How Different Is a GED from a High School Diploma? Is a GED Inferior for Getting to College?

High school graduation is an important milestone for many students, as it signifies the completion of their formal education and opens up various opportunities for their future. However, not all students can obtain a high school diploma for multiple reasons, and in such cases, a GED (General Educational Development) can serve as an alternative.

Yet, there are still debates surrounding the validity and usefulness of a GED compared to a high school diploma, particularly when pursuing higher education. In this article, we will explore the differences between a GED and a high school diploma and examine whether a GED is inferior to getting into college.

What is a GED?

The GED test is by the American Council on Education (ACE), a non-profit organization that advocates for higher education and lifelong learning. GED test is famous in most employers, colleges, and universities as a credential demonstrating an individual’s academic skills and knowledge.

The GED test consists of four separate tests, each covering one of the subject areas. The language arts test is in two parts, which assess the test taker’s reading and writing abilities. The math test covers algebra, geometry, and basic arithmetic. The science test measures the test-taker’s knowledge of physical, life, and earth and space science. Finally, the social studies test assesses the test-takers understanding of U.S. history, world history, civics, economics, and geography.

The GED test is computer-based, although paper-based tests may be available for individuals with disabilities. The test-taker must pass all four subject tests to earn a GED credential.

While the GED test is an alternative to a high school diploma, it is a challenging exam. Test-takers must have a strong understanding of the subject matter and be able to apply that knowledge to solve problems and answer questions. 

Also, read up: Best Online Colleges That Pay You to Attend in 2025

What is a high school diploma?

Earning a high school diploma is an important milestone for many students, as it signifies the completion of their formal education and demonstrates their academic skills and knowledge. A high school diploma can open up many student opportunities, including access to higher education, better-paying jobs, and greater social and economic mobility.

In addition to completing the required coursework and credits, high school students may also need to pass standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT, to earn a diploma. These tests assess students’ academic skills and readiness for college-level work.

Employers, colleges, and universities recognize high school diplomas as a credential demonstrating an individual’s academic achievements and potential. Many employers require applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent credential, such as a GED, for entry-level positions.

In terms of higher education, earning a high school diploma is typically a prerequisite for admission to college or university. However, the specific requirements for admission can vary by institution and program of study. Some colleges and universities may require applicants to have completed particular courses or achieved specific grades in high school. In contrast, others may consider factors such as standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.

See also  Spring Hill College Review: Scholarships, Tuition, and Cost of Living

Also, related: Can I Join US Army Without a High School Diploma?

How to get a GED

Getting a GED, or General Educational Development, is a process that involves several steps, including registration, preparation, and taking the test. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get a GED:

#1. Determine your eligibility

To take the GED test, you must meet specific eligibility requirements, which can vary by state. In most states, you must be at least 16 years old and not enrolled in high school. Some states may have additional requirements, such as residency or minimum age requirements. Check with your state’s Department of Education to determine your eligibility.

#2. Register for the test

Once you determine your eligibility, you can register for the GED test through your state’s Department of Education or the official GED website. You must provide personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth, and pay a registration fee. The registration fee can vary by state but typically ranges from $20 to $40 per subject test.

#3. Prepare for the test

Preparing for the GED test is crucial to passing the exam. Many resources are available to help you prepare, including study guides, practice tests, and online courses. The official GED website offers free practice tests and study materials, and many community colleges and adult education centers offer GED preparation classes.

#4. Take the test

Once prepared, you can schedule a date and time to take the GED test at an approved testing center. The GED test is a computer-based exam comprising four subject tests: language arts, math, science, and social studies. Depending on your preference and testing center availability, you can take the tests individually or all at once. The test is timed, and you will have a set amount of time to complete each subject test.

#5. Receive your scores

After you complete the GED test, you will receive your scores within a few days or weeks, depending on the testing center. To pass the GED test, you must earn a minimum score of 145 on each subject test and a total score of 580 or higher. If you pass the test, you will receive a GED credential equivalent to a high school diploma.

Getting a GED requires dedication and hard work. However, it can be a valuable credential for individuals who still need to complete high school and want to pursue higher education or better job opportunities. Following these steps, you can prepare and pass the GED test and earn your GED credential.

Check this out: Can You Get Your High School Diploma Online For Free

How to get a high school diploma

Getting a high school diploma typically involves completing a program of study at a high school. Here are the general steps on how to get a high school diploma:

#1. Enroll in high school

You must first enroll in a high school program to earn a high school diploma. School districts typically operate high schools and are open to students who live within the district’s boundaries. Private schools and online schools may also offer high school programs.

#2. Complete required coursework

High school programs typically require students to complete a minimum of credits in specific subjects, such as English, math, science, and social studies. The requirements for earning a high school diploma can vary by state, school district, or individual school. Consult with your school’s guidance counselor or academic advisor to determine the specific requirements for your program.

#3. Meet attendance requirements

In addition to completing the required coursework, high school students are typically necessary to meet attendance requirements. Most schools require students to attend a certain number of days or hours per school year to be eligible for a diploma.

See also  Why Should I Choose Express Driving School in 2025?

#4. Participate in extracurricular activities

Many high schools offer extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, and organizations to help students develop social skills, leadership abilities, and other valuable qualities. Participating in extracurricular activities can also be beneficial for college and job applications.

#5. Pass standardized tests

High school students may be required to pass standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT, to earn a diploma. These tests assess students’ academic skills and readiness for college-level work. Some states may require students to pass specific tests, such as state exams, to graduate.

#6. Apply for graduation

Once you have completed all the requirements for your high school program, you can apply for graduation. Your school typically requires you to submit an application and pay a graduation fee. Graduation ceremonies are usually at the end of the school year.

Overall, earning a high school diploma requires dedication and hard work. Still, it can open up many student opportunities, including access to higher education, better-paying jobs, and greater social and economic mobility. You can earn your high school diploma and achieve your academic and career goals by following these steps.

Related content: Debakey High School 2025: Top Medical High School

Difference between a GED and a high school diploma

While a GED and a high school diploma are both credentials that signify completion of high school-level education, there are some critical differences between the two. Here are some of the main differences between a GED and a high school diploma:

#1. Completion Requirements

To earn a high school diploma, students must typically complete a specific set of courses and meet attendance requirements for four years or more. In contrast, to make a GED, individuals must pass a standardized test that assesses their knowledge in four subject areas: Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.

#2. Timeframe

Earning a high school diploma takes at least four years while making a GED can be accomplished in weeks or months, depending on the individual’s preparation and test-taking skills.

#3. Recognition

Most employers, colleges, and universities recognize and accept a high school diploma as proof of completing high school-level education. In contrast, while a GED is widely acknowledged, some employers, colleges, and universities may prefer a high school diploma over a GED.

#4. College Readiness

Earning a high school diploma typically requires students to take courses, including core subjects like English, math, science, and social studies, and electives like foreign languages, music, or art. Completing these courses can help students become better prepared for college-level work. However, a GED does not guarantee college readiness as it only requires passing tests.

#5. Cost

Sometimes, earning a high school diploma can be more expensive than making a GED. Private high schools can have tuition costs; even public schools can charge fees for textbooks, extracurricular activities, and graduation gowns. A GED, on the other hand, only requires paying a registration fee that can range from $20 to $40 per subject test.

Overall, a GED and a high school diploma represent significant educational achievements and can lead to better job prospects and opportunities for further instruction. However, a high school diploma is generally more comprehensive and well-rounded, while a GED can be earned quickly and at a lower cost. Individuals must weigh each option’s advantages and disadvantages and determine which suits their goals and needs best.

Also related: What Is The Difference Between A Certificate Of Completion And A High School Diploma?

Is a GED equivalent to a high school diploma

A GED and a high school diploma are equivalent in educational level. Both credentials signify that an individual has completed a level of education equal to that of a high school graduate.

However, it is essential to note differences in recognition of the two credentials by employers, colleges, and universities. While many institutions widely recognize and accept a GED as equivalent to a high school diploma, some employers and schools may still prefer or require a high school diploma.

See also  20 Masters Scholarships for Tanzanians

Additionally, earning a high school diploma often requires students to complete a specific set of courses, meet attendance requirements, and participate in extracurricular activities, which can help prepare them for college and career readiness. Completing a GED only requires passing a set of tests, which may provide a different level of preparation for higher education or the workforce.

Overall, while a GED and a high school diploma are equivalent in educational level, institutions and employers may have differences in how they are perceived and recognized. Individuals must research the requirements and preferences of their desired colleges, universities, or employers to determine which credential suits their goals and needs best.

Check this out: 10 Best Associate Degrees in 6 Months Online | 2025

Is a GED inferior to getting to college?

No, a GED is not inherently inferior to getting to college. Many colleges and universities accept GED credentials equivalent to high school diplomas for admission. However, it is essential to note that some colleges and universities may have specific admissions requirements or preferences regarding the type of credentials applicants hold.

Additionally, while a GED can demonstrate that an individual has completed high school-level education, it may provide a different level of preparation for college than a traditional high school diploma. This is because a high school diploma typically requires students to complete a specific set of courses, participate in extracurricular activities, and meet attendance requirements, all of which can help prepare them for college-level work.

Therefore, it is essential for individuals with a GED who are interested in pursuing higher education to consider their level of preparedness for college-level work and seek out resources, such as tutoring or academic advising, to ensure their success in college. Additionally, some colleges and universities may offer programs or services specifically for GED holders to help them transition to college-level work.

In summary, while a GED is not inherently inferior for getting to college, it is essential for individuals to carefully consider their level of preparedness for college and any specific admissions requirements or preferences of their desired institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a GED?

GED stands for General Educational Development, and it is a credential that is equivalent to a high school diploma. The GED is for individuals who pass tests that measure their knowledge and skills in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.

What is a high school diploma?

A high school diploma is a credential awarded to individuals who have completed the required coursework, attendance, and other high school program requirements. This credential signifies that the individual has met the minimum educational requirements to graduate from high school.

Are a GED and a high school diploma equivalent?

A GED and a high school diploma are generally considered equivalent in educational level.

Can I go to college with a GED?

Many colleges and universities accept GED credentials equivalent to high school diplomas for admission. However, it is essential to research your desired institutions’ specific admissions requirements and preferences.

Is a GED inferior to getting to college?

No, a GED is not inherently inferior to getting to college. However, it is essential to consider the level of preparedness for college-level work and any specific admissions requirements or preferences of your desired institutions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a GED and a high school diploma signify that an individual has completed high school-level education and can be equivalent in educational level. However, there are some differences between the two credentials, such as the process of earning them and the level of preparation for college-level work they may provide.

While a GED is not inherently inferior for getting to college, individuals with a GED should carefully consider their level of preparedness for college-level work and any specific admissions requirements or preferences of their desired institutions. They may also want to seek out resources or programs specifically for GED holders to help them succeed in college.

Ultimately, whether an individual pursues a GED or a high school diploma, the most crucial thing is that they obtain the education and skills they need to achieve their personal and professional goals.

#GED #High #School #Diploma #GED #Inferior #College

Leave a Comment