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Get Your GED Online: Steps to Earning Your GED

It's not possible to take the General Educational Development (GED) test online. But there are many online prep classes to help get you ready to take the test before you head to the GED testing facility! View article »

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  • 0:00 Earning Your GED Online
  • 0:27 Online GED Preparation
  • 1:50 Sit for the GED

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Video Transcript

Earning Your GED Online

People who don't earn the traditional high school diploma may choose to take a General Educational Development (GED) test to earn a general equivalency diploma. The GED test is not available online, and you must show up in person to take it at an official GED testing center in your state; however, you may take GED preparatory classes online.

With this in mind, let's look at the steps you can follow to take your GED test.

Online GED Preparation

GED test preparation programs are widely available online through most community, technical and vocational schools. These courses are offered through continuing or adult education programs and are typically available at little or no cost. In-person visits are sometimes required for initial skills assessment, registration, and orientation.

Each state sets its own requirements for earning a GED, and so each state usually develops its own GED preparation materials, but the general subject matter is common to all GED programs and prep courses typically cover the four subject areas found on the GED test:

  • Reasoning through language arts
  • Mathematical reasoning
  • Science
  • Social studies

Online classes may either be led by an instructor or self-paced, with instruction materials and video lectures delivered via the internet. Keep in mind that students taking online prep courses should have strong reading skills, feel comfortable using a computer and have a reliable internet connection.

The American Council on Education provides resources such as GED preparation kits, resource materials, sample questions, official practice tests, and even GED prep courses broadcast on public television stations. When searching for such materials, make sure you select resources specific to the state in which you'll take the GED.

Sit for the GED

Make sure that you meet state requirements to sit for the GED test, which vary by state. Typically students must be at least 16 years old to take the GED test. Most states require you to be a current resident of the state where the test is going to be taken, and in most states the test is only available to students who are not a high school graduate and not enrolled in high school.

Once you are prepared for the GED test, you must register and schedule to take a test at the GED testing facility of your choice. You may have to pay the testing fee at this time. When you show up for your test, you'll need to present photo identification and any other documents requested by the facility. No other materials may be brought into the exam. While most GED tests are now computer-based, some facilities may still offer paper tests. In these cases, pencils and calculators are typically provided.

The passing score is 145 points out of 200. You can also score at the college ready level by scoring 165-174 points. This indicates that you're ready to enroll in college. The highest level is college ready + credit, which is for those who score 175-200 points. This means the test taker has shown skills learned in college-level courses, and depending on the college you attend, it may earn you up to 10 college credits. For those who don't pass the first time, retesting is allowed; however, each state sets its own rules regarding retesting fees and how long you have to wait to sit for the GED test again.


Those who pass the General Educational Development (GED) earn a general equivalency diploma. The test itself must be taken in person at an official GED testing facility, though you may take GED preparatory classes online.

The first step is to complete a GED test preparation program; these programs are available online through most community, technical and vocational colleges and they cover the four main categories covered in the GED: reasoning through language arts, mathematical reasoning, science, and social studies. Those who take online prep courses should have strong reading skills, feel comfortable using a computer, and have a reliable internet connection.

The second step is to sit for the test. You'll need to meet state-outlined requirements to sit for the GED, and you must also register and schedule the test in advance. When you arrive for the test, you'll need to present a photo ID and any other required documents. To pass the test, you'll need to earn at least 145 points out of 200.

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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