Preparing for the GED-What it takes

For adults who never completed their high school curriculum, the GED test is a great pathway toward a better job or a college education.

The latest edition of the GED exam comes with four independent subject tests that must be taken exclusively in a computer-based format.

Logan got his GED Diploma 6 weeks after joining Onsego.
Onsego Provides Everything You Need To Pass Your GED. Learn More.

The four subtests cover the academic areas of Literacy (Reasoning through Language Arts), Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics.

The GED® subtests come with questions in a number of formats such as multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, hot-spot, short answer, and extended response, just to mention a few.

The four tests are pretty rigorous. Testing occurs at such a level that around forty percent of high school grads would not be able to attain passing scores on their first attempts.

How to prepare

This means that getting perfectly prepared is your key to success! How long you will need to get all set for the four subtests depends on your earlier education and how committed you are to studying for the test.

You have several options to get properly prepared. If you are a student that does well when a teacher explains the topics, keeps you focused and on track, and checks your efforts, attending a physical GED prep class could well be your best option. Check here for a full overview of GED prep locations and testing sites across America.

Students that are able to learn independently and who are self-disciplined, on the other hand, may benefit from some great online GED prep courses. Online education has come a long way, although it is not for everyone.

Onsego GED Prep is a fast and easy way of getting the GED Diploma. We highly recommend it. Learn more
Marie from Best GED Classes
Marie from Best GED Classes

Traditional classes

In many states, you can find numerous education centers that offer GED prep classes. Here, tutors will help you and explain the subject matter that’s on the GED exam.

Usually, traditional classes work with study guides to help you prepare for the four GED subtests. Often, these prep classes and tutoring come at no or little cost to you.

There are also states, however, that require publicly-funded schools to charge a small fee for these offerings. In Florida, for example, public education institutions must charge $30 per term for their GED prep courses. But there are also many private sites in the state where prep classes are offered at no charge.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of attending classes in a traditional setting at a brick-and-mortar facility.

Pros of traditional classes

  • To make sure you’ll receive instruction that fits your level, most GED prep sites first assess your strengths and weaknesses to identify which subject areas need your attention most. Often they use the TABE (Test for Assessing Basic Education) for this purpose.
  • Generally, GED prep facilities provide workbooks, notebooks, and printed study resources at no charge. There are also adult education facilities that allow you to borrow books so you can study more at home.
  • At traditional GED prep classes, you will get individual coaching, attention, and feedback. This is particularly useful if you haven’t seen a classroom from the inside for a longer period of time.
  • Another advantage is that GED prep facilities generally know all about the latest developments about GED testing and will provide the most recent study materials.

Cons of traditional classes

  • One of the major hurdles of attending a traditional GED prep class is that these classes come at set dates and times. For many students, especially those with busy schedules and/or family obligations, this is pretty inconvenient.
  • In states where GED prep courses are not offered for free, such as in Florida, the cost of attending a traditional GED prep class may well pose a problem to many students.
  • Every student participating in a traditional GED prep class has a different academic background and level. In a traditional class, it could well be that you are confronted with study material you already master or you may feel embarrassed if you don’t understand it and perhaps you’re afraid to hold up the group.
  • Very often, traditional GED prep classes are for a large number of students. This may limit individual guidance by teachers and to what extent you’ll have access to study resources in the classroom.

Online Classes-free and paid

Over the past few years, technological developments have made very good online education a reality and this also counts for GED preparation opportunities.

Online GED prep courses allow you to prepare for the four GED subtests on your own schedule and independently. Many states offer their GED prep courses and programs in an online format as well for free these days.

Many online GED prep courses are interactive and include video lessons where teachers explain the matter at hand, and you can watch the explanations time and again if you need or want to.

Most online GED prep courses, however, will charge you to benefit from their offerings. How much they will set you back usually depends on how long you need to get well-prepared.

But there are more online GED prep courses that are sometimes even available at no cost at all. Usually, these online courses include many practice tests as well so you can identify your weaker areas and focus on these topics.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of attending an online GED prep course.

Pros of online classes

  • An online GED prep course generally includes interactive step-by-step instruction through video lessons. You can access the study material 24/7 as long as there’s a reliable internet connection.
  • More and more online GED prep courses can be accessed not only from a computer but also from your phone or some other mobile device.
  • If you prepare with an online GED course, you can learn where and when you want, and at a pace that suits you well.
  • Taking online practice tests will allow you to discover which GED subject fields you should focus on without spending too much time on topics that you already command.
  • Attending an online GED prep course is often a great solution for students living in remote or rural areas, so they won’t need to travel long distances to attend a traditional class.
  • Attending an online course allows you to watch the video lessons over and over again if you wish. You can read the transcripts as many times as you like or need to master the material at hand.

Cons of online classes

  • When you sign up for an online course, there may not be any support to explain the topics at the time you need it most. You may be required to submit your questions by email and not get a response from a tutor or teacher for some time.
  • Not all online GED prep programs are free and some online programs are quite expensive! As said before, more and more schools offer their GED prep courses now online as well, but many online courses will still require you to register for their offerings. Often, after a short period, you’ll have to pay up if you want to continue attending these courses.
  • Then there are online programs that require you to complete at least a specific number of online learning hours or to complete some assignments within a certain period of time.
  • Be also aware of fraudulent online GED courses and websites. There are quite a few websites out there that promise you an easy GED diploma over the internet through their websites. Well, the official GED exam is only available at official GED test centers or online through the official website GED.com.

So whichever way you prefer to get perfectly prepared for the four GED subtests is all up to you. Be sure, though to choose a preparation method that fits your learning style best, and don’t waste your precious study time.

GED Ready Test

To learn if you are likely to pass the GED test, it is advisable to take the GED Ready® Test. This is the official GED practice test that will predict whether you’ll pass the real test or that you need more preparation.

There are GED Ready tests for each of the four GED subtests. These practice tests are about half the length of the real test and you can purchase these practice tests on the official website GED.com.

If you are looking to take the O.P. (Online Proctored) GED test from the comfort of your home, you must buy these GED Ready Tests anyway because to qualify for online testing, you are required to attain scores in the “likely to pass” (green) zone of these practice tests.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to prepare for the four GED modules (independent subtests) simultaneously. You can register and pay for the modules one at a time (or more) and your test scores don’t expire.

Books and YouTube videos

There are quite a few comprehensive GED test prep books available out there that will provide a great starting point toward earning your GED diploma.

You can purchase them online or from your local book store but your community library will also have many books available to help you prepare for the four separate GED subtests.

If Math is your most-feared subject, check out this post with information about how to use the GED calculator, the TI-30 XS, so effectively that you will definitely pass the GED Math exam.

So you have many options and study resources available when you’re getting ready for the GED exam. Online studying is definitely not for everyone and many students prefer to use GED study books for their preparatory efforts.

Be aware, though, that sometimes libraries have outdated copies of GED prep books that are not entirely in line with the latest developments. And when you want to buy a GED prep book online or in a book store, check also whether you’re buying the latest edition!

Many GED prep books are intended to be used in classroom settings but let’s take a look at some books that are perfect for self-study, so you’ll have the chance to study on your schedule, at your pace, and can get all set to take the 2021 GED test confidently.

There are several GED prep books that will support you to get optimally prepared for your GED test. You’ll be happy to work with books like the Kaplan GED Test Prep Plus book, and also McGraw-Hill’s Preparation Book for the GED Test is a good book to help you get well-prepared for success on the GED test.

Then you may also benefit from numerous available YouTube GED prep videos. To be successful on the 2021 GED test, you’ll have to develop your study habits and learn to focus on what matters and there are many YouTube videos that will help you master all of the GED topics.

There are videos on just about every subject that needs to be dealt with, from math explanations to how to successfully write your extended response (essay).

All these books and videos will help you to pass the GED exam. Once you’ve passed the four GED subtests, you can apply for a well-paying job and the GED credential also qualifies you for a college education so all these videos and study materials will help you to get a better life and work toward an improved future!

Practice tests

Taking multiple GED practice tests allows you to use your precious study time more efficiently. This way, you’ll learn about the subject areas that require your attention most and which fields you already command. Check out also this post about making educated guesses on the GED Math test.

By dedicating your time to GED topics that you don’t yet know, you’ll learn faster as you don’t have to waste your time learning for subjects you already know. You can go over these fields quickly and center on what you should learn to be successful on the GED test.

Our free GED practice tests are updated for the 2021 GED exam. We provide numerous GED sample questions with answers and explanations that will prepare you efficiently for the four GED modules.

You can benefit from our free GED practice tests and video lessons without the need to submit an email address or any form of registration. It’s all totally free and, as said before, taking multiple practice tests is one of the fastest and best ways to get all set for the actual GED exam.

Another advantage of taking GED practice tests is that you’ll get accustomed to the format of the computer-based GED exam. This will help to make you feel confident on test day.

Computer-based GED testing

When the latest edition of the GED exam was rolled out across the country a few years back, there were many concerns about the new format. GED testing was now only available in a computer-based format. Paper-and-pencil testing became a thing of the past.

Consequently, several states switched to an alternative high school equivalency (HSE) test, for example, the HiSET or TASC exams that were, and are, still offered both on paper and on a computer.

But now, a few years later, many people agree that to be successful in the workplace or in college, understanding how to work on a computer and developing keyboarding skills has become an essential element of education.

There’s practically no job out there, also not at entry-levels, that doesn’t require applicants to master at least basic computer skills, and practically all students are used to keyboarding on their smartphones or other mobile devices.

Many online GED prep courses are interactive and include video lessons where teachers explain the matter at hand, and you can watch the explanations time and again if you need or want to.

So computer-based testing will not only yield faster test results, but it also makes sense as success in college or in a professional setting also depends on working that way.

One test at a time

The GED exam is built up of four independent modules or subject tests. You need to pass all four subtests to earn your GED. You have the liberty to take these modules one at a time and your scores keep their validity.

Your minimally required result on each of these modules is 145 points. The results are indicated on a 100 to 200 scale and you must attain the 145-threshold on each of the four modules.

You really should get used to taking the tests on a computer and the testing format to avoid any surprises or disappointments on test day. The GED exam is quite challenging and there are only a few students that can pass the four sections without taking any preparation at all.

As said before, getting optimally prepared is your key to success. The GED pass score corresponds to that some 40% of all high school graduates would not be able to pass the four GED tests on their first attempt, so that a pretty good indication of the rigor of the GED exam, wouldn’t you agree?

Why earn a GED?

In the contemporary workplace, just about every job requires applicants to hold at least a high school diploma or an equivalent.

Having a secondary education degree opens doors to far better and better-paying job opportunities and the degree also allows for continuing education in university and college.

So earning a GED is a great way to make up for missed opportunities in the past. Many well-known people are GED graduates and the diploma has the same value as an ordinary high school degree.

In 2020, workers that had a high school or equivalent diploma were making about $9,600 more on an annual basis than workers who never finished their high school curriculum and didn’t earn a GED.

But there’s more than just the financial aspect. If you earn your GED, you have shown that you can achieve something important in your life!

Often, high school students quit prematurely because of circumstances beyond their influence such as having to help their families make ends meet or because of health-related situations.

The GED diploma is accepted in lieu of a standard high school diploma by just about all employers, government institutions and agencies, and colleges and universities across North America.

So to help you during your preparation for the GED exam, we have developed our free video lessons and practice tests. Our support covers the four subject fields of the GED exam, including Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.

 

Last Updated on September 3, 2021.