High School GED
What Is the Relation Between GED and High School?
GED is the only nationally accepted high school equivalent credential in the US. Most US universities, educational institutes, and employers accept GED credentials for admission and employment. But, how are high school GED related? Do high school GED measure the same skills and provide the same diploma or certificate credentials?
Taking High School GED
In US and Canada, high school completion is the basic educational qualification required for further studies and employment. Yet, not everyone is able to complete a formal high school program. GED Test, thus, becomes a necessary service to create alternate opportunities for the non-high school graduating people. The important points of high school GED test taking requirements are:
- The high school program in US generally lasts till 18 years or so. As compulsory education is up to 16 years only, many might drop out from completing the program.
- GED Test can only be taken by those who have not completed their high school education or an equivalent program and have not received an equivalent credential. Taking both high school GED may not be possible.
- The minimum age requirements for GED Test might vary based on the jurisdiction. For example, California has a minimum age requirement of 17 years for taking GED Test, while North Dakota has a minimum age bar of 16 years only.
- 95% of US colleges and universities accept GED scores as equivalent to high school diplomas.(http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ged/faq/index.htm#equivalent).
- Completing the high school program is most desirable, if circumstances allow it. High school provides student with a lot more opportunities of learning life during its longer coursework, in addition to academic and technical skills required. However, in case of a candidate not being able to graduate, taking GED Test is the next best option. About 96 percent of US employers accept GED credentials.
GED Test and High School Program
Though both GED credentials and high school diploma are intended to further educational and employment opportunities for the candidates, the high school GED Test are essentially not the same.
- Taking the GED might not require the same amount of time and effort for preparation. While high school diplomas require completing the course work spread over 3-4 years, GED might require preparation for a couple or more months only.
- However, the GED Test is not any less complex or easier. It measures the academic skills and knowledge of the candidates at the level of a high school program, focusing on employment and further studies opportunities.
- The five-test battery of GED tests candidates in five subject areas:
- Social Studies
- Language Arts, Reading
- Language Arts, Writing
- Though various jurisdictions follow different policies of testing and award different GED credentials (a diploma or a certificate), GED is a standardized test and has strict standards for passing the test.
- The GED tests are standardized based on the levels of high school students. It is proved that only 60% of graduating high school students pass the GED Test at the first take.
Question Types in GED
GED Test requires that candidates are able to read, write, express unambiguously, compute, analyze, and interpret information on a level comparable to graduating students. Questions in all the five tests are designed to measure the required skills:
- Mathematics: The test has two parts with 25 questions each and analyzes the candidates' understanding of concepts and their ability to apply the concepts. A calculator is provided for the first part. Questions are a mix of multiple-choice, standard grid, and coordinate plane grid types.
- Social Studies: There are 50 multiple-choice questions from History, Geography, Civics and Government, and Economics. The questions are based on visual and written texts, like passages, charts, graphs, and tables.
- Science: There are 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered based on the given passages or visual information. Questions are spread across Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science areas.
- Language Arts, Reading: The test contains 40 multiple-choice questions based on literary and non-fiction texts. The test measures the candidates' ability at reading comprehension and interpreting.
- Language Arts, Writing Part I and II: Part I of the test includes 50 multiple-choice questions that require candidates to revise and edit documents. Part II consists of an essay question on a general topic.
The question types in high school GED do not necessarily follow the same pattern and structure. But the purpose being the same, a high school program and GED Test measure the candidates' abilities and skills in similar core areas. While high school might provide more topics and electives to choose from, the GED Test content is almost fixed to focus on the core essentials, with slight variations owing to jurisdictional and geographical differences. To summarize, in case of an inability to complete high school, GED Test ensures that there is still a way to continue education and seek better opportunities.
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