Are you thinking about getting your GED credential? You likely have many questions about the process and how it compares to a traditional high school diploma. What’s the difference between a GED and a diploma? Do colleges or employers prefer one over the other? Is a GED equivalent to a diploma?
In this blog post, we’ll answer those questions.
What Is a GED?
The General Educational Development Test consists of four subject tests, that once passed, earn you a high school equivalency credential. The four subjects are language arts, math, social studies, and science
Does this sound familiar? If so, it’s because they’re subjects commonly taught in high school. After you successfully pass these four exams, you will have earned your credential. What does this do? It proves you have a grade 12 education—even without a traditional diploma.
How Did the GED Get Started?
The American Council on Education developed the GED in the 1940s to help veterans who had joined the military without finishing high school. Passing the test allowed them access to colleges or jobs requiring a high school diploma. In the 80 years since, millions of Americans have earned their GEDs, including many celebrities.
What’s the Difference Between a GED and a Diploma?
A GED and a high school diploma are more similar than different.
A high school diploma signifies high school graduation. It shows you attended and passed all the required classes in a traditional high school setting.
The GED credential is a high school equivalency diploma. It shows you passed four high school equivalency tests, demonstrating you have the same knowledge as a traditional high school graduate.
Both allow students to join the workforce, launch a career, or attend college.
Perhaps the main difference between a GED and a diploma is the time requirement. Typically, traditional high school students need four years to complete classes and graduate. The GED is a 7-hour test; preparing for it typically takes less than a year. In most states, you can take the GED tests any time after age 16.
Is a GED Equivalent to a Diploma?
Most colleges and employers see the GED and a high school diploma as the same. Just under 100% of U.S. schools accept the GED, including community colleges, private secondary or technical institutes, and universities.
Coupling your GED with a decent ACT or SAT score will improve your chances of getting accepted into a top school. Or you can bypass other standardized tests with a GED College-Ready score, awarded to those who earn a high score on their GED tests.
Since the GED is equivalent to a high school diploma, in addition to using it to register for college, you can also use it to apply for a job.
Many employers view these achievements equally, and getting a GED can lead to a higher salary. Many GED graduates can make more than $8,500 more every year than those without a GED or diploma.
Which Option Is Best for You?
What’s the difference between a GED and a diploma? And which should you pursue?
Both choices open up possibilities for a higher salary, additional education, and professional advancement.
High school diplomas can provide great preparation for an entry-level job or college studies. It’s an ideal option for those who have the time and whose personal life situations make it possible to attend.
However, some students may need to leave high school for many reasons, including family obligations. In those instances, a GED may be the best option.
Take that next step forward in getting your GED by signing up with GED+ today.