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The GED® Certificate: Questions and Answers

By Jacob Morse, Educator

Most people who want to earn a GED diploma have questions. That’s great! The best way to start out is by asking questions! Here are some of the most common questions about high school equivalency tests.

What Is a GED Certificate or High School Equivalency Diploma?

Let’s start with the basics!

The GED test used to be the only way to get a recognized high school diploma outside of high school. Now, there are three tests: the GED test, the HiSET exam, and the TASC test. Depending on what state you live in, you might be able to take only one of these tests, or you might be able to choose.

Luckily, the high school equivalency (HSE) tests are similar in many ways. You need to pass tests in high school math, science, social studies, reading, and writing. (On the GED test, the reading and writing tests are combined.)

Once you pass all the subjects, your state will issue you an official high school diploma. This diploma is accepted by 90% of employers and colleges. If you score high enough on the GED test, you can even earn college credits.

How Can I Get My GED Certificate?

Passing a high school equivalency test doesn’t have to be hard. For many people, a good first step is a free online practice test. That’s because it’s important to start with a study plan. A practice test will give you an idea what’s on the test and help you build a plan. It’s best to use a test that’s designed to help you figure out what to study.

Once you have a good plan, it’s time to study! You can find local GED, HiSET, or TASC classes at community colleges, high schools, libraries, and community centers. Study guides are available in bookstores and online. For many people, online study is the best option.

The most important thing is to find a study program that works for you: one that gives you enough time to study at your own pace and explains concepts clearly, in a way you understand. Just practice questions or rote memorization don’t work as well as a good explanation!

Try studying one subject at a time. After studying for a while, you’ll want to take a practice test to get an estimated score. This will tell you how you’re doing and what you still need to study.

When you’re ready, find a local test center. Once you’ve passed on the subjects, you’ve earned your diploma!

Where Can I Take My GED Test? Can You Get Your GED Test Online or at Home?

You can only take a GED test, HiSET exam, or TASC test at an official test center. Test centers are located all over the country.

Online "GED" tests that you take at home are scams. There are many websites that claim to offer a high school diploma or GED credential for a quick test and a fee. They may claim to be accredited. But the truth is, official HSE exams are only available at test centers.

Think about it. To earn a state-issued diploma, you need to take an official test. The testing center can check your identification and make sure you don’t have extra help. An at-home online test has no way to verify your ID or your work. For employers and colleges to trust your diploma, there’s no substitute for a state high school equivalency credential.

Can You Take GED Classes Online?

Yes! Classes are available online for the official GED test, HiSET exam, or TASC test. These classes include full practice tests for every subject.

Online classes have a lot of benefits. You can study at your own pace. You can move quickly over things you know and slow down for things you need to work on. You don’t have to worry about a class full of strangers, and you can study any time, day or night.

Can I Get My GED for Free? Are There Free GED Classes Online?

There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is your HSE diploma will probably not be free. Some states have assistance programs, and the cost for the test depends on where you live. It’s worth checking your state’s policies! But in most cases, you’ll pay a small fee to take the test.

The good news is that your certificate doesn’t have to be expensive. You can find free preparation online, and there may be free classes near you. But free study videos or guides aren’t necessarily the most helpful. If you’re good at self-directed learning, you can gather the resources you need.

If you’re like most learners, it can be tough to find the right quality resources that will really teach you well. You need real explanations that are easy to understand. You need HSE lessons that are made for adult learners. Paying a small fee for a quality GED, HiSET, or TASC study program can help you earn your diploma faster and easier.

Can I Take a Free Practice Test?

Yes! You can take online free practice tests in all of the HSE subjects. These practice tests are designed to introduce you to what’s on an HSE test and to create a study plan. That’s the best place to start.

Your journey to earn your HSE diploma will be a rewarding one! A practice test is a first step toward your ultimate goal: college, a career, or a more fulfilling life.

Author’s Recommendations:

The GED® Certificate: Questions and Answers by Jacob Morse 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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