Why Get A GED: Student Guide To Passing

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    There are many reasons why you can’t complete high school, and an alternative to receiving a diploma at the end of your senior year can come in the form of a General Education Development (GED). Passing the 7.5-hour GED exam is the equivalent of passing 4 years of high school. This article will outline how to get a GED and apply to college with a GED.  

    Information About the GED

    • It’s comprised of 4 tests that correspond to subjects: Mathematical Reasoning, Social Studies, Science, and Reasoning through Language Arts. You can space out the 4 tests however you want. For example, you have the flexibility to take the Math test one day and schedule the Social Studies test for another day.
    • Most states require students to be 16 or older to take the GED. Research your state’s requirements before you proceed. 

    Study for the Exam

    • Community colleges usually offer GED preparation classes. 
    • There are free online resources as well. Try Googling “free GED prep”. 


    • You can sign up to take the GED test online here. You must make an account on the website.
    • The price per subject depends on the state. This price usually includes two free retakes per subject, same-day scoring, and more. Search your state’s policies here.
    • You also must select and pay fees for a testing center. 

    Take the Test

    • This link from the official GED website breaks down test content.  
      • Mathematical Reasoning: 115 minutes  
      • Reasoning through Language Arts: 150 minutes  
      • Social Studies: 70 minutes 
      • Science: 90 minutes
    • Students must score a 145 on each subject to pass the GED test.
    • However, scoring higher can earn you college credit. 


    • While most colleges accept GEDs as academic equivalents to a diploma, it may not make you fit for university, considering workload and lifestyle. However, according to the GED Testing Service, over 60% of GED recipients are currently in college. 
    • You still need to take the ACT or SAT to apply.  
    • Having a GED instead of a diploma in itself might be a red flag, but it can be offset by other elements of your application.  
    • Ultimately, you must consider the type of college to which you want to apply.  
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    Angela Qian


    Senior at Dulaney High school. Editor-in-Chief of Sequel literary arts magazine and Baltimore County student council president.



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