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The GED – A Valuable Credential

Many people believe the GED (General Education Development) test was created as a means for high school dropouts to obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma. This is not the case. The GED was originally created in 1942 for veterans who had to leave school early to fight overseas in World War II. In the 1950s, the GED became available to all adults who had not graduated from high school. 

To date, more than 18 million people have received the GED. One in every seven Americans with high school credentials has received the GED, as well as one in twenty college students. Earning a GED can lead to college, a better job, or a job promotion.

In an article by Bettina Lankard Brown entitled “Is the GED a Valuable Credential?” four outcomes of earning a GED credential were identified:

  • GED graduates tend to feel better about themselves than do those without a high school credential. They have an enhanced sense of self-esteem by knowing that they have accomplished the requirements of educational certification. 

  • GED graduates tend to realize greater satisfaction with their lives than do those without a high school credential. They are more apt to read, continue learning, and be financially secure. 

  • GED graduates are more likely to encourage their children to finish school as they realize the struggles they have had to face by not completing high school themselves.

  • GED graduates are more likely to get a better job than those who have no high school credential. They tend to have more full-time work and experience regular, uninterrupted employment. 

 

The reasons for getting a GED are clear: A GED means new opportunities. People who earn their GEDs can have better jobs, better pay, and a better chance of continuing their education.

Be prepared to study. The GED test is not easy. It is comprised of four subject-based timed tests: Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. These tests measure how well a person has mastered the skills and general knowledge that are acquired in a four-year high school education.

Remember that official testing centers are the ONLY places someone can take the GED test. Beware of organizations that claim a person can earn a GED on the internet or by taking a test at home. These fake “tests” are not recognized by colleges or most employers.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners

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