By Michael Ormsby
The GED® test is a route to earning a high school-level credential for those who never graduated high school. Since 39 million American adults lack a high school diploma, leaving them undereducated and under qualified for jobs and higher education, the GED exam is essential in raising the education level of the United States and creating a qualified workforce But alone, a GED test credential is not enough.
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Dropouts who take the GED test typically had difficulties in school. School was discouraging and dampening to low-performing students. Many GED earners felt stupid in school and simply stopped trying. Why try, when you constantly feel you will fail? Even after earning a GED diploma, GED earners can carry with them a feeling of failure from their past experiences in school which can prevent them from working towards higher education and a brighter future. Is it possible to counteract the negative effects of past failures?
Part of preparation for the GED test should be preparation for success beyond the GED exam. That means learning life skills that many high school dropouts missed out on. Skills like self-motivation, self-esteem, goal making (and achieving), and learning skills are often left behind in the struggle to acquire specific language, math, science, and social studies skills for the GED test.
Arguably, these skills are the most important part of studying for the GED test. They are meta-skills, ones that will improve students’ abilities to acquire new knowledge as well as improving students’ abilities to move forward after the GED, gain higher education, and improve their own opportunities. The GED diploma is not an ending, but a beginning Adults who earn a GED test credential need to continue their forward momentum and GED preparation should give them the skills they need to improve their circumstances.