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GED vs High School Diploma

Updated on April 25, 2007

Take a look at GED vs. High School Diploma To Determine What is Best for You.

What's the Difference?

So you have a high school student struggling to pass the standardized tests to graduate? Or, maybe you had to drop out of high school to help the family or because you just didn't think that diploma was important. Now, you are struggling to make ends meet, what do you do?

There may be another alternative that you haven't considered, the GED. But how is it different from a high school diploma and will you be able to get a good job?

GED stands for General Educational Development. This requires you to take classes and learn the information that will appear on the GED exam. So how is that different from high school?

The information you work on relates only to the test. You don't have to take Calculus, Trig, Advanced Literature or Typing. The purpose of the GED is to ensure that you understand the basic information you need to be successful in society and most importantly, on the job. The time it takes to receive a GED is significantly less than a high school diploma. You must be a certain age however, before signing up for a GED. Call your county's school district to find out more about that.

The exact amount of time it takes to receive a GED depends on the individual. The faster you learn the information and show competency, the faster you can receive your GED. While it is possible to just by a GED test tip book and study it, the website AfterHigh by Thinkquest, says it is better to sign up for a test preparation course. It helps to "back up" your general knowledge. Many states have Adult High Schools where GEDs are offered. Enrolling in such a program will provide you with assistance from instructors as you go through the information you need to know to receive your GED. There are five tests you must pass to receive the GED they are, literature and arts, math, science, social studies and writing skills. The tests can be taken in one day or in stages. Sound like a lot? Remember, you will take multitude of tests before you graduate from high school.

A high school diploma as many know is the certificate you receive after completing grades 9-12. And in most states, after you pass a standardized test. It takes longer to receive a high school diploma and you may be required to take courses that you aren't really interested in, including an art class, typing, music, etc. For some students, high school is a better choice for many reasons. Taking liberal arts and practical arts courses can make a person well rounded and expose them to things they would have perhaps missed. Students can attend a vocational high school and learn a trade while receiving their diploma. For some, the maturity that comes with four years of high school is necessary for some students to take the next step.

But can you get a job with a GED or attend college just as you would with a high school diploma? The answer is yes. A GED is the equivalent of a high school diploma. So which one to choose? The choice is yours. Depending on your needs and goals and after more research, it's important to choose the method that will work best for you.


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