What Happens After You Get Your GED?

Last Updated on May 16, 2024.

What’s next after completing your GED? What happens after you pass the four GED subtests? We often get this question asked, and in this post, we’ll give you the answers.

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Well, passing the four tests of the GED (General Educational Development) exam truly is a great accomplishment!

The four GED subtests cover the academic subject areas of Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, and Science.

The GED is a challenging exam. The passing score is set in a way that 40 percent of high school grads would not be able to pass the exam on the first try!

Passing the exam means you have demonstrated command of academic skills and knowledge at a level similar to that of graduating high school seniors.

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 So What Happens after You Get Your GED?

After you’ve taken and passed the four GED subtests, you are entitled to one electronic diploma or certificate (depending on your state) and one transcript for free as well as one printed diploma/certificate at merely the shipping costs.

You can purchase additional diplomas/certificates and transcripts as well through your GED.com account, but more about that later.

Electronic Certificate or Diploma and Transcript

After passing the GED exam, you’ll receive an email that contains secure links for downloading your electronic certificate or diploma and a transcript.

You should download your documents straight away because they will be available for a short period of time only.

The documents are in PDF format, and they are very valuable because you can forward them to a future employer or to a college that’s accepting electronic credentials.

Please be careful and follow all of the presented instructions precisely when downloading the documents or ordering copies.

Keep in mind that you can use the link to order your free documents only once. Thereafter, it won’t be available anymore. More information about getting GED transcripts is found in this article.

The Difference Between Your GED Diploma and the Transcript

Your GED diploma is a document issued by your state that certifies that you have met your state’s requirements to receive your high school equivalency (HSE) credential.

The transcript you’ll receive officially states the GED subjects tests you took and what your scores were on each subject. Usually, colleges require applicants to submit copies of their GED transcripts prior to the admissions process.

Printed GED Diploma/Certificate

You can order the printed diploma or certificate through your GED.com account. After you’ve logged in to your account, you need to take the following steps:

  • Go to the page “My Scores”
  • Click on “Order Duplicates”
  • Select the “Diploma” option and then the “Printed Diploma-Free” option
  • Fill in the form to indicate where you want your diploma to be sent
  • Next, pay for the shipping fee. Your diploma will be mailed to you via FedEx

How to Get Additional Copies?

If you need extra copies of your transcript to send to colleges or universities that you’re applying to, please be aware that there are different options, depending on whether you earned your GED before or after January 2, 2014.

When you have passed the GED exam in or after 2014 (the year the latest GED edition was launched), simply log in to your account on GED.com and order extra copies of your transcript.

When you passed the GED exam before 2014, log in to your account or create one at GED.com, and select the state where you took the GED exam in the menu. Select “Request Transcripts,” and you’ll be taken to the page where you can order extra transcripts.

Can I Retake the GED Exam to Achieve a Higher Score?

Yes, you can retake a GED subject test even if you have already passed that module. Be aware, though, that an approval process applies.

To retake one (or more) of the GED subtests, you’ll have to submit a request by email, including a brief explanation to this email address: help@GED.com. Once you’ve been approved for retesting, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your retake(s).

Can I See My GED Scores?

Yes, you can, and your scores are generally available soon after you have taken a subtest.

You will receive an email once your test score is added to your GED.com account. When you log in to your account, you can view your scores in the section “My Scores.” You can learn all about the GED scoring system here.

What Happens if I Fail a Subtest?

If you fail a GED subtest, you won’t have to wait for months before you can retake that subtest. In most states, you can retake that subject test twice without any restrictions.

By the time you have failed a subtest three times, you need to respect a 60-day wait time before you can take that GED subject test again.

In practically all states, you’ll have two retakes per subject field at a reduced rate. You need, however, to use this option within 12 months from your initial test appointment. If you don’t, the original fee applies again.

Options after You Earned Your GED

When you passed the four GED subtests and have received a copy of your diploma and transcript, you can use your credential in two main ways, for educational or career purposes. You are a proud GED graduate, congratulations!

Your diploma allows you to pursue post-secondary education options in college or university or enter the job market. Your diploma also qualifies you for job advancement and promotions.

Can I Take the GED Exam Online?

Today, online GED testing has become a reality! You can learn all about taking the GED exam online in this post. To qualify for online GED testing, you need to score in the “Likely To Pass (Green)” zone of the official GED Ready practice test.

Until recently, this was no option. It used to be that to sit for the four GED subtests, your personal appearance at one of your state’s official GED test centers was required.

Now, however, with the arrival of the OP (Online Proctored) GED exam, that has, fortunately, all changed. A well-trained online proctor will oversee the process and check if you do everything in accordance with some pretty strict regulations.

Please beware of websites that try to sell you an online diploma or the GED test through their websites. GED testing (both online and at official test centers) is only available through the official website GED.com.

This is the place to set up your account (at the portal MYGED), make test appointments, pay for your tests (one subtest at a time if you wish), and learn more about the job market and colleges and their programs.