By Michael Ormsby
39 million American adults never earned a high school diploma. Throughout the country, there is a push to re-educate these adults so they can earn a GED® certificate and become eligible for higher-paying jobs and higher education. But many never try for their GED certificate. Why? Each one has a reason. Each one thinks, "How can I get my GED certificate? I can't." But the truth is, most people can get their GED certificate. Here are a few reasons people think they can't get their GED certificate, and why they're wrong.
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"How can I get my GED certificate? It's too hard."
Is passing the GED test too difficult for adults without a high school diploma? The short answer is no. Passing the GED test can actually be easy. Part of the problem is knowing what to study.
The GED test is a series of four tests in Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA), mathematical reasoning, social studies, and science. Each test can be taken as many times as needed until you pass. By taking time and focusing on one area of study at a time, you can work through each area of the GED test.
You can find out what areas you need to work on by taking a GED certificate pre-test, with either a pencil-and-paper or online GED certificate practice test. Your GED certificate testing scores will show you what you need to work on. Once you know what to study, find a GED certificate study program that will fit your needs, in your community, in a bookstore, or online. By focusing study and sticking to a study plan, almost any adult can acquire the skills needed to pass the GED test.
"Studying is boring."
A recent study supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (The Silent Epidemic) found that most high school dropouts leave school because they found school uninteresting, boring, and not relevant to their lives. Most of these students had grade point averages of C or better and could have graduated. Traditional approaches, like studying out of a GED test guide or GED test prep book, can be frustrating for these learners. But there are more options today for how to study than ever before.
Online GED test classes allow students to study at their own pace, on their own time; the best online GED test programs have entertaining and visual presentations. Discriminating adult students focus on what type of learning works best for them to find the right study method.
"I don't have time to go to classes."
Most people studying for the GED test are adults, with adult responsibilities including a job, a spouse, and children. Going to classes takes time, but there are many options for studying at home. Making time to get a GED certificate doesn't need to involve a lot of driving or a set schedule. By setting aside a little bit of time each day to work toward your goal, you can complete your GED test studying within your busy schedule. If you're managing your own study time, it's important to find a program that can keep you interested and motivated, so look into software or online GED test programs that are visual and entertaining.
"I can't learn all the things I missed in four years of high school."
Because the GED test is a high school equivalency exam, many test-takers expect that it will require all the knowledge (and memorization!) taught in four years of high school. However, the GED test focuses, not on memorization of facts, figures, and dates, but on fundamental skills: math skills, communication skills, and critical thinking skills. Test-takers need to focus their learning on how to think for the GED test to acquire the fundamental problem solving, analysis, critical thinking, communications, and mathematics skills that are needed for passing the GED test. Depending on your existing skill level, properly preparing for the GED test can take weeks or months, not years.
"I don't need a GED certificate."
Many undereducated adults have jobs, but most of them are underpaid and lack job security. The job market is growing more and more limited for people without high school diplomas. A worker who is suddenly faced with unemployment will find it difficult to find a new job, and a worker who wants to advance may find promotions blocked without a high school degree. In a competitive job market, employers continue to look for applicants with more education and qualifications. Without a high school diploma, the average income is about $18,000 per year. With one, it jumps to nearly $26,000-and if you go on to finish college, the average income leaps to about $44,000. Based on those figures, a GED certificate is a necessity.