Become a High School Graduate in Florida

Florida offers two programs that give anyone who did not finish high school an opportunity to earn a diploma. The Adult High School program and the General Education Development or GED Test program offer adults the chance to become a high school graduate in Florida.

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Adult High School

Florida's Adult High School program lets you start where you left off and finish earning the 24 credits needed to earn a standard high school diploma. School administrators will review your transcript from your original high school to determine how many courses you need to take. Although graduation requirements vary slightly according to the year you entered 9th grade, you will typically need 4 credits in both English and math, 3 credits in both science an social studies, 1 credit in art, 1 credit in an online course and 8 credits earned in elective courses.

Although Adult High School programs have different schedules and admissions procedures, in most cases you will work at your own pace and combine classes, independent study and online course work to earn your credits. In order to receive an Adult High School diploma, you must maintain a 2.0 grade average, and pass the statewide exams required for all of Florida's high school graduates. Most of Florida's Adult High Schools charge a fee of around $30 per semester.

Florida's GED Testing Program

You can also earn a State of Florida High School Diploma by passing the GED Test. The GED is a comprehensive exam with four test sections in language arts, math, science and social studies. The GED cannot be taken online. You must take the four tests in person at an official GED test center.

The GED is offered in English and Spanish and it is taken on computer. You can take the entire test in one day, or you can take the following test sections separately, in any order:

  • Mathematical Reasoning - The GED math test covers arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Questions pose problems involving a range math topics such as percents, fractions, ratios, measurements, algebraic equations, graphs, linear inequalities and the surface area and volume of geometric figures. For most of the test you will able to use a calculator and a reference sheet of formulas.
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts - This test assesses your reading ability and writing skills. Some questions will require you to interpret reading passages, others questions will ask you to revise and edit written selections. You will also have 45 minutes to write an original essay.
  • Social Studies - The social studies test evaluates your ability to interpret information presented in reading selections, illustrations, maps and charts. The test content covers topics in U.S. history, civics, economics and geography, and includes a short essay question.
  • Science - The science section of the GED covers topics in life sciences, physical science and astronomy. Questions require you to read and interpret scientific information, apply scientific principles to different situations and evaluate scientific data.

You need a minimum score of 150 on each test section, or a total score of 600, to pass the GED. If you score below 150 on any of the four test, you can take it again twice without waiting. If you need a third retest, you will have to wait 60 days. In Florida, the fee for GED exam is $128.

Finding a Program

Florida has an extensive network of adult education centers and adult education programs offered through state and community colleges and public school systems. Many adult education centers and programs offer both Adult High School and GED prep classes. You can find information about adult education programs on the Florida Department of Education website at www.fldoe.org.

You can find more information about the GED Test, including sample questions and practice tests, on the GED website, GED.com. The site also has a data base of official test sites and a registration form that lets you register and schedule your tests.

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