By Leonard Williams
With Internet information and access rising every day, it’s no surprise that students turn to their computers for education. The Internet itself is a remarkable learning solution and a tremendous tool for homework, research, and for adult learners. Taking GED online courses allows adults to fit GED® test prep into their lives and learn more effectively.
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While there’s a growing number of quality educational resources for students, there’s also an alarming number of bogus resources that sell fake high school diplomas, offer fake GED testing online, or promise results that just can’t be delivered.
Unfortunately, services and certificates provided by diploma factories don’t come cheap. Most packages range from $200 to $800 and are offered by companies that seem professional and legitimate, and advertise heavily. After paying tuition or high testing fees, students get a “high school diploma” from a nonexistent or non-accredited high school. Online high schools might say they’re accredited, but their accreditation is from a fake service, too. Purchasers soon discover from their employer, an educator, or an admissions department that the diploma or supposed GED online test is worthless.
As a rule, the GED diploma is the only alternative diploma for adults who never completed their high school education. Regardless of e-learning high school transcripts or fake diplomas, most employers, colleges, training programs, and universities require a GED diploma as proof of basic skills, knowledge and proficiency. Approximately 95 percent of employers and 97 percent of US colleges and universities accept the GED diploma. The GED test credential is an official, accredited high school equivalency credential awarded by your state government.
When choosing an online GED class or study program, how can adult learners differentiate between quality online GED courses, online GED courses that just don’t teach much, and diploma factories that offer a fake online GED diploma?
First, consider guidelines for online GED classes and GED practice test questions, developed and distributed by GED Testing Service®. GED Testing Service strict guidelines, and quality educational programs, both online and community-based, should meet GED Testing Service skill requirements for all GED test areas: science, social studies, reading, writing, and math. Any solution that doesn’t include or mirror GED Testing Service guidelines is suspect.
Any program that promises immediate results or a quick diploma earned in days or a week or two is probably bogus. The GED exam is a difficult test. Most students and adult learners need at least a month or so to prepare.
Consider these other recommendations when choosing GED classes online, adult education, or high school or basic skills programs:
- There is no GED testing online. You can’t take the GED Test online, only at official GED test locations. These GED centers are established by each state. Avoid any company that claims you can take your GED online. Online testing is banned and official GED locations are the only sites authorized to give official GED tests and issue GED testing scores. For a listing of official GED test locations and state contacts, along with contacts for Canada, corrections institutions, the military, and international GED testing visit http://www.passGED.com/test_state.php
- GED practice tests are available online, and you can even get GED online free practice tests. Practice tests are excellent prep tools to see if you’re ready to get a GED diploma at one of the official GED test locations. But know that a GED practice test is NOT the official GED test.
- Avoid any company or “school” that offers a diploma or transcript via an online test only. There’s no way to guarantee test results on tests offered without monitors, like an online test. It’s no wonder that employers, colleges, and the government don’t accept diplomas based on just an online test.
- The GED test is a timed 7.5-hour test. Be wary of any company that offers a shorter test version, or fails to provide information about the ACE’s requirements and official test sites or GED centers.
- If considering a high school learning solution, determine first if the school is accredited. Don’t trust what a website says. Your state department of education will know if the school is accredited, or can help you find out. State education offices, consumer affairs offices, the BBB, and attorney general offices may also know if complaints have been filed about an educational provider. Investigate the company before you pay.
- Explore resources carefully and cautiously. If an online company doesn’t provide enough information to determine program standards and the company’s qualifications to provide them, ask for the information. And be sure to check out referrals and confirm any information provided.
- Read the fine print. Know what you’re paying for and getting, long before you pay. Consider the value of your purchase. Is it really valuable? Is what you’re paying for going to be accepted by your employer, a job-training program, or college admissions department? Will the online GED programs or learning solutions you choose really prepare you for the GED test?
- Explore the company or education provider’s message boards, online forums, or learning communities. What do other students and adult learners say about the online GED programs? Are there complaints, or reports of success? Is the company responsive to both? Does it even offer a place where users/students/adult learners are free to share thoughts and findings, successes and failures?
- If it’s difficult to make an accurate judgment or determine if an educational program is legitimate, ask for guidance before you buy. Confirm with your local GED programs, GED instructors, or GED classes in your community. Or, contact your official GED Administrator™ or the ACE.
- Explore a variety of resources. Compare solutions, prices, services, GED programs and any promises. Again, company claims are often misleading, so read the fine print! Is there a guarantee? What exactly is the company offering?
After choosing your online GED classes, it is possible pay with
a credit card. Most credit card companies offer consumer
protections on purchases and can obtain refunds from companies
selling bogus goods. If payment is made by other means, keep
In a recent Google search, the term “fake GED” returned 293,000 results, and the search term “fake high school diploma” netted 919,000 results. Based on those searches alone, that totals more than a million online resources. While some are news accounts of scams and consumer alerts, consider how many among the million are seeking and competing for the investment you want to make in your education and your future. Many of these alleged resources are companies and schools that appear very professional and legitimate, but are really just diploma factories.
Choose your education wisely. Then share the news. Promote good products and education providers, and likewise, share news and information about misleading products. File complaints about the scams. Good news travels fast, and bad news travels faster. Your story could make the difference in someone’s education.