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GED Programs: Overview of GED Options

Adults who do not have a high school diploma can pursue a generally accepted equivalent through completion of the GED exams. Training programs for the GED exams can be found at local community colleges and on the Internet.

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Summary of Eligibility and Scoring

Whether you are pursuing a GED program through a local community college or online, you need to know the prerequisites for taking the GED test: all applicants must be at least 16, not be enrolled in a high school, and they can't have already graduated from a high school. Since each state's eligibility is different, it is best to consult the official GED website to find out your state's requirements.

The passing score for a GED certificate is at least 145 in each of the four core areas covering language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. You must achieve a total score of at least 580.

On-Campus GED Training Programs

Most in-person GED preparation courses are offered through community colleges. These programs are often offered free of charge to residents of the college's county or state, though some schools charge a fee. Students who pursue in-person GED training at community colleges are usually assessed individually so that they can make the most out of their study time. Many schools that offer on-campus GED training programs are also GED testing centers, allowing students to take the GED exams in the same environment where they prepared.

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Online GED Programs

Some schools that offer training programs on campus offer the same programs online. Most schools provide pre-recorded material for online students to peruse, allowing working students to obtain the same education as on-campus students, only on a different schedule and over the Internet. Online GED training may be restricted to students within a school's local area; also, some online GED programs require students to make occasional trips to campus.

In addition to online programs provided by schools, some independent websites offer their own GED training programs. To simplify and standardized these programs, the GED Testing Service provides a list of approved training programs on their website that are in alignment with the GED test. Some of these programs enable GED test takers to study at their own pace and take additional practice exams. These programs have no geographical restrictions, so students from all over the United States can enroll.

Online High School Diploma Programs

Because the GED exams cannot be taken online, some schools have created ways for students to achieve a similar educational credential entirely from home. In most cases, a high school diploma, rather than an equivalency diploma, is conferred to students who complete the school's program of study. However, potential students may wish to verify an online high school's accreditation, since many of these programs are not accredited by legitimate agencies or approved by relevant state boards of education. High school diplomas earned through unaccredited, unapproved online schools may not be recognized as valid by employers, colleges or universities.

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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