GED at Home: Home Study GED Options

Adults who did not graduate from high school may want to consider earning the General Educational Development (GED) credential, which is generally considered an equivalent to a high school diploma. There are home study options available for this five-section test that will allow working adults to prepare for the GED when it is convenient for them.

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What is the GED?

The GED is composed of five subject areas: Math, Social Studies, Science, Reading and Writing. To pass this exam, students need to score a minimum of 410 on each section of the test and obtain an overall minimum score of 2,250. The GED exam content is developed by the American Council on Education (ACE) but administered by individual states. There are no time limits on how long an individual may take to prepare for the exam.

According to ACE, a 2006 study showed that about 36% of first time GED test takers will fail one or more sections of the exam (acenet.edu). One reason for this may be the lack of adequate preparation for the test.

Ways to Study at Home

Television

ACE has partnered with the Public Broadcast System's (PBS) LiteracyLink, which provides pre-GED and GED courses. These courses review the five subject areas and provide instruction on content as well as strategies for test-taking. Program air times vary according to local PBS stations and the program may not be available in all areas. More information on this study option may be found at the PBS website (www.pbs.org).

Online and Correspondence

Steck-Vaughn, an educational publisher, has partnered with ACE to provide study materials for students preparing for the GED examination. It offers a pre- GED preparatory program that includes suggestions for further study. Steck-Vaughn also offers an official online GED practice test at (steckvaughnadult.hmhco.com).

Paxen Inc., a provider of educational materials, also works with ACE to offer an online GED preparation program and a home study course. The home study course includes books that cover all five subject areas. More information can be found on the company's website under the 'Programs' page at (www.paxen.com)

Testing Centers as a Resource

ACE maintains a database of GED local testing centers on its website. Many centers will have printed material or an online component that students may access once they are registered. Not all states have this resource and not all prep programs will advertise an at-home study option. Students should contact their local GED testing center for more information. Along with the ACE, students should check with their state's Department of Education for GED information and requirements.

A note of caution

While there are many GED preparation programs offered online, not all listed have study materials that are associated with the current version of the GED program. Students should look for preparation programs that are licensed by ACE.

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