Obtaining your GED

Obtaining your high school equivalency certificate (GED)

The GED is a high school equivalency test for those who never earned a high school diploma. And if that applies to you, take the time and put in the effort to get your GED. It may take weeks or months to do so, but should be well worth your time with both the increase in income potential and future education possibilities it will offer.

The GED Test measures your knowledge and academic skills against those of today’s traditional high school graduates. 

You can find out more about the GED – and even take the test online – at the official GED Testing website. The service has helped more than 20 million people obtain their GED since it began offering the credential in 1942.

The site explains which subjects are part of the test, what it costs (it’s minimal) and the rules for each particular state. It also offers online classes, electronic flash cards, practice tests and other resources. You can even take the GED test online, if you meet the qualifications.

Those who work temporary assignments for Manpower and meet certain qualifications can participate in the company’s MyPath GED Program. Participants are assigned a virtual advisor and have online access to preparation and study materials, as well as practice and assessments.

Be aware that not all states offer GED testing. Some offer only HiSet or TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) exams. A few offer a selection from all three, and 10 offer their own specially designed tests. Careeronestop has a list of what tests are available in each state.

For help with basic skills

Some people coming out of prison and elsewhere don’t have the educational background to be able to pass the GED test. Maybe you only completed school up to 8th or 9th grade. 

Don’t worry. There are lots of resources online you can use to learn the subjects needed to pass the GED test. 

One excellent way to do this is through a program called Excel Adult High School, which combines a high school education along with additional specialization in an in-demand career field. It is offered by Gale, a division of Cengage Learning, through libraries across the nation. Students are given up to 18 months to complete the program. Instruction is entirely online, but each student receives an academic coach to help them succeed. All participants are given a scholarship, which comes out of the library’s budget, so they don’t have to pay anything.

The California public library system also operates its own high school program called Career Online High School at selected libraries throughout the state. 

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles or San Bernadino, you might want to look into five keys, which operates programs to help people earn their high school diploma, GED or HiSET.

Here are some other resources:

National Literacy Directory
Have trouble reading and writing? This directory –  searchable by Zip Code, city or state – contains more than 7,000 educational agencies located across the United States and can help you find literacy programs across the U.S. Many of these take place at local libraries.  

Khan Academy
Make use of Khan Academy’s extensive video library, practice exercises and assessments from any computer with access to the web. And it’s all free. The library covers K–12 math, reading, science and history, among other subjects. Each of the 5,500+ videos lasts approximately 10 minutes long.