The GED (General Educational Development) and high school diploma are both widely recognized credentials that indicate the completion of high school level education. However, there are some key differences between the two.
A GED is a test-based program that provides an alternative to traditional high school education. It is designed for individuals who have not graduated from high school, or who have not completed their high school education for various reasons. A GED certificate indicates that the holder has demonstrated the same level of knowledge and skills as a high school graduate.
On the other hand, a high school diploma is awarded to students who have completed a traditional high school education program. It is typically awarded by the high school or school district, and indicates that the holder has completed a specific curriculum and met certain educational requirements.
Eligibility for GED and High School Diploma
The eligibility requirements for obtaining a GED and high school diploma vary. In order to be eligible for a GED, an individual must be at least 16 years old and not be currently enrolled in high school. The age requirement may vary depending on the jurisdiction where you take the test. Additionally, some jurisdictions may have additional requirements such as passing a pre-test, completing a certain number of hours of adult education classes, or proving residency.
For a high school diploma, the eligibility requirements are typically that the student must be of age to attend high school, typically around 14-18 years old, and must have completed the required coursework and graduated from a recognized high school.
Curriculum and Subject Matter
The curriculum and subject matter for the GED and high school diploma also differ. The GED test covers four subject areas: Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning Through Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. The test is designed to measure the same level of knowledge and skills as a high school graduate. It is a comprehensive test that covers a range of subjects, from math and language arts to science and social studies.
On the other hand, a high school diploma is awarded for completing a specific curriculum, which usually includes core subjects such as math, science, social studies, English, and foreign languages, as well as elective courses. The curriculum is based on the state or school district’s standards and often includes subjects that are not covered in the GED.
Testing and Assessment
The testing and assessment for the GED and high school diploma are also different. The GED test is a single test, consisting of four subject tests, which must be taken in a single day or over a period of time, depending on the jurisdiction. The test is usually given in person, at a designated testing center, but in some jurisdictions, it can be taken online. The test is timed and the scores are based on a scaled score of 100-200 points. A passing score is usually 145 out of 200 points, but it can vary depending on the jurisdiction.
On the other hand, a high school diploma is awarded based on a student’s performance over a period of time, typically four years, and is based on a combination of coursework, tests, and assessments. These assessments are usually given by the high school or school district, and may include standardized tests, final exams, and other evaluations.
Recognition and Acceptance
The recognition and acceptance of GED and high school diploma also vary. A GED certificate is widely recognized and accepted as the equivalent of a high school diploma by employers, colleges, and universities. However, acceptance may vary depending on the institution or employer. Some employers or institutions may prefer or require a high school diploma over a GED.
A high school diploma, on the other hand, is universally recognized and accepted as the equivalent of a high school education. It is accepted by employers, colleges, and universities as evidence of the completion of high school level education.
It’s important to note that while both GED and high school diploma are widely recognized, some employers or institutions may prefer or require a high school diploma. It’s best to check with the employer or institution in question to determine their specific requirements or preferences.
The future opportunities available after obtaining a GED or high school diploma also vary. A GED certificate can open doors to many opportunities, including enrolling in college or vocational school, joining the military, and obtaining certain types of employment. However, some career paths and higher education programs may require a high school diploma, which can limit the opportunities available to those with a GED.
On the other hand, a high school diploma opens up a wider range of opportunities. It is generally considered a prerequisite for many entry-level jobs, and is required for admission to most colleges and universities. Additionally, many employers and higher education institutions have specific requirements for degrees and certifications that can only be met with a high school diploma.
Cost and Time Required
The cost and time required to obtain a GED or high school diploma also vary. The cost of the GED test can vary depending on the jurisdiction where you take the test, but it typically ranges from $40 to $150. In addition to the cost of the test, there may also be additional costs such as study materials, prep classes, and retake fees.
Obtaining a high school diploma, on the other hand, typically requires a significant time investment, usually four years. The cost of attending high school can also vary depending on factors such as the type of school and the location, but it is generally free for students who attend public schools. Some private schools may have tuition fees.