How to Get Your GED®

6 easy steps along with useful resources to help you earn your GED diploma quickly and easily.

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Step 1

Understand the GED Test

The first step in getting your GED credential is understanding what it is and what it will do for you. The GED is an alternative to a traditional high school diploma. Earning it will change your life. You’ll be able to get a better job, attend college, or even join the military. 

Learn More About the GED

Step 2

Decide Which Test to Take

Where you live determines which test you will take. There are two alternatives: the GED test and the HiSET® exam. See our GED requirements by state page to learn which test is offered in your area, where you’ll test, fees, rules and answers to common questions. 

Find Your Test

Step 3

Get To Know the Test

Next, learn what’s on the test. Do you know what types of questions will be asked? What score do you need to pass? View and answer sample questions to get an idea of what to study.

View Sample Tests

Step 4

Study for the Test

Knowing what to study is key to passing quickly. There are many GED study materials available to get you started. Low-cost online prep programs like GED Academy help you learn what skills you need and create a customized plan to make learning fast and easy.

Enroll Now in GED Academy

Step 5

Find Out If You’re Ready

After you’ve studied, completed lessons, and maybe even attended GED webinars or classes, you’ll need to determine if you’re ready to take the actual test. Take the certified GED Practice Test to help you check your test readiness.

Watch “Are You Ready to Test?”

Step 6

Schedule Your Test

Once you’re ready, you will schedule your test and take it through an official testing center specific to your state. Use the link below to find a testing center close to you or learn more about at-home testing options. Pick your state and explore testing centers.

Locate a Testing Center

Common Questions About Getting a GED

Can I get a GED online?

You can take your GED test online at home in most states. However, the requirements and availability may differ depending on where you live. It’s always best to check with your state's testing center to find out what testing options are available to you.

Is the GED the same as a high school diploma?

A GED credential is equivalent to a high school diploma and is obtained by passing the GED test. It certifies that you have achieved the same academic success as a high school graduate and can apply to jobs or colleges just like you would with a high school diploma. See more information on the GED vs. a high school diploma in this article.

Are GEDs respected?

Yes! A GED credential is a gold-standard alternative to a regular high school diploma. Over 98% of colleges, universities, and employers accept the GED. Millions of people have earned a GED and gone on to success, including actors, athletes, judges, politicians, and business leaders.

How long does it take to complete the GED?

Different factors, like your preparation and study habits, contribute to the time it takes to get your GED. Many people who earn their GED spend less than 3 months preparing for the test. 

The exam itself takes about 7.5 hours total if taken all at once. It is made up of 4 subject areas that can be taken as separate tests and spaced out over several weeks. Each subject has a time limit: 

  • Reasoning Through Language Arts: 150 minutes

  • Mathematical Reasoning: 115 minutes 

  • Science: 90 minutes

  • Social Studies: 70 minutes

How much is a GED?

Each state has different guidelines for the cost of the test. Below are the average costs, but these can change without notice, so it's always best to see what your state requires to be sure.

  • GED test price ranges from free to as much as $200.

  • HiSET exam is an average of $65.

Is passing the GED hard?

Passing the GED can be fast and easy with some preparation! Very few people can pass the test without preparing first. The test won't be hard if you take the time to learn about the test and the skills required to pass. The GED tests in 4 subject areas, but you don't have to take all of them at once. You can space them out however works best for you. While taking the test, the types of questions you'll see include multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, drop-down, and extended response. Each subject has a possible score range of 100-200 points, with a passing score of 145. You only need to get less than half of the answers correct to pass and get your diploma. Online courses like GED Academy help you know what to study and offer the flexibility to go at your own pace.

Is it easier to get a GED or high school diploma?

That depends, and there are several factors to consider. If you're still in high school, it may be easier to stay in school and earn your high school diploma, but if you've already dropped out of school or you're older, the GED will be easier and faster to get.

Want to learn more about how to get your GED fast?

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