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Getting A GED in South Carolina

Dear Guidance Counselor,

I live near Greenville. Years ago I dropped out of high school because I was having drinking problems. I got into treatment and I'm trying to put my life together back now and think I want to get the GED. Can you help me know what to do? Thanks, Cindy

Dear Cindy,

What a wonderful thing that you are working on making your life the best it can be. Getting a GED is certainly a smart career development step. Every state has locations that offer GED testing and even practice sessions; I will guide you here in the best way to find the one near you.

According to the website for the South Carolina Department of Education, 9000 adults each year in the state take the test, and 70% earn a passing grade. Passing means you have received a South Carolina High School equivalency diploma.

While there is lots of good general information on the site of the American Council of Education, you will be able to get the specific information for your situation through the South Carolina Department of Education. For instance, they list the South Carolina Testing Centers with phone numbers and addresses. By contacting the center near you, you will be able to learn when and where to take the GED, as well as if they have practice sessions.

Can You Take the GED Online?

If you live in a rural area of South Carolina, you might be wondering if you can take the GED online. This question comes up week after week, probably because taking it online sounds easier and more convenient than having to drive to a location. However, the fact is that you cannot take the GED online. You must take the GED at an official site. If you see an advertisement about an online GED, know that it is a scam to take advantage of people trying to improve their lives.

South Carolina GED Facts

For residents the GED costs $70.00 for the five test battery. The five tests can take up to seven hours, but some locations will let you take it in pieces over several evenings. Check with your local testing center for information.

The five areas tested are Math, Language Arts- reading, Language Arts- writing, Social Studies, and Science. You are allowed to take a test over again if you do not pass it, but sometimes are required to wait a certain amount of time before re-applying.

Online High School Diploma

Another career development option to consider is the online high school diploma. While it is possible to get a legitimate diploma online, do be careful as there are many false diploma sites as well. Known as "diploma mills" these companies charge you money for a piece of paper-- but provide no worthwhile education. A true program will require you to do work and studying.

If you are unsure whether the online high school is accredited and legitimate, you can ask a local college if they accept this credential. You could also speak with a guidance counselor, or with your employer to see what they think of this diploma.

Next Steps

Whether you enroll in an online high school or take the GED, careful and thorough preparation is the key to passing and getting your credential. This credential can help you go forward in your career planning.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!