Maybe you’ve decided that it’s time for a change. Maybe you want to prove that you can finish what you started. Maybe you want a better opportunity to make a decent living. Whatever your reason, you’ve decided that finishing high school is the way to go. But what if getting your high school diploma isn’t an option for you? Then it’s time to check out the GED.

What is the GED?

For starters, GED stands for General Education Development, and it is considered the equivalent of earning a high school diploma. It consists of a series of five tests in different academic areas, designed to show that you have the same knowledge and skills you would have learned in high school. The five academic areas are reading, writing, math, social studies, and science.

Why get a GED?

The benefits of getting your GED cannot be understated. There are few jobs in this economy that do not require at least a high school level education. Additionally, colleges and universities require proof that you’ve received your high school diploma or GED before they’ll consider admitting you. Getting your GED is an important step to proving to yourself you have what it takes to improve your life and your situation. In addition it’s a much simpler path than trying to get your high school diploma after you’ve been out of school.

Where do I find a GED testing center?

All GED testing centers must pass certain standards in order to be considered. Additionally, testing centers can be found all over the United States, and in multiple locations in most cities. This means chances are good that you won’t have to travel to take the exam. Some jurisdictions allow you to take the different tests over multiple days, while others require that all five tests be taken on the same day.

What is the test like?

On the written part of the test, you can expect to write an essay and examine sentences for spelling and grammar errors. For the reading portions you will read a few passages and then answer comprehension questions. The social studies portion mainly covers history, geography, and government. The science portion covers life sciences and physical sciences, and the math exam includes topics such as geometry and algebra.

How can I prepare for the GED?

If you’ve been out of school for awhile, all of this might sound a little daunting. After all, there’s a difference between knowing information and being able to pass a test. Luckily, if you’re considering taking the GED, there are a few different ways you can prepare yourself.

If you want to prepare alone, there are plenty of GED prep workbooks to be found in bookstores or libraries. These will give you an overview of all the topics covered. However, it’s highly recommended that you take a class. These prep classes will give you an enormous edge, and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

In fact, there are often free classes in your community hosted by nonprofits, usually held in local churches, libraries, and community centers. These classes will give you access to an instructor who can answer any specific questions you might have as well as guide you through any particularly difficult topics. There are often practice exams to give you an idea of exactly what you’re going into. Working through problems with a group of other test takers will help you learn better and faster than if you were simply trying to memorize facts at home. With the help of a GED prep class you can go into your exam confident and prepared.

Having doubts?

Don’t let your lack of a high school education stand in the way of your goals and dreams. There’s no reason you can’t provide for yourself or your loved ones. With your GED you can command a better salary and better benefits. You know you’re smart, you know you’re capable, and with just a little effort you can get the proof you need to succeed.

Reach out to a GED prep program in your area to find out what you need to do to start preparing to get your GED. They will be able to answer any questions you might have about regulations in your area as well as any lingering questions about the benefits or the process of acquiring your GED.