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The GED Offers Work, Life And Educational Benefits

By Leonard Williams

If you're among the 34 to 38 million adults in the US who never graduated from high school, then you've probably considered getting your GED, the adult learner's alternative to a high school diploma. The GED is worth considering -- and worth getting.

The GED, or General Education Development credential, is awarded to people who pass an exam that measures basic skills, knowledge and the ability to apply skills and knowledge. The GED test is actually a five-part series, covering math, science, social studies, reading and writing. Even though some companies promote it, the actual GED test is not given online. It's monitored by a federal agency, the American Council on Education (ACE), which has official testing sites across the US and Canada.

The test isn't too difficult if you study for it. But it may take some time and preparation since you'll want to re-learn material you haven't seen since high school. You may want to take some GED practice tests to find out what you need to study, or enroll in classes or a study program to help you accomplish your educational goal.

Why should you bother with the GED test? Just consider the following facts and research that demonstrate the benefits of a GED credential:

1. A GED will help you get a job, and even keep it. Employers would rather hire someone who has the basic skills to pass the GED test than someone who does not. Completing the GED means that the graduate has the fortitude to successfully finish a seven and one-half hour exam. This GED is not a small thing.

2. You can expect to earn more money in your lifetime with a GED. Research shows that people with a GED make an average of $385,000 more in their lifetime than people who don't have a GED or high school diploma.

3. Passing the GED test will make you more valuable to your employer because you've gained or proven basic writing, math and thinking skills. You'll probably find it's easier to get a work promotion once you have your GED.

4. Having the GED opens up a lot of doors for advanced training. Most specialized training programs require either a high school diploma or a GED. And with a GED, you'll be eligible for most workplace or on-the-job training programs, along with higher educational opportunities.

5. The GED credential is a viable "diploma." It enables access to work choice, advanced workplace training, as well as access to higher educational opportunities. The GED is considered -- and accepted -- as an equivalent to a high school diploma by approximately 97% of colleges and universities in the U.S., and 95% of employers.

6. You'll probably feel better about yourself with a GED because you've accomplished something that only 60% of high school graduates can do.

7. Consider the impact on your family. Your family benefits because a GED is a way to increase financial security. Research also shows that once parents get a GED, they're more likely to encourage their children to seek educational opportunities and complete educational milestones.

About The Author
Leonard Williams is a curriculum specialist who focuses on research and development, implementation and assessment of best-practice learning solutions for adult learners and people with educational challenges.


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