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GED Compare to a High School Diploma

College Exams November 23, 2012

You can choose to pass the General Educational Development (GED) test for credentials that many consider equal to a high school diploma, but you will need to fulfill very different conditions in order to receive GED credentials from those earning a high school diploma. In this article, we will see how a diploma and the GED differ from each other.


Adults over sixteen years old without a high school diploma and is not enrolled into high school are allowed to take the GED test. Students that consider dropping out prematurely from high school; the GED offers an alternative to enable students to pursue a college degree. That said, a high school diploma is always preferred to the GED certificate. Hence, a student should consult a school counselor before deciding whether to give up high school and take the GED test.

How to Pass the Test

While the GED test does not need the same time commitment as a high school diploma, it is still academically challenging. Grading is different compared to a high school diploma; students can only pass, if they do better than the level sixty percent of high school seniors accomplish.

The GED comprise of tests in five subject areas: mathematics, social studies, science, reading and writing components of language arts. Apart from short-form answers, students are required to submit an essay as part of the writing test. Prospective GED test takers need to prepare.

There are test-prep courses offered by adult education centers across the United States, test takers can access free practice tests and questions on the internet or buy study books.

Why a High School Diploma is Preferable

The GED test is an useful choice for those who are past the appropriate age of high school enrollment, but those who are enrolled in high school must think carefully before they decide to pursue the GED route.  Many GED test takers found to have only two to three years of high school left to complete. Though a GED certification takes less time, a high school diploma gives you other benefits too.

In high school, you can gain useful extra-curricular experiences such as group activities and opportunities for social development that are beneficial throughout your life. Also, a high school diploma is likely to offer better postsecondary educational opportunities compared to a GED certification.

Postsecondary Education

While a high school diploma is considered better preparation for postsecondary education, GED certification is not that far behind. The American Council on Education (ACE) stated about ninety-five percent of universities and colleges in the United States allow enrollment by GED holders (source: Students who study internationally may find fewer universities who are willing to accept the GED Certification.


Although GED certification is much quicker to earn compared to high school diploma, but the high school diploma are preferred option for students keen to join the workforce.  About ninety-six percent of employers in the United States accepted the GED as being equal to a high school diploma (source: ACE studies). GED certificate holders are allowed to enroll to most two-year colleges and vocational programs to boost their career prospects.

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