you are under the age of 16, taking the GED is not an option. Instead, you must continue working on your high school education.
Another exception is the type of high school that you are attending. If you are attending a rigorous college-prep high school, a diploma can mean a lot. In these institutions, high school is more than just coursework.
Instead, it equals valuable connections, help with college applications, networking with college alumni, extracurricular opportunities, and more. In these cases, a GED does not provide an equivalent experience.
At the end of the day, getting a GED is a personal decision that students should discuss with their legal guardians and school advisors. This will help to narrow down whether a GED is the right option for the student.
How Long Does It Take To Get A GED?
Information about earning a GED may not be discussed often. However, getting a GED is far less time-consuming than traditional education options.
In most cases, students tend to set aside three months to study for a GED. Depending on the type of learner you are, this is an average amount of time to study for a test of this nature.
When taking a test like the GED, it’s important to set yourself up for success. For instance, let’s say you are incredibly gifted when it comes to math and science. Maybe you could pass the GED for those subtests today!
However, your skills in language arts and reading comprehension may be less developed. If that’s the case, break down your study time accordingly. In this situation, you’ll want to spend a disproportionate amount of time working on your comprehension, since that’s a huge focus of the test.
You should also assess what kind of learner you are in a traditional environment. Some people don’t do well on standardized tests, even if they know the material.
If this difficulty comes from a disability, make sure that it is documented! Once a disability is documented, many institutions will make sure that you get the necessary accommodations.
This could include more time to take the test, more breaks added in, and so forth. If you need accommodations, it’s always worth it to ask.
Taking the GED Test
GED requirements include proficiency in basic educational areas. As stated above, requirements for getting a GED include language arts, science, math, and social studies.
To maximize your chances of obtaining a GED, you will need a customized study plan. This will make sure you don’t overlook your weak points. That way, when test day arrives, you’ll be ready for anything.
Start by taking the Test of Adult Basic Education. In academic circles, this is often abbreviated as the TABE. This helps adult learners measure their current skill level in reading, writing, and math.
This will help you establish a baseline and figure out how ready you are to take the GED. Note that the TABE has no impact on your GED chances.
Instead, think of it as a pre-test. It’s just a tool to establish where you currently are and where you need to go.
Once you’ve completed the TABE, the administrator of the test can help you compile a customized study program. This will prevent wasted energy and resources. If you’re working on a time crunch, then this will help you feel ready to take the GED sooner.
Earning a GED
If money is a primary concern, it’s important to note that the GED isn’t free. Of course, public high school truly isn’t free either.
Let’s compare the two. While public high school is technically free, there are lots of other hidden costs that are challenging. Paying for field trips, school supplies, and transportation isn’t cheap.
These days, many high school students also require technology, such as laptops or software in order to participate in their classes. As students age, tutoring or special help for college applications is another cost.
By contrast, the GED costs very little. In some places, the GED is free. In others, the cost can range up to $150 dollars. Of course, this doesn’t count the cost of transportation to the test or study materials for it.
Will a GED Impact My Future?
People who earn their GEDs are often stigmatized. Usually, tired tropes of ‘losers’ or ‘teen pregnancies’ or ‘social outcasts’ are thrown around, as if all GED takers are part of a John Hughes movie.
This simply isn’t the case. The social stigma associated with GEDs doesn’t transfer to the real world, either. GEDs are accepted 98% of the time.
In some cases, this is a higher rate of acceptance than some private school diplomas, depending on specific state accreditations. Whether you’re trying for a new job or applying to college, a GED will only further those goals.
It’s also important to note that people who have a GED will make much more over their lifetime than people who drop out of high school. Getting a GED will help ensure financial security for you later in life.
In some ways, obtaining a GED will give you a unique edge. Employers and colleges alike are looking for special applicants. Daring to step outside of the box and pursue educational options that work for you is a strong signal.
Having a GED also gives you a unique story to tell on your college applications. As any recruiter can tell you, having a strong angle is a significant factor!
Where Do I Start?
If earning a GED is right for you, start by scheduling a test at your local testing center. This will allow you to establish the price, location, and date of your test.
To start, schedule your test three months in advance. If you start studying and find that this timeline won’t work, you can always change it.
Once you’ve nailed down the practical facets, it’s time to start investigating test prep materials to get your GED. We offer lessons, practice tests, study guides, flashcards, and more. No matter what type of learner you are, we provide the necessary resources to empower you to get your GED.
Get Your GED
If you’ve decided to get your GED, congratulations! With careful preparation and dedicated study, you’re on the right track to a successful future. This will help serve as a stepping stone to a fantastic education or career.
If you’re seeking help to prepare for the GED test, study with us today! We can help.
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