How Hard Is It to Get Your GED

The journey to earning your GED (General Educational Development) diploma is a commendable pursuit that can pave the way for numerous opportunities in education and career advancement. However, for many individuals contemplating this path, the …

How Hard Is It to Get Your GED

The journey to earning your GED (General Educational Development) diploma is a commendable pursuit that can pave the way for numerous opportunities in education and career advancement. However, for many individuals contemplating this path, the question often looms: “How hard is it to get your GED?” This inquiry reflects the apprehensions and uncertainties that can accompany the decision to pursue this vital credential.

In this exploration, we’ll delve into the various factors that determine the difficulty of obtaining your GED, shedding light on the challenges you may encounter and offering insights to help you navigate this journey successfully. So, if you’ve ever wondered about the toughness of this endeavor, read on as we unravel the intricacies of achieving your GED.

How Hard Is It to Get Your GED?

A common question that often arises is, “Is the GED hard?” The answer to this question is not straightforward as it depends on various factors, including your preparation, your foundational knowledge, and your test-taking skills. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to understanding the GED test and how to successfully navigate it.

Understanding the GED Test

The GED test is a comprehensive assessment designed to measure your knowledge and skills in four main subject areas. Understanding the structure and content of these four subject test sections is the first step toward successful preparation. Don’t forget there are plenty of GED exam practice tests so you can prepare well for your GED exam day.

How Do a GED Test and a High School Equivalency Test Differ?

The General Educational Development (GED) test is a type of high school equivalency test. High school equivalency tests are designed to measure whether the test taker has the equivalent knowledge and skills of a high school graduate.

However, there are several different high school equivalency tests available, and the GED is just one of them. The other two most commonly recognized tests in the United States are the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC).

While all these tests aim to measure high school equivalency, they differ in several ways:

1. Format: The GED test consists of four sections: Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. The HiSET and TASC tests, on the other hand, have five sections, separating the Language Arts into Reading and Writing.

2. Scoring: Each test has its own scoring system. For the GED, each section is scored on a scale from 100 to 200. For the HiSET and TASC, each section is scored on a scale from 1 to 20.

3. Delivery Method: The GED is primarily administered on a computer, while the HiSET and TASC can be taken either on a computer or with paper and pencil.

4. Availability: The availability of these tests can vary by state. Some states only offer the GED, while others may offer the HiSET or TASC, or a choice between them.

5. Cost: The cost of these tests can also vary. The GED tends to be more expensive than the HiSET or TASC.

Is a GED Certificate the Same as a High School Diploma?

While a GED certificate and a high school diploma both signify that a person has achieved a certain level of knowledge equivalent to a high school education, they are not the same thing.

A high school diploma is awarded to students who have completed the course requirements set by a state’s department of education. This typically involves earning a certain number of credits in various subjects over a four-year period, including English, math, science, social studies, and electives. A high school diploma also signifies that a student has completed all the other requirements of their particular high school, which might include community service, a senior project, or passing state exams.

On the other hand, a GED (General Educational Development) certificate is earned by passing the GED test, which measures knowledge and skills in four areas: Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. The GED test is designed to demonstrate that the test-taker has the same level of knowledge as a high school graduate.

While both a high school diploma and a GED certificate signify a level of knowledge equivalent to a high school education, they can be viewed differently by employers, colleges, and the military. Some may prefer a high school diploma, viewing it as a sign of a student’s ability to complete a long-term commitment, while others accept a GED certificate as equivalent. However, both a high school diploma and a GED can open doors to further education and employment opportunities.

Reasoning Through Language Arts

This section tests your ability to read closely, write clearly, and understand the conventions of English grammar. It is divided into three parts: a reading comprehension segment, a grammar and language segment, and an extended response (essay) segment. The reading comprehension part requires you to read several passages and answer questions about them, testing your ability to understand and analyze written text. The grammar and language part assesses your understanding of English grammar rules and your ability to edit and revise text. The extended response segment requires you to analyze a given argument and write a clear, structured, and well-reasoned essay about it.

Mathematical Reasoning

The Mathematical Reasoning section of the GED test assesses your competency in both algebraic and quantitative problem-solving. It covers a range of topics, from basic arithmetic and geometry to algebra and data analysis. This section is designed to test your ability to solve practical problems using mathematical reasoning. It includes both multiple-choice questions and other question types, such as fill-in-the-blank and drag-and-drop.

Social Studies

The Social Studies section of the GED test covers four main areas: U.S. history, civics and government, economics and math, and geography. This section tests your ability to understand and interpret graphs, charts, and maps, as well as your understanding of key historical events and principles of government and economics.


The Science section of the GED test assesses your understanding of three main topics: life science, physical science, and earth and space science. It tests your ability to apply scientific reasoning skills to interpret scientific information, analyze scientific arguments, and solve problems.

Each of these sections presents its own challenges and requires specific preparation strategies. However, with the right approach and resources, you can effectively prepare for the GED test and increase your chances of passing.

Preparation is Key

The GED test, like any other examination, requires thorough preparation. The level of difficulty you experience with the GED exam largely depends on how well you prepare. The GED is not designed to trick you; it’s a straightforward test that measures your understanding of high school-level subjects. However, without adequate preparation, you may find the test challenging.

Start by familiarizing yourself with the test format and the types of questions you’ll encounter. The GED Testing Service offers a variety of resources, including practice tests and study guides, to help you understand what to expect. Practice tests are particularly valuable as they provide a realistic simulation of the actual test, allowing you to gauge your readiness and identify areas where you need to focus your study efforts.

Next, create a study plan. A well-structured study plan can make your preparation more efficient and less stressful. Determine how much time you can dedicate to studying each day or each week, and stick to your schedule. Break down your study sessions into manageable chunks, focusing on one subject or topic at a time. Remember to include regular breaks to avoid burnout and maintain your focus.

In addition to self-study, consider seeking help from a GED prep class or tutor. These resources can provide personalized guidance and feedback, helping you to strengthen your understanding of the subject matter and improve your test-taking skills. Online GED prep classes offer flexibility, allowing students and you to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Time Investment

The amount of time it takes to prepare for and take the GED test varies from person to person. On average, it takes about three months to prepare for the GED test, but this can be shorter or longer depending on your current knowledge level, learning speed, and the amount of time you can dedicate to studying.

The GED test itself can take up to seven to eight hours to complete. This includes time for instructions, breaks, and the actual testing time. The test is divided into four sections, each of which is timed separately. You have the option to take the four sections on different days, which can make the testing process less overwhelming.

Time management is crucial both during your preparation and on the test day. During your preparation, ensure you allocate enough time to cover all the topics in each subject area. On the test day, pay attention to the time limit for each section and pace yourself accordingly. Practice tests can help you get used to the timing and improve your speed.

Remember, the goal is not just to pass the GED test, but to truly understand the material and develop the skills you need for future success. The time you invest in preparing for the GED test is an investment in your future.

Real-Life Experiences

Hearing from those who have walked the path before you can provide invaluable insights into the GED journey. These real-life experiences can offer practical advice, highlight potential pitfalls, and serve as motivation for your own journey.

Many GED test-takers have shared their experiences online, discussing the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Some common themes emerge from these stories. For instance, many test-takers emphasize the importance of consistent study habits, the value of using a variety of study resources, and the necessity of understanding the test format.

One test-taker might share how they struggled with the Mathematical Reasoning section but improved dramatically after using online resources to practice problem-solving. Another might discuss how they initially underestimated the time required for preparation and had to adjust their study schedule to ensure they covered all the necessary material.

These stories underscore the fact that everyone’s GED journey is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to preparation. What works for one person might not work for another. The key is to find the strategies and resources that work best for you.

Resources for Success

There are numerous resources available to help you prepare for the GED test online. These include both free and paid options, and they cater to a variety of learning styles.

GED Testing Service, the official provider of the GED test, offers a range of resources, including study guides, practice tests, and online classes. These resources are designed to align closely with the actual test, making them a valuable part of your preparation.

There are also many other online resources available. Websites like Khan Academy offer free educational videos on a wide range of topics, including many that are covered on the GED test. Other websites offer GED prep courses, practice questions and answers, and study guides.

Books can also be a useful resource. There are numerous GED prep books available that provide in-depth coverage of the material on the test, along with practice test questions and test-taking strategies.

Remember, the most effective preparation approach often involves a combination of resources. Using a mix of books, online resources, and practice tests can help ensure a well-rounded understanding of the material.

The GED test can be a challenging endeavour, but with the right preparation and mindset, it is certainly achievable. The key to success lies in understanding the test, preparing effectively, managing your time well, learning from others’ experiences, and utilizing the right resources.

While the journey to obtaining your GED may seem daunting, remember that it is a journey worth taking. The first GED exam is more than just a test; it’s a stepping stone to further education and better job opportunities. So, approach the GED test with confidence and determination, and remember that every step you take brings you closer to your goal.