By Michael Ormsby
More than 39 million Americans don't have a high school diploma, and trying to find a good job or better education can be nearly impossible without getting over the high school hurdle first. For many people, the GED® test is the best solution. But they are left with the questions: Is the GED Test too hard? Can I pass? How can I get my GED certificate?
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The benefits of taking the plunge to get a GED certificate are clear. Adults with a GED test certificate earn on average $350,000 more during their lifetime than those who never got a high school degree. For people who use the GED certificate as a stepping stone to higher education at a college, university, trade, or technical school, that amount could rise steeply...and they could earn up to a million dollars more throughout their career.
The biggest stumbling blocks to earning a GED certificate are usually the same things that stopped potential GED test-takers from graduating high school. Some had problems at home. Some had to get jobs. Many had trouble learning in a traditional school environment.
A recent study supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 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. The students had the skills, but life and the school system got in the way.
Many adults expect studying to get a GED certificate to be like school, and often adult learners have even more responsibilities now than in high school: paying rent, supporting a family, and making ends meet. The good news is that the GED test isn't like school, and studying to get a GED certificate isn't like going back to high school.
Often, students are overwhelmed by the idea of having to relearn high school, but GED test-takers don't need to learn a whole high school curriculum to prepare for the GED test. The GED test examines whether you have essential thinking skills, not a lot of facts and figures in your brain. Instead of memorizing the history of Europe or complex math equations, adult learners need to understand basic, fundamental concepts of math, science, social studies, language, and communication. And most importantly, test-takers have to think critically and solve problems. These aren't just "school skills." These are skills that everyone should have. And everyone can learn them.
Another problem is that, often, adults who never graduated high school didn't learn how to learn. Studying on your own or going to a local low-cost or free GED test class might not be right for many adult learners. A GED test guide or GED test prep book may be frustrating, and going to classes after a long day's work may seem impossible. Fortunately, modern technology provides options. Computers and the Internet have changed our lives, and they're also changing the way we learn. Innovative online GED test programs are available that can help students learn at their own pace. Effective online GED test courses usually focus on real-life issues and skills, and they engage learners through an entertaining and simple educational experience.
Be wary, though. Websites that offer a "high school diploma" or "GED certificate" online in 10 days or a week through an online test are usually scams. There is no real GED test online. These worthless "diploma mills" charge $200 to $1,000 for a piece of paper that has no value. The real GED test must be taken in person, at one of the official GED test locations. You earn a GED certificate awarded by your state, which is accepted by almost all U.S. colleges and employers.
Here are tips to make a study plan:
- Take a GED practice test online or from a test booklet to see what skills you need to work on.
- Find a local low-cost or free GED test class or an online GED test class that lets you focus on areas you need to improve and fits into your lifestyle and learning style.
- Set aside an hour a day to study, starting with the areas that need the least studying. Start with what's easiest to make passing the GED test easier!
- When you're ready to pass a couple of the GED test areas, schedule a test day...For GED test dates, a GED test schedule, and a GED test application, contact one of the local GED test locations near you. When you pass your first tests, you'll feel great.
Soon, you'll be on your way to a GED test certificate, more options, and greater earning potential. The most important step to getting a GED certificate is the first one: making a commitment to yourself and getting started on your studying. Can you pass the GED test? The answer is yes, if you make the commitment. Check out a sample free GED test course to get started.
Michael Ormsby is the president of the GED Academy and oversees software and curriculum for adult learners and people with educational challenges. For more information, visit passGED.com. Michael can be contacted by telephone at 800-460-8150.