Everyone has to start at the beginning before they can get to the end. In focusing so heavily on distance learning programs for college degrees, its easy to overlook the thousands of people out there who need to start somewhere else before they can get to those degrees. A great many people did not get (or did not choose to) finish high school, and still need a high school diploma or GED to increase their employment opportunities. Not only does having this diploma under your belt enhance your value as an employee, but it also opens up your educational opportunities, so you can keep achieving and increasing that value.
The GED, or General Education Development test, is an equivalency exam for a high school diploma; meaning that it works just as well as a diploma for certifying someone has a high school education. In terms of employment and higher education, a GED is the same as a diploma. However, having a high school diploma usually means the person has a broader education, so it may be preferable, but there is not difference in terms of your future.
It works like this – the GED is comprised of five different testing sections: Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. A person must take the GED at an Official Testing Center, of which there are more than three thousand in the United States. This is done to ensure the test is always administered the same way, and there are no variations. The test taker must pay to take the GED, but the cost varies wildly from state to state and testing center to testing center. However, if one fails the exam they can just pay to take it again,
After you locate your closest Official GED Testing Center and find out the where, when, and how much, you can move onto the next step – preparing for the exam. This can be very work intensive, but can be done completely at your own pace. The GED exam must be taken at the testing center, but until then you are free to study and prepare however you want. And there are lots of materials out there to help you prepare.
The GED covers a vast amount of general knowledge material, as it stands in for four years of high school classes. So approach the test with respect, and do your homework in preparing for it. There are dozens of books and study guides out there, and there are just as many website and distance learning prep courses for the GED.
Most of the on line GED preparatory classes cost money to take; and as with the testing, the prices vary from site to site. But there are also reputable free sites to prepare you for the GED, which only feature advertising on the pages and do not require a credit card to sign up. The best free site I found doing my research was GED for Free.