How To Prep For The GED

Thinking about taking the GED? Find out everything you need to know about the GED and preparing for the exams in this short guide.

If you do not have a high school diploma but wish to pursue higher education or obtain a high-ranking career, you may consider obtaining a GED. A General Educational Development, or GED for short, is equivalent to a high school diploma. Naturally, you may have many questions concerning this exam. In this short guide, you will learn what a GED is, why it is important to receive one, what GED preparation is, what the best GED preparation courses are, how they can benefit you, and how much they cost.

What Is the GED?

When you graduate from the secondary school system in the U.S, you receive a high school diploma. The certificate proves that you have sufficient knowledge and skills acquired from 4 years of high school. There are many teenagers who do not complete high school leaving, for various reasons. Fortunately, successful completion of a GED exam provides the same credential. 

In the exam, you must complete four special exams. You may not need to complete each exam at the same time, depending on your comfort level and GED scheduling. These four assessments are:

  • Reasoning through Language Arts: 150-minute exam evaluating reading comprehension, grammar and language, and writing. 
  • Science: A 90-minute exam covering biology, physics, chemistry, and earth and space science. 
  • Social Studies: A 70-minute test covering the history of the United States, civics and government, economics, and geography. 
  • Mathematical Reasoning: 115-minute evaluation of arithmetic, algebra, data analysis, and geometry. 

Why Should You Take the GED?

If you are interested in the GED, you may still be on the fence about obtaining one. Is it truly necessary? Your GED can be important for many reasons. A few of the major advantages include:

  • Academic Advancement: One of the main reasons to obtain a GED is that high school provides you with a foundation for higher education. 98% of colleges accept a GED as a replacement for a high school diploma. 

  • Job Opportunities and Earning Potential: When you have your high school qualifications, you open many more doors for jobs and higher earning potential. 

  • Self-Confidence: A GED is an exceptional academic accomplishment. You may feel a boost of self-confidence when you pass the exam and earn high school equivalency.

What Is GED Preparation?

Since the GED is a comprehensive exam, it is wise to prepare thoroughly for the assessments. Apart from gaining the necessary knowledge and skills for the exam, it is advantageous to know what to expect on the exam, how the material will be presented, and how you are expected to answer the questions. GED preparation programs and courses can provide just that, helping you successfully pass the exam.

What Are the Kinds of GED Preparation?

There are three different ways you can prepare for the GED:

Independent Learning

Do you work well on your own? You may enjoy purchasing special GED preparation handbooks, complete with mock tests and answer sheets. In this way, you can take your time learning the content and practicing. 


If you are an individual who prefers to learn on your own but would like extra assistance, when necessary, consider a self-guided course. These courses have been prepared with your type of learning in mind, with easy-to-understand guidebooks and pre-recorded tutorial videos. Additionally, many provide professional assistance if you have any questions throughout your learning. 

Live Sessions

Live sessions can be one-on-one or in group sessions. They can also be online or in-person. The conference-style courses allow you to learn from an experienced teacher who can also answer your questions or concerns in real time. You can also take advantage of guidebooks and practice tests on your own time. 

What Are the Best GED Preparation Courses?

If you are looking for an in-person GED course, you can log onto the official GED website and create a MyGed account. After completing this step, you can use their program locator tool to easily find GED preparation programs closest to you. Alternatively, you can locate adult education facilities, community colleges, and high schools in your area and contact their offices. Typically, these places offer GED courses for a low cost or even for free.

On the other hand, if you feel more comfortable in an online environment, there are plenty of ways you can access excellent resources and assistance. You may benefit from any of these top-rated courses:

  • GED Live Comprehensive: GED’s official online marketplace provides an online course, GED Live Comprehensive. With this program, you have 90 days to use resources, access live classes, and watch the recorded classes. This course costs $129. 
  • Kaplan GED Test Prep: Kaplan is one of the most popular resources for GED test preparation. From $69 to $129, you can have access to live learning, over 150 course videos, and practice tests.
  • Study: For $3 to $75 per section, offers video courses, practice tests, tips, and improvement assessments.
  • 4Tests: 4Tests is an excellent free resource. You can take an assessment to determine which GED areas you struggle with, and you can then practice in those areas by taking free, mock GED exams. 
  • Mometrix: With Mometrix, you can take advantage of lessons, videos, practice tests, and flash cards. It also works monthly ($30 a month), which is great if you want to set your own pace. 

How Does GED Preparation Benefit You? 

Taking a GED preparation course can be incredibly beneficial for the average individual. You will learn the content you need to answer the exam questions and understand how the exam is presented and evaluated. If you prepare sufficiently in this way, you have a greater chance of passing the exams on the first try. Since the GED does cost money each time you take it (the price varies by state), you will save money if you only need to take it once. Additionally, you will feel less nervous and frustrated during the exams if you know what to expect beforehand. As such, GED preparation can considerably reduce stress and improve your test-taking confidence. 

How Much Does GED and GED Preparation Cost? 

GED preparation can be completely free, or it can cost up to $300 for long-term, comprehensive assistance, and resources. Depending on your comfort level with learning, you may enjoy independent study or learning in a classroom environment. When you take the GED exam, the cost will depend on the state you live in. On average, it costs between $0 and $60 per take. Some states allow you to take the GED online from home which may cost more than in-person testing.