All About the GED: Mississippi

Acquiring the General Educational Development (GED) credential can provide proof that you have earned the basic education skills necessary for advancement in a career. Mississippi residents who haven't earned their GED can take the test and receive a State of Mississippi High School Equivalency Diploma.

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Overview of the GED Test in Mississippi

The GED is a five-subject, timed test administered at an authorized testing facility by a proctor. The exam is meant to measure the test taker's knowledge of subjects typically taught in high school. The five subjects on the test are reading, writing, social studies, science and math. To earn the GED credential, the test taker must earn no less than 410 points on each individual subject test and no less than 2250 combined points on all subjects.

Mississippi's Office of Adult Basic Education has partnered with the state's Community College Board to supply a variety of GED resources. The GED test is currently available in English, Spanish and French if you take it in Mississippi. The American Council on Education (ACE) owns the official GED test and manages its content. Prospective test takers should visit ACE to keep abreast of changes to the test or testing procedures (www.acenet.edu).

Preparing to Take the Test

Students in Mississippi have multiple options for study. Preparing for the exam depends upon the length of time you have to study, your willingness to travel and your preferred method of learning. You might choose an on-site prep program, an online course or independent study using multimedia resources.

GED Prep Programs

You can find GED preparation classes at community and junior colleges, universities, learning centers and school districts across Mississippi. Class times, locations and fees vary from one location to another. Students should expect to complete enrollment forms, assessments and surveys meant to gauge student needs.

Online Courses

Mississippi also offers an online study program through its adult education division. Part of the enrollment process for any adult education GED prep program involves assessing a student's suitability for online study through a diagnostic test. The online program allows students to study when and where they want, since the program is available 24 hours a day. The format is guided learning, and students have the support of an educator who evaluates their progress.

Home Study Resources

Online GED prep materials and study books can offer a convenient way for individuals to study for the exam by providing lessons, practice tests and study tips. The price and content of the materials vary. Students can find more information about approved GED prep companies through ACE's website.

Libraries

The Mississippi Library Commission has rolled out a new program aimed at increasing preparedness for the GED, readiness for college and employment prospects. This statewide initiative offers students access to computer-based instructional programs for the GED test. The program asks individuals to participate first in an assessment to gauge their skill level. Students can expect drills and practice exams as part of the program. You can log into your account from any Mississippi library to access coursework.

Television

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) offers televised GED classes throughout the country. Since each PBS station is independently owned and operated, available episodes and airtimes vary. Students should check with PBS's LiteracyLink to find the PBS station that broadcasts near their location in Mississippi (litlink.ket.org).

Requirements, Accommodations and Retesting

Mississippi houses over 30 approved testing centers. Test takers must be state residents who are 18 years or older (special requirements apply for those who are 16 or 17) and out of school for at least three months. Students may also be able to test if their regular high school class has graduated. Testing center hours vary by location. Students can find the centers nearest them by visiting ACE's testing center locator.

Retesting is possible if a student doesn't pass one or more subject tests of the GED. However, individuals may only retake the GED two more times in the same calendar year. Those students requesting accommodations should make their needs known to the adult education or testing center staff well in advance of a testing date. There are required forms that must be filled out and processed in advance of testing. The student can also go to the GED Testing Service homepage to find forms and instructions (www.gedtestingservice.com).

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