GED vs. High School Diploma: The Key Differences

ged vs high school diploma

Thinking about taking the GED? Not sure what the difference is between the GED vs. high school diploma?

You’ve come to the right place. While earning your degree can be challenging, choosing between the GED and a high school diploma should be easy.

Read below for everything you need to know to make the decision that’s right for you.

What Is a GED?

Let’s start with the basics – what is a GED?

GED stands for General Educational Development. It is a certification or credential showing that you have a 12th-grade level knowledge base.

In order to achieve this, you must take a test consisting of four parts – math, language arts, science, and social studies.

You must be 18 years or older to take the GED exam. The test usually lasts about 7 hours. Once you pass the exam you can use your GED certificate to apply to colleges or jobs.

How to Get a GED

If you are interested in getting a GED, keep reading for the exact steps to take.

First, look online at the GED requirements in the state you live. Policies are different between states.

Once you have determined you are eligible, it’s time to start preparing. You can look for online study tools and GED practice test options to help you prepare.

When you feel confident about the content of the exam, you can register for your GED exam. You will register online and choose a testing location near you.

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Once the exam is complete and you have passed with flying colors, your certificate will be sent to you.

GED vs. High School Diploma

There are a few key differences between earning a GED certificate and a high school diploma. First, is time. It generally takes 4 years to earn a high school diploma but preparing for the GED may take only a few weeks or months.

Most but not all colleges and universities accept the GED in place of a high school diploma. Community colleges and trade schools almost always accept the GED.

When applying for jobs, some employers prefer a high school diploma instead of a GED certificate. Before you apply for a job, research the requirements to see whether they will accept a GED in place of a high school diploma.

As mentioned above, anyone over the age of 18 can take the GED. Adults that did not have the opportunity to go to high school or finish high school often take the GED when applying for jobs. Usually, high schools only accept young adults ages 15 to 18.

The Right Education for You

Now that you understand some of the differences between a GED vs. high school diploma, you can plan your education path forward. Consider which of these options will fit best with your lifestyle and give you the opportunity to pursue a career in your field of interest.

If you’re looking for more career and lifestyle advice, take a look at our website for more articles like this one.

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