When preparing for the GED, it can be helpful to get an idea of what is on the test, what you need to do to qualify for the test, and what test preparation options are available. These include online resources, home study and school-based programs.
Studying for the GED
Studying for the GED is especially important for test takers who are a few years removed from school. Students can begin familiarizing themselves with the subject matter on the test by completing official sample test questions found on the American Council on Education (ACE) website. After determining which subject areas deserve the most attention, students may consider the following options for GED test preparation.
There are many resources and practice tests for the GED available online. The ACE website offers official sample test questions, useful mathematical formulas and an option to request an official GED practice test. All these services are available through the ACE affiliated GED Testing Service website.
Other sites such as 4Tests and Union Tests offer GED practice tests for free, but are not officially sanctioned. However, they offer an opinion for individuals who are facing a tight budget.
There are a number of other at-home study options in addition to the Web-based resources above. These include GED practice books, such as The Keys to GED Success, or 'GED Connection', a series of video programs that are broadcast by PBS via local public television stations.
GED preparation courses can be found at adult education resource centers across the country. Many of these centers are located at public and community colleges. These courses typically last a single term and offer a comprehensive review of all subject areas on the GED exam. Students who are interested in finding a GED preparation course should consult their state's department of education website for a list of participating education centers.
GED Test Overview
Successfully completing the GED is one way for a student to prove that he or she has obtained a high school-level education. Five subject areas are covered in the GED:
- Language arts: reading
- Language arts: writing
- Social studies
The minimum requirements to take the GED, as specified by the GED Testing Service, as are follows:
- Not being enrolled in high school
- Not having a high school diploma
- Being at least 16 years old
However, some states have additional requirements related to age, residency and/or length of time since leaving high school. For instance, 43 states and Washington, DC, required GED test-takers to be at least 18 years old.
According to the American Council on Education, successful completion of the exams results in a credential that is considered equivalent to a high school diploma by over 95% of employers and postsecondary schools.
There are a variety of practice tests and other test preparation resources available for individuals who plan to take the GED.