If you are striving to get a better job or advance your career skills, one of the best starting points is getting a GED (General Educational Development) Certificate. This certificate provides you with a degree that is considered equivalent to a high school diploma, meaning better job or higher education opportunities.
Read on to find out everything you need to know in order to pass the GED.
Week 8: Learn what the GED is all about
The GED consists of four tests that can be taken together or separately. The four subjects are:
- Social studies
- Language (writing and reading)
After you pass the GED tests, you will receive a certificate that validates the fact that you have the skills and knowledge of a high school graduate. This certification is recognized in the entire U.S.
It should be noted that the tests are taken on a computer in authorized centers—they cannot be taken online. On the day of the test, you will of course need to attend in person, however it’s important to keep in mind that people with disabilities can request testing accommodations.
Week 7: Verify that you meet the requirements
In order to take the test, you must be 16 years of age or older and not currently enrolled in high school. In addition, you need to know how to use a computer to answer the questions, write texts, and navigate the test program.
Depending on the state, you may be asked to show proof of residence when registering, such as an electricity bill or driver's license. You must also have a valid form of identification, such as a passport or Mexican Matricula Card.
Week 6: Choose your preferred exam modality
The GED consists of the four subjects we previously mentioned, and the total cost for the exams varies from state to state. The approximate price per subject is $30 ($120 in total for the four subjects); however, we recommend that you check the price in the state where you are taking the test to double check how much you will need to pay.
You can choose to take all four exams at once or you can take them at different times in order to go at your own pace. This decision will depend both on you and on the availability of the centers that offer the test. Usually both options are available, so be sure to ask before purchasing either package.
Some adult education centers offer support programs to help people pay for their GED. Those same centers usually offer courses that will help you pass the GED more easily.
Send an SMS with the word SABER to 72237, and we'll be happy to help you find the center closest to you.
Week 5: gather the necessary materials to prepare yourself
Gather the required study materials based on the subjects you’re planning to pursue. To pass the GED it's necessary to obtain a minimum score, which varies from subject to subject. You can learn more about scores here.
There are prep courses in English or Spanish in several places such as community centers or schools that have adult education programs.
Preparation is not mandatory and it is not necessary to attend any formal classes in order to pass the GED. If you feel competent in one or more subjects, you can take the test immediately. However, we recommend that you prepare yourself for the best possible score.
Week 4: Structure your study routine
Week 3: Practice the timing of the tests
When you take each exam, you will have a specific amount of time to finish it. The allotted time varies by subject:
- Language (writing and reading): 150 minutes
- Math: 115 minutes
- Science: 90 minutes
- Social studies: 70 minutes
Because of this, we recommended that you take practice tests while timing yourself with a stopwatch. Start by measuring the time it takes you to answer the practice tests and try to finish the exam with enough time left so that you can review your answers. Being able to check your answers before the time expires will greatly improve your chance to pass the GED tests.
Use the following practice tests to familiarize yourself with the format and to practice finishing them in the allotted time:
Send an SMS with the word SABER to 72237, and we'll gladly help you find a study center near you.
Week 2: Recognize your strengths and weaknesses
Each person will find some of the topics easier than others, which is why you should spend more time studying for the subjects you find most challenging. This study plan is for 8 weeks, but you should be flexible in your planning and create your own schedule depending on your needs. Remember that your objective must not be to take the tests as soon as possible, but to pass the GED comfortably and with as little stress as possible.
When taking the practice tests, we recommend that you consider the following:
- As you take the practice test, pay attention to how you feel in each section.
- Time yourself and compare your times to the allotted times per subject.
- Check your answers.
- Be critical of your mistakes. Ask yourself: "Why was my answer wrong?" Evaluate if you are answering incorrectly due to stress, time management, lack of knowledge or simple misunderstandings.
- Evaluate which subjects require more work than others and pay more attention to these areas of opportunity.
Week 1: Add more weeks to your study plan until you feel confident
If you reached this point it’s because you have already studied and practiced the different aspects of each subject covered in the exam. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect," so take as many practice tests as you can, even if that means adding more weeks of preparation before taking the real exam.
From this point on, the only decision you need to make is to determine how much practice will make you feel confident. We recommend basing this decision on the scores you have obtained on your practice tests. These scores are approximate to the real thing, but they can help you gauge how prepared you are.
The week of the test
For this kind of test, knowing how to stay calm is just as important as having the required knowledge. Sometimes people fail to get their desired score because they get nervous, leading to mistakes and forgetfulness. One quick tip is to gather your documents in advance the day before so you have one less thing to worry about on the day of the test.
Also, consider taking additional preventive measures such as showing up 30 minutes before your test time. If you’re late you risk losing your registration. Review all necessary information beforehand in order to feel confident when you attend the exam.
Your GED results and certificate
You’ll receive the results for every subject except for Language immediately after completing it, so you will know right away if you’ve passed the exam and what your score was. If you do not pass the GED on your first attempt, you can re-take each subject’s test up to three times without the need to wait. After the third attempt, you will need to wait 60 days to try to pass the GED again. The GED organization deducts $20 from the additional cost for every two additional exams.
Once you pass the GED, your diploma or certificate will be issued by the state where you took it. You will also receive a GED transcript with test results which many employers and universities require.
Remember that it is never too late to resume your studies and achieve your dreams! Education is a tool that can be used to positively change your life and the life of your family.