How do I get my GED so I can apply for college?

Wondering how to get your GED? If you’re planning to go back to college, but haven’t graduated high school, you’ll need to get your GED to apply. 

Did you know that the General Education Development (GED) credential was originally created for veterans returning from WWII that dropped out of high school?

Today, it’s a way for students who decided to leave high school to prove their education level. The GED is a basic requirement for some employment opportunities, departments of the armed services as well as pursuing a college degree in the absence of a high school diploma.

Each year, about 800,000 adults take the GED in their pursuit of a brighter future. Many of these students aren’t sure where to start.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about getting your GED.

What are your state GED requirements?

GED requirements vary by state, so it’s important to make sure you have everything you need to start the process. Below you’ll find a checklist help with your research

What’s the age requirement? Test takers usually need to be at least 18 years of age, but may take the test as young as 16 with parental consent.

Do you need a photo ID card? Most states require a government-issued identification card with your photo in order to take the test.

Are there any residency requirements? Sometimes you have to live in a state for a certain amount of time before you’re considered a resident and able to take the GED.

Is there anything that needs to be completed before you’re able to take the exam? In some cases, test takers have to take preparatory courses or fill out additional forms before they can register for the exam.

To find out what your state requirements are, click here.

Get prepared

The GED is broken up into five sections that cover the core high school curriculums: Language Arts-Reading, Language Arts-Writing, Social Studies, Science, and Math. In all, the test takes seven hours to complete.

Don’t worry! The test is broken up into smaller sections for each subject, and you’ll get a few breaks too.

  1. Writing: 120 minutes
  2. Reading: 65 minutes
  3. Math: 90 minutes
  4. Science: 80 minutes
  5. Social Studies: 70 minutes

If you can’t afford to purchase GED study materials, there are a ton of free resources online, including free practice tests.

The test is made up of mostly multiple-choice questions, however, the science, social studies and reading portions of the test will require some written answers or essays.

**Note: GED test centers will provide you with a calculator for the math portion, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing or remembering to bring your own

Ready, set, go!

Now that you’ve studied, aced those practice tests, and gotten all of your documents together – it’s time to register for your exam!

The exam does cost between $80 and $150 to take, so make sure you’re ready. I know that’s a lot of money, so if you can’t afford to pay for the exam, ask the exam center for a fee waiver, which can help with some or even all of the cost.