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Taking the GED® Test on a Computer

By Judith Hedley, Educator

Computer-based tests can be easier and quicker than pen and paper tests. If you want your high school equivalency diploma, taking a test on computer is a good choice.

Are Computer Tests Offered Near Me?

Depending on your state, you may be able to take the GED test, the HiSET exam, or the TASC test to earn your certificate. All three tests are offered on computer. The GED test is only offered on computer, unless you need an accommodation for a disability.

The HiSET exam and TASC test are available on computer and as paper tests. However, the computer-based test might not be available at every test center. Check with your local test center.

What Are Online Tests?

No high school equivalency tests are offered on the Internet or at your home. Official computer-based tests are given at test centers all over the country.

The TASC computer-based test is called the TASC online test, but it is not available in your home. The “online” component is at the test center. Information is securely sent from the test center to TASC and your state government.

The reason high school equivalency tests aren’t offered online is simple. It’s an official diploma. The test needs to be secure.

  • You need ID to prove who you are.
  • A test center needs to monitor your testing time.
  • You aren’t allowed extra help or resources.

At-home “online GED" tests or high school diplomas are scams. Some websites offer an at-home test for a fee, but the diploma isn’t official. You could get fired from a job if your high school credential isn’t real.

If you pass the GED test, HISET exam, or TASC test, you will receive an official diploma from your state government. This high school equivalency diploma is accepted by over 90% of businesses and colleges. If you score high enough on the GED test, you could even earn college credit. You can pass the test on a computer—but be wary of at-home “online” degrees.

What Are the Benefits of Computer-Based Tests?

So if you can’t take the test at home, what are the benefits?

Computer-based tests are great for the essay. Did you know that poor handwriting can lead graders to (unconsciously) give you a lower score? You don’t have to worry about handwriting on a computer-based test. You can also edit much easier on a computer. You can move whole paragraphs or sentences and delete mistakes.

How about this: no waiting! With a computer-based test you can usually get an instant score. You might need to wait for confirmation of your essay, but most of the time, you’ll know right away if you passed.

And what about those confusing bubble-answer sheets? In a computer-based test, you mark your answer right on the question. You don’t have to worry that you marked outside the bubble or that you marked the wrong row.

Computer tests can often be quicker and easier than paper tests.

How Are Computer Tests Different Than Paper Tests?

The HiSET exam and the TASC test are the same on computer. The only difference is the computer format. You will find some special question types on the TASC test, like drag-and-drop questions, that are formatted slightly different from a paper test.

The GED test is offered only on computer. It includes drop-down questions, drag-and-drop questions, and “hotspot” questions, where you click on a portion of an image to select it. These special question types can sometimes be easier than multiple choice questions. They often let you express ideas visually, in a way that makes more sense.

Do I Need Special Preparation for Computer-Based Tests?

If you’re comfortable with computers, you won’t need special preparation for a computer-based tests. A good online study program for high school equivalency tests can be a benefit. If you’re taking classes online, you’re gaining experience with answering computer-based questions.

If you’re not comfortable with computers, a basic computer course can quickly give you the skills you need. It doesn’t take long to get up to speed with computer test-taking skills!

When it’s time to take your high school equivalency test, consider a computer-based test. It can be quick and easy—with instant results.

Author’s Recommendations:

Taking the GED® Test on a Computer by Judith Hedley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United Stated License, redistribution of this article is allowed under the following terms outlined here.

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