What Is A GED Diploma?

Many folks ask us what the GED diploma is all about, what the legal status is, and how it affects a career or continuing education. So in this post, we dig in a little deeper and explain what a GED diploma is.

The GED® diploma (or certificate, depending on your state) is an educational credential that has practically and legally the same value as a standard high school diploma.

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The GED test (actually four independent sub-exams) is available at state-authorized test centers and in an online proctored format. Whichever way you prefer, online GED classes are probably the most effective way of getting well-prepared for the exam.

All over North America, employers, state and federal government agencies, and institutions of post-secondary education will accept the GED certificate or diploma in exactly the same way as a common high school degree.

It used to be that there were some negative connotations associated with the GED diploma, but since the introduction of the latest edition of the fully computerized GED exam in 2014, that has changed, and today, the GED diploma is generally regarded as a genuinely trustworthy alternative to a high school degree.

GED Qualification Requirements

The GED test is a state-specific examination. The qualification requirements may vary slightly across states, but in general, folks that couldn’t finish high school qualify if they are 16 years of age and are officially withdrawn from public or private high school.

The Test Of General Education Development (GED) contains four independent, modular sub-examinations that address the key fields that students learn in four years of high school.

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What’s On The GED exam?

There are four GED sub-exams that measure academic proficiency and skills in the subject areas of Mathematics, English Literacy (Reasoning through Language Arts, reading and writing combined), Social Studies (including Geography and History), and Science (including Chemistry and Physics).

On each sub-exam, test-takers are required to reach a minimum of 145 points on a 100-200 scoring scale. The sub-exams can be written independently and in any order the candidate prefers. Averaging sub-exam scores is not possible.

The GED Diploma

GED Testing Service is responsible for administering the examination, but the GED diploma is awarded by states. If a test-taker has attained a 145-score or higher on each of the four sub-exams, GED Testing Service (the official GED organization) informs the authorities in a test-taker’s state that will issue the diploma or certificate.

Please note that your state is the only one that can issue the GED diploma, and GED Testing Service is the only legit organization to offer the exam. There are still many con artists that try to sell you a “GED” online, but don’t get fooled. Their fake documents simply have no value and are not even worth the paper they’re printed on!

Because the GED is pretty challenging, getting properly prepared is essential. Across America, you can find lots of preparation facilities, and these days, there are also some very good online GED prep programs available.

A Better Career

These days, even job openings at the entry level require applicants usually to have either a high school degree or a GED diploma. Your GED diploma qualifies you for a better job and job promotions.

The fact of the matter is that high school and GED diploma holders make, on average, at least $9700 more per year than workers without a secondary education degree. So your GED pays off!

To be able to take the GED test, you first need to create your personal account on the GED.com website. This is the location to register for test appointments (also for the GED Ready test) and make your payments.

The GED exam can be written online and at state-approved testing centers. To take the exam online, however, you first must reach passing results on the official practice test GED Ready®.

Go To College

Just like a high school degree, your GED diploma qualifies you for a college education. If you have reached “College-Ready” GED scores, you may even have additional college entrance requirements waived, such as submitting sufficient SAT or ACT scores or taking remedial courses.

There are three GED passing score ranges. Test results in the 145-164 range equal high school level; test results in the 165-174 mean you’re college ready; scores in the 175-200 range will additionally result in up to 10 college credit hours!

Practically all post-secondary education institutions require applicants to hold a high school or equivalent diploma/certificate. Your GED diploma qualifies you also to apply for and receive financial aid at institutions of higher education. Many technical colleges provide GED prep classes, and they may offer special incentives as well for GED graduates.

In Conclusion

The General Educational Development diploma is the equivalent of a high school diploma. If individuals couldn’t finish their regular high school education, they have one more opportunity to secure a secondary diploma through the GED program. Upon successful completion, their states will award the GED diploma.

All states have their specific GED prerequisite criteria, for example, regarding the minimum age before applicants can enroll in GED programs and sit for the GED exam. Please check the linked page for more information about specifics in your state.

Last Updated on November 16, 2023.