Anyone who left high school before graduating can still expand their job and career options and attend colleges and postsecondary technical schools by taking the General Educational Development (GED) exam and earning a high school equivalency diploma. The GED exam is administered by states and jurisdictions and offered at official testing centers established by the GED Testing Service.
There are more than 3,400 GED test centers throughout the United States and Canada. The easiest way to find a GED testing center is to search the database of testing sites at GED.com. With an address or zip code, you can find a center located near you. You can also search for testing centers through each state's department of education or through its adult education program. Once you find a testing center, you can register to take the tests on GED.com. You can also schedule your test online.
The GED exam is taken on computer but it's not available online. The test must be completed in person at an approved testing location. There are online schools that may claim that you can earn a high school diploma online, but it's not the nationally recognized GED equivalency diploma or certificate. The Federal Trade Commission urges anyone considering enrolling in an online high school diploma program to research the organization providing the program. Many of these programs issue diplomas that are not accepted by colleges and are not considered equivalent to a high school diploma by many employers.
Test Preparation Locations
GED test preparation classes are offered at many testing centers. Classes and GED prep programs are held at adult education centers, workforce training program sites, churches, libraries, and other community-based assistance centers. You can find an adult education center by using the search tool on GED.com. Programs have different prep methods and requirements. Some GED prep courses are flexible, and students study at their own pace with individual tutors. Other GED prep programs are traditional classes that meet several times a week. Many GED prep classes are free or low-cost programs.
General GED Information
The GED is a seven-and-a-half hour exam with four separate test sections that cover language arts, math, science, and social studies. Although you can take the GED in English or Spanish, some states require the language arts portion of the test to be completed in English. The GED measures your academic knowledge and skills according to the educational standards and expectations that states have set for high school graduates. A GED diploma or certificate demonstrates you have the same college- and career-readiness skills as someone with a traditional high school diploma.
To pass the GED exam, you need a minimum score of 150 on each of the four test sections, and a total score of at least 600. If you score below 150 on any of the test sections, you can retake that section. The average cost of the GED exam is $120, and there are typically additional fees for retesting.
If you 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!
In summary, the GED can be taken at a number of different official testing centers, usually in a school setting, such as a community college or public library, by registering online at 'GED.com and going through some type of test preparation course, though the specific requirements vary by state.