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How Do I Get Ready for the GED?

Dear Guidance Counselor,

High School Diploma

I am a stay at home mom and a recovering addict. I want to take my GED so bad. But I need to make sure I pass. How can I get ready for the GED? Thanks, Gemma

Dear Gemma,

It’s a great step for you to take the GED. Generally, people who take and pass the GED make higher salaries, have more career options, and have the minimum requirement to go on to college. It sounds like you have some challenges in your life, moving into recovery from addiction and taking care of children. Perhaps you also have a job. As you suggest, though, it’s important to prepare in order to be able to pass the test. Preparation for the GED will take time and commitment.

GED Tests

Actually, the “GED test” is in fact five tests in different subject areas: math, social studies, science, writing (including an essay), and reading. The fact that there are five means you will need to prepare yourself in each of these areas. Hopefully you would do well in each of them, but if you happen to not pass one, you are allowed to take that particular test over.

How do you learn best? If you like learning in a group, you might do well with classes offered through an adult education center. Ask a community college in your area, or even your local library, where there are preparatory GED classes. This option would give you structure, homework, classmates, and an instructor you can ask for help.

Taking the GED

The American Council on Education’s GED site is full of information that will be useful to you including a test locater, and practice questions. I suggest you look at the page on practice questions as it can guide you in what the actual GED will be like to take. If you go through each question, you can gain some familiarity with the style of the test. Answering these questions will likely not be enough practice—you should still spend a good amount of time reviewing material—but it will give you an idea of how to begin preparing.

For more resources from the American Council on Education including a way to watch television shows to prepare you, and also books and websites to help you, check out the section “Prepare for GED Tests at Home”.

Finally, there are also options to study for the GED online through an official course. Please note that there are many websites that that advertise you can take GED online. However, the only way to take the GED for real is in person at an official testing site; programs that promise you an online GED are scams that should be avoided. What online courses can do for you is give you a structured way to learn material you might need to work harder on.

Good luck in your quest for the GED. Spend the time to prepare, as it is a great investment in your future. I hope that it will open up some good possibilities for you.

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