A GED certificate offers an alternative route to obtaining a high school diploma. The GED is an examination assessing proficiency in standard high school subjects such as math, social studies, science, and English. It represents just one among several similar tests available that evaluate your high school knowledge in lieu of a traditional diploma. Key points about the GED:
- Comprises tests in standard high school subjects.
- Differs from a program or class.
- Holds equivalence to a high school diploma.
- Enhances eligibility for employment and college.
- Can be completed in a relatively short time frame.
What is a High School Diploma?
Achieving a high school diploma involves fulfilling the graduation requirements of a high school program, whether it’s conducted in a traditional, face-to-face setting or through an online platform. To graduate, you must successfully complete standard classes and accumulate a specified number of credits. Key aspects of a high school diploma:
- Requires a significant time investment for completion.
- Encompasses a diverse range of subjects, including elective courses.
- Emphasizes continuous learning and studying rather than solely relying on examinations.
- Enhances eligibility for both job opportunities and college admission.
GED vs High School Diploma
Neither path is inherently superior, but distinctions between a high school diploma and obtaining a GED exist to guide you in determining the most suitable option. Acquiring a high school diploma entails studying, learning, taking tests, and fulfilling assignments, necessitating the attainment of passing grades in various classes. Conversely, a GED consists of four exams, eliminating the requirement for specific classes. However, passing all four exams is essential to earn your GED.
How long it takes to get a high school diploma vs a GED?
Eligible Requirements for the GED vs a High School Diploma
Eligibility requirements for taking the GED include:
- Not being a current high school student.
- Not having earned a high school diploma.
- Being at least 16 years old, although some states may require you to be at least 18.
It’s essential to meet state-specific requirements, as some states may have additional conditions. For instance, Pennsylvania mandates residency for GED exam eligibility, while states like North Dakota or Arizona include a Constitution test as part of the GED exam. Some states may also necessitate the completion of a pre-test to demonstrate the ability to pass the official GED without additional assistance.
Eligibility criteria for earning a high school diploma involve:
- Completion of the 8th grade.
- Successful completion of required classes.
- Attainment of the necessary credits for graduation.
- Being under 21 if enrolled in a traditional high school.
- In certain states, passing a state exam may also be a requirement for graduation.
Future Education: GED vs High School Diploma
If you’re contemplating college attendance, this consideration may influence your choice between obtaining a GED or completing your high school diploma. Can I go to college with my GED? Admissions requirements can vary among colleges, with approximately 98% of U.S. colleges accepting the GED for enrollment. However, depending on the specific program or the institution’s criteria, you may need to undertake additional steps to qualify for admission. Some schools may necessitate additional placement tests to ensure your readiness for college-level courses. Certain specialized programs, such as nursing schools, might specify a particular GED score and even demand some college credits before considering your application.
Individuals holding a high school diploma may encounter somewhat smoother acceptance processes at certain colleges, although they still must meet specific enrollment criteria. College admissions typically consider various factors, including grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and other pertinent aspects, to assess your suitability for admission.
Read more: How to Achieve a GED Certificate