What’s the Difference Between the GED and a High School Diploma?

If you’re considering taking the GED, a whole lineup of questions may be running through your mind about this type of certification. What’s the difference between the GED and a high school diploma? Do employers and colleges care which one you have? Are there limits to what you can do with a GED versus a high school diploma? GED Testing Services has all the answers and more!

What is the GED?

The GED is comprised of the GED test and the GED credential. The GED test includes exams on four different topics, including math, reasoning through language arts, science, and social studies. If these subjects sound familiar, it’s because high school students encounter them every day in the classroom. In fact, if you’ve attended high school through junior year, you should feel pretty confident about your ability to study for and pass the GED exam.

Once you pass all four exams on the GED test, you’ve earned your GED credential. This credential serves as a diploma showing you have a 12-grade level knowledge base—even if you didn’t graduate from a traditional high school.

Is the GED Equal to a High School Diploma?

The GED is a high school equivalency diploma, so you can use it to apply to college or for a job resume, just like you would with a high school diploma. And if you’re wondering which schools and jobs accept the GED, we’ve got good news! More than 98 percent of schools in the United States accept the GED, including community colleges, universities, and private schools. Couple your GED with a good SAT or ACT score, and you’ll have an excellent chance of getting into any school you wish.

If you’re ready to dive straight into the workforce, the GED is a great option in that area too. Employers view the GED as equal to a high school diploma, so you shouldn’t have trouble applying for jobs—as long as you have the skills and experience necessary for the position. And, earning a GED also has the potential to boost your earnings significantly. Many GED graduates go on to make $9,000 more per year than those without a high school diploma.

Which Option is Right for You?

A high school diploma is an ideal option to prepare you for a career and college studies. But this route takes four years to complete, and some people don’t have the option to attend high school if they drop out during their teenage years.

Luckily, GED graduates can prepare to earn their certificate in just a few months, and the test can be taken even by those past high school age.

Ultimately, both options are a great way to gain knowledge and life experience to open up new opportunities, including higher pay, continued education, and career advancement.

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