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GED at Home: Home Study GED Options

The General Educational Development, or GED test, offers people who didn't graduate from high school the chance to earn a high school equivalency diploma. Most people need to spend some time studying for the test, and there are a growing number of books and study programs available for them to prepare for the GED at home.

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What Is the GED?

The GED is a seven-and-a-half-hour test with four separate sections on math, language arts, science and social studies. The test assesses academic knowledge and skills according to the standards most states have set for high school graduates.

Acquiring a GED can be incredibly helpful to individuals applying for a job or for those looking to further their education credentials. While the basic passing score is set at 145, GED has three levels of passing scores - High School Equivalency, College Ready, and College Ready + Credit - which are designed to help accelerate education opportunities for those looking to earn college degrees. Minimum age requirements vary depending upon state, but the standard age is 16.

Although adult education centers throughout the country offer GED prep classes, for many people group instruction and class schedules are not always a good fit, especially for those who work full time and care for families. However, people can now study at home, often at their own pace, with online prep courses and GED study guides.

Online GED Courses

GED classes online are becoming an increasingly popular way to prepare for the GED Test. The following courses are samples of some of the online prep programs now available:

  • Fast Forward - Developed by Kentucky Educational Television, Fast Forward is an online GED prep course that offers instructional videos, interactive animation, practice questions and vouchers for the official GED practice test. Students can pay a $90 fee for 12 months of access to Fast Forward lessons and study resources that covers the four GED Test subjects. (Study materials for individual subjects are also available.)
  • DCS GED Online Prep - DCS is a comprehensive online course that offers interactive lessons on all four GED subjects, sample questions and answers, instructions on GED extended response questions, two full practice tests and email assistance from teachers. Students pay $65 for a four-month membership that allows them unlimited access to DSC study resources, and memberships can be extended for $10 a month.
  • Ed2go Prepare for the GED Test - This six-week course is let by an instructor and introduces new classes twice each week. The course is designed to help you identify your academic strengths and areas where you need preparation. Each lesson covers a different aspect of the GED test and includes quizzes, assignments and message board discussions. The fee for this online course is $90 through the GED's test prep site (www.gedmarketplace.com).

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GED Prep Study Guides

Many people prepare at home for the GED test with workbooks filled with review lessons, sample questions and practice tests. Several publishers have enhanced these types of study guides with additional online and computer-based study materials. The following books are some of the most popular resources used by students prepping at home for the GED:

  • Kaplan GED Test Prep Plus 2018 - The most up-to-date test prep guide offered by Kaplan, the GED Test Prep Plus 2018 is a comprehensive study guide that comes with 1,000 sample questions and explanations and two full GED practice exams. In addition to the print content, readers have access to 60 online instructional videos.
  • Master the GED Test - Published by Peterson's, this study guide is particularly helpful to people who learn best through practice tests. The book provides five print practice tests and access to an online platform with two additional full practice tests. The online tests use the same format as the GED test and include drop-and-drag, hot spot, and drag-down questions and answers.
  • Steck-Vaughn Test Preparation for the 2014 GED - This popular series covers language arts, math, science and social studies in separate workbooks. Test content is presented in short lessons with follow-up reviews and questions. You can use a single workbook to study for one GED test subject or you may use the set as a comprehensive GED prep resource which can be combined with additional online instruction.
  • McGraw-Hill Education Preparation for the GED Test - Described as easy to follow, this GED study book comes with over 1,000 sample questions, two full practice tests, and a test app with two additional practice tests that help familiarize you with the GED computer test format.

A Note of Caution

While there are many GED preparation programs and study guides, not all have materials that are aligned with the current version of the GED test. It is important to use books and courses that clearly state they have been designed or updated for the 2014 version of the test.

Need help preparing for the GED? Check out Study.com's GED Test Prep study guides, complete with bite-size video lessons, practice tests, informational resources, and more to make sure you ace the exam!

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