Want to earn your high school equivalency diploma or GED online? While the actual exam must be taken in person, many schools and organizations offer programs online to help students prepare for the exam. Top online colleges and universities, for example, have expanded their course catalogues to include both hybrid and fully online GED classes, and accepting students without a GED. The 100% online option gives both traditional and non-traditional students the chance to study for the test in the most flexible of settings. The hybrid format combines the convenience of online study with the personal touch of face-to-face learning.
Format aside, every GED hopeful faces certain challenges on the path to exam completion. The following guide walks you through the key sections of the test, answers popular questions posed by test takers, offers tips and tricks, and lists high school equivalency and GED prep classes.
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Find In-Person & Online GED Classes
Whether you choose to prep for your high school equivalency or GED online or in-person, finding the right program is key. Hundreds of schools, colleges and organizations offer prep classes for little or no cost. We have provided a small sampling of courses available below, but many more are available. Check with local colleges and universities to see what is offered, and do a quick internet search to find all your options.
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- Wallace State Adult Education801 Main Street NW, Hanceville, Alabama
- Trenholm State Community College: Adult Education3920 Troy Hwy, Montgomery, Alabama
- Ilisagvik College: Adult Basic Education100 Stevenson Street, Barrow, Alaska
- Kenai River Campus: Learning Center156 College Rd., Soldotna, Alaska
- Central Arizona College805 S Idaho Rd, Apache Junction, Arizona
- Yavapai College: Adult Basic Education601 Black Hills Dr, Clarkdale, Arizona
- Phillips Community College: Adult Education1000 Campus Dr, Helena, Arkansas
- Northwest Technical Institute: Adult Education Center709 S Old Missouri Rd, Springdale, Arkansas
- Alameda Adult School2250 Central Avenue, Alameda, California
- College Of The Redwoods Mendocino: Workforce & Community Education7351 Tompkins Hill R0ad, Eureka, California
- Colorado Mountain College: Developmental Education107 Denison Placer Rd, Breckenridge, Colorado
- Colorado Northwestern Community College50 College Dr, Craig, Colorado
- Bridgeport Adult EducationOne Lincoln Blvd, Bridgeport, Connecticut
- The New Haven Adult & Continuing Education Center580 Ella Grasso Blvd, New Haven, Connecticut
- Delaware Technical and Community College100 Campus Drive, Dover, Delaware
- New Castle County Vocational Technical School District1703 School Lane, Wilmington, Delaware
- Daytona State College: Adult Education1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, Florida
- Indian River State College: Adult Education3209 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, Florida
- Albany Technical College: Adult Education1704 South Slappey Blvd, Albany, Georgia
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College: Adult Education495 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, Georgia
- McKinley Community School for Adults634 Pensacola Street, Rm. 216, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Waipahu Community School for Adult94-1211 Farrington Hwy, Waipahu, Hawaii
- North Idaho College: Adult Education Center1000 W. Garden Ave., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
- Eastern Idaho Technical College: Adult Basic Education1600 S 25th E, Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Waubonsee Community College: Adult Education5 E Galena Blvd, Aurora, Illinois
- Morton College: Adult Education3801 S. Central Avenue, Cicero, Illinois
- Whitewater Career Center: Adult Education717 W. 21st Street, Connersville, Indiana
- Lake Ridge Schools: Adult Education6111 West Ridge Road, Gary, Indiana
- Des Moines Area Community College2006 S Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, Iowa
- Kirkwood Community College1030 5th Ave SE, Suite 100,, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Cowley College: Adult Education125 S. 2nd St, Arkansas City, Kansas
- Lawrence Public Schools: Adult Learning Center2017 Louisiana St, Lawrence, Kansas
- Cloverport Ind. School District: Adult Education214 West Main St., Cloverport, Kentucky
- Jefferson Community and Technical College: Adult Education727 W. Chestnut St., Louisville, Kentucky
- Louisiana’s Community and Technical Colleges: WorkReady-U265 South Foster Dr, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- St. Charles Parish Public Schools: Adult Education13855 River Road, Luling, Louisiana
- Ellsworth Adult Education248 State Street, Ellsworth, Maine
- Gorham Adult Education106 Weeks Rd, Gorham, Maine
- Baltimore City Community College: Adult Basic Education2901 Liberty Heights Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
- Allegany College of Maryland: Adult Basic Education12401 Willowbrook Road, Cumberland, Maryland
- North Shore Community College: Center for Alternative Studies1 Ferncroft Road, Danvers, Massachusetts
- Springfield Technical Community College: Adult Education Center1 Armory Sq, Springfield, Massachusetts
- Washtenaw Community College: Adult Transitions Pathways4800 E Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Orchard View Community Education: Adult Education1765 Ada Avenue, Muskegon, Michigan
- Anoka Technical College : Adult Basic Education1355 West Highway 10, Anoka, Minnesota
- Detroit Lakes Learning Center: Adult Basic Education204 Willow Street Eas, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
- East Central Community College: Adult Basic Education15738 Hwy 15 South, Decatur, Mississippi
- Jones County Junior College: Adult Basic Education900 South Court Street, Ellisville, Mississippi
- St. Charles Community College: Literacy Education4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive, Cottleville, Missouri
- Jefferson College: Adult Education Services1000 Viking Drive, Hillsboro, Missouri
- Dawson Community College: Adult Basic and Literacy Education300 College Drive, Glendive, Montana
- Great Falls Public Schools, Adult Education Center2100 16th Avenue South, Great Falls, Montana
- Southeast Community College: Adult Education4771 W. Scott Rd., Beatrice, Nebraska
- Central Community College: Community and Adult Education1215 30th Ave, Kearney, Nebraska
- Dover Adult Learning Center61 Locust Street, Dover, New Hampshire
- Exeter Adult Education30 Linden Street, Exeter, New Hampshire
- Brookdale Community College: Adult Basic Education765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, New Jersey
- Sussex County Community College: ABE and HSE1 College Hill, Newton, New Jersey
- New Mexico State University: Adult Education/GED1500 University Dr, Carlsbad, New Mexico
- Clovis Community College: High School Equivalency417 Schepps Blvd, Clovis, New Mexico
- TMCC: Adult Basic Education7000 Dandini Boulevard, Reno, Nevada
- College of Southern Nevada: Adult Literacy and Language6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada
- Orange-Ulster BOCES: Adult Education53 Gibson Road, Goshen, New York
- SUNY Erie Community College6205 Main St, Williamsville, New York
- Stanly Community College: College & Career Readiness141 College Dr, Albemarle, North Carolina
- Blue Ridge Community College: Adult Education and Literacy180 West Campus Drive, Flat Rock, North Carolina
- Turtle Mountain Community College: Adult & Continuing Education1 Main St., Belcourt, North Dakota
- Cankdeska Cikana Community College: Adult Learning Center214 1st Ave, Fort Totten, North Dakota
- Columbus State Community College: Community550 East Spring St., Columbus, Ohio
- Lorain County Community College: Aspire1005 N Abbe Rd, Elyria, Ohio
- Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College: Adult Learning Center200 I Street NE, Miami, Oklahoma
- Oklahoma City Community College: Community Outreach and Education7777 South May Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Clatsop Community College: Foundation Skills Institute1651 Lexington Ave, Astoria, Oregon
- Blue Mountain Community College: College Preparation980 S E Columbia, Hermiston, Oregon
- Reading Area Community College: Literacy Programs10 South Second Street, Reading, Pennsylvania
- Lehigh Carbon Community College4525 Education Park Drive, Schnecksville, Pennsylvania
- Education Exchange: GED33 North Rd. Unit C-1, Lily Pads Center, Peace Dale, Rhode Island
- Community College of Rhode Island: Adult Education400 East Avenue, Warwick, Rhode Island
- W. R. Rogers Center: Adult Education750 Old Clemson Rd, Columbia, South Carolina
- School District of Pickens County: Adult Learning Center106 Glazner Street, Easley, South Carolina
- Oglala Lakota College: Community/Continuing Education490 Piya Wiconi Road, Kyle, South Dakota
- Sinte Gleska University: Adult Basic Education260 S Ruth St, Mission, South Dakota
- Northeast State Community College: Testing Services2425 Highway 75, Blountville, Tennessee
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology: Adult Education1100 Liberty Street, Knoxville, Tennessee
- Lee College: Adult Basic Education909 Decker Dr., Baytown, Texas
- Frank Phillips College1301 W. Roosevelt, Borger, Texas
- Utah State University Prince Campus451 East 400 North, Prince, Utah
- Salt Lake Community College4600 South Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Central Vermont Adult Basic Education46 Washington Street, Suite 100, Barre, Vermont
- Vermont Adult Learning60 So. Main Street, Waterbury, Vermont
- Alexandria City Public Schools: Adult Education1340 Braddock Place, Alexandria, Virginia
- Loudoun County Public Schools: Adult Education43711 Partlow Rd, Ashburn, Virginia
- Bellevue College: Adult Basic Education (ABE)3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue, Washington
- Lake Washington Institute of Technology11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, Washington
- Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College: Adult Education316 Eastern Drive, Moorefield, West Virginia
- Fayette Institute of Technology: Adult Education300 W Oyler Ave, Oak Hill, West Virginia
- Blackhawk Technical College6004 S County Road G, Janesville, Wisconsin
- Madison Area Technical College1701 Wright Street, Madison, Wisconsin
- Casper College: Continuing Education125 College Drive, Casper, Wyoming
- Central Wyoming College240 S. Glenwood St #124, Jackson, Wyoming
Online GED Classes Tips & Tricks
Not all online GED classes are created equal. Before selecting a college and a program, it’s important to know what to expect. Keep these tips, tricks, and warning signs in mind as you begin the process.
- Beware of “extras” and overcharging. Some GED classes and programs offer personal online support in addition to the standard prep materials. These services may cost more money and add little to no value beyond what is included for free.
- In most cases, taking the GED test should never cost more than $150.
- Online classes help prepare you for the GED exam. They are not the actual test themselves. While the GED may be administered using a computer, no legitimate GED test can be taken online. The exam must be taken in-person at a testing center.
- Fraudulent websites that offer GED preparation and test taking online appear on a regular basis. In addition to finding carefully vetted lists of schools and class offerings, like the one included in this guide, be sure that any institution you choose for test prep holds accreditation endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. You can use the International Registry for Accreditation or Council for Higher Education Accreditation to search for credible programs.
- It is fair and logical to pay for professional online preparation courses. Watch out for sites that want you to pay for a high school diploma or a GED equivalency certificate.
- Each state determines its equivalency test content and test-taking procedures and is not regulated by the federal government. Sites that claim affiliation with the U.S. federal government are likely a scam.
- To study online for your GED, you need access to a computer that meets these minimum technical and browser requirements.
- Taking preparation courses online does not mean they are less demanding or thorough than in-person classes. Be prepared to set aside time each day to work on your preparation materials. Develop a study schedule and stick to it.
- Practice exams are available online and can be an excellent resource. They can help you gauge which subjects require more of your attention by exposing gaps in your knowledge. Furthermore, practice exams give you a feel for taking the real GED exam.
Step 1: Learning the Material
After selecting your test prep option, it’s time to tackle the test itself. This starts with a basic understanding of how the exam works, followed by deeper dives into its four primary sections. Here’s how the GED breaks down.
Online GED Class FAQs
When considering an online GED class, a few important questions may come to mind. Here’s a look at online class FAQs and how they could impact your GED journey.
How long does it take to get an online GED?
Online, self-paced GED preparation courses usually take 8 to 16 weeks to complete. According to the GED Testing Service, most students spend 3 months or less studying for the exam.
Should online GE classes be accredited?
Study programs that help you prepare for the GED exam do not necessarily have to be accredited, but it is highly recommended that they are classes recognized and approved by the GED Testing Service. The only approved at-home study program is the GED Academy
How much does it cost to take online GED classes?
Both online self-paced and teacher-led classes run about $100-130 per student.
Is there help paying for online GED classes?
Scholarships that pay for your online GED preparation courses are available from organizations like the International Financial Aid Center
and from private scholarships programs.
How much time do I need to dedicate to studying for the GED exam?
Depending on the student, some online preparation programs suggest that, with the appropriate study materials, 15 or 30 minutes every day is sufficient. To be safe, you should plan on 1 hour of study time per day.
Are there any online preparation courses that are free?
Yes, there are numerous free course options available to you online. These preparation courses could be sufficient for you, but do your best to locate services that are credible, offered by recognized educational institutions, and have a positive track record.
Step 2: Taking the GED
You’ve completed your study program and mastered the material, now it’s time to take the test. While not quite as easy as “sign-up and show-up”, you should be able to sit for the exam with minimal stress. Here’s how the process works, from registering for the exam to completing it.
How to Sign Up for the Test
To sign up for the GED, go to GED.com and create an account. You can use its search engine to locate a testing center near you. Many of the approximately 3,000 testing centers across the United States are operated by community colleges, school boards, and adult education centers. On test day, arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled time to allow for check-in procedures. All materials you need for the exam will be given to you at the testing center. Cell phones and unnecessary personal belongings are not allowed in the testing rooms.
Test Day: What It’s Like
Each of the four sections of the exam has its own format, rules, and price. Prices vary by state and are usually $30-38 per section. For the math section, you have 115 minutes total, with a short break between its two parts. The science section takes 90 minutes and does not include breaks. The social studies section is 70 minutes and does not include breaks. Finally, the reasoning through language arts section is 3 parts, 150 minutes total, with a 10-minute break between parts 2 and 3. You also have 45 minutes to complete a written essay.
GED Test FAQs
Can I get my GED at home?
You cannot take the GED exam at home. The exam can only be taken in full, or by section, at official testing centers. Only preparation courses, practice exams, and other study materials may be completed at home.
Are online high school diplomas legitimate?
Some online high school diploma programs are legitimate. There are many scammers and diploma mills looking to take advantage of students, however. Any program that offers a diploma at a fee with little or no coursework should not be trusted. Legitimate online schools must meet at least minimum academic standards and should require you to pass a substantial amount of coursework for the diploma. Credible programs should also provide documentation on their accreditation. There are some well-known college and universities, for-profit online high school programs, and public or charter schools that offer high school diploma programs.
Is there help to pay for online GEDs?
You may be able to receive money to cover all or part of the GED testing fee. Funding usually comes from your employer (ask first) or from companies that work with your state’s workforce commission or department of education. Many of these organizations or state departments provide free services and programs for students preparing to take the GED, including study programs and test-taking courses.
Step 3: Get Your Score & Plan Your Future
You’ve finished the exam, now what? It’s common for students to fret over their scores and what they could mean for their future. There’s the stress of waiting for the results, wondering if they’re good enough, and not knowing how to get the right info to colleges. Here’s a little GED guidance to help you after the exam.
Don’t Worry…Scores Arrive Soon
Test results should arrive via email within 24 hours. In some cases, your exam may be flagged and require manual scoring and must be graded by a proctor. Manual scoring can cause delays up to 3 days. This process can also be delayed, depending on when your testing center uploads the information.
What Your Score Means
You need a score of 145 on each section to pass the GED exam. This is a great accomplishment and positions you to apply for colleges and advance your career in a degree-seeking program. A score between 165-174 on any section indicates you are ready to take college-level courses. A score of 175-200 on any subject is considered “college ready plus credit”. In these cases, you may qualify for up to 10 college credit hours upon enrollment. These 10 credits are spread over the four sections, limiting you to 3 credits each in math, science, and social studies, and 1 credit in the humanities.
Sending Your Scores to Colleges
To send your GED results to colleges and universities, you must order your GED transcript, diploma, or certificate. You can do so at this GED test service site, as well as learn about state-specific directions for sending in your scores. If you send your transcript directly to a school, you may only have the option to send an electronic copy. Some schools prefer copies through snail mail, so be sure to check with the admissions office at your desired school to find out their preference. The cost for a GED transcript is $15 in all eligible states except Kansas, where the fee is $20.
Start Planning for the Future
A GED opens doors at multiple educational levels, as well as within a variety of popular career fields. In addition to education and experience, a GED can be a salary boost, as well. See how each path works with your exam score.
- Colleges & Universities After sending your transcripts, contact the admissions office to see if your test results allow you to bypass placement exams or remedial courses. If you scored between 175-200, you may be eligible for college credit, as well. Even if you have not earned your GED or high school diploma, you can still apply to college. Some colleges and universities allow non-GED holders to work toward a degree or gain specific knowledge in an area without earning the degree.
- Vocational School Vocational schools offer career-specific educations for students who wish to enter the workforce quickly. Sometimes referred to as trade schools or career schools, vocational programs can prepare you for careers with focused coursework and hands-on training, often without unrelated academic course requirements. These programs are valuable for those planning on working in a new industry and would benefit from quick, directed learning, and working adults re-entering the workforce or transitioning to a new field. These programs are often 10 weeks or less but can be up to 2 years in length, depending on your chosen field. In most cases, you must have passed the GED exam and be 16 or 17 years of age.
- Careers Earning your GED can prepare you for many careers that do not require additional coursework in vocational or career schools. These positions involve heavy on-the-job training, and the GED helps open the door. Full-time jobs, such as human resources assistants, occupational or physical therapist aides, retail sales associates, and travel agents may be available to those with a GED and little to no prior experience in the field.
Great GED Resources
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
CHEA is one of the most up-to-date resources on accreditation in the United States. One of the handiest online tools provided here is CHEA’s online database. Anyone can search its database to locate accredited colleges, universities, and other educational programs.
Here you can find numerous resources for entering the workforce after obtaining your high school diploma or GED. This site includes a list of professional careers, along with detailed web pages for each position, that anyone with a GED can consider viable employment options.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Bureau of Labor statistics website offers specific details into careers and the professionals who occupy them in the United States. With its user-friendly search engine, you can explore dozens of career paths in minutes and find out what those professionals do, how you become one yourself, what they make, and what the projected growth rate over the next several years.
Essential Education – Spotting Fake Programs and Scams
This site provides additional resources and tips on how to best determine whether or not an online GED preparation program or online high school diploma is credible. While other sites on this topics will provide useful supplemental materials and links, the extended list of tips located here is in one convenient location.
GED Testing Centers Study Materials
Provided by the GED testing center website, you can find links to study guides and registration for online preparation courses in one convenient location. Follow this link and click on the “View [subject]” link at the bottom of any section for details.
Kaplan GED Study Guides
Kaplan is a for-profit company specializing in test preparation courses. Here you can locate self-paced or live instruction for the GED exam over the web. While their services are not cheap, you can rest assured that this trusted name in test preparation will give you a focused study routine and help you perform at your highest potential.