The new GED – What you need to know to help you pass

Diane Renaud CEO and Executive Director St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center
The new GED – What you need to know to help you pass

If you are in need of a GED (General Equivalency Diploma), then you may or may not be aware of the significant changes that have taken place in 2014 to the test. Those changes will impact the millions of people that attempt to take the test nationwide and will now find that they face additional barriers to passing the examination. However, here is an easy way to avoid those obstacles and help you to get your GED faster.


Do

Do know that the GED test has gotten harder

Understand that the test has changed for the first time in 12 years and it got a lot harder in 2014 (especially in math) and became completely computerized (versus paper and pencil test). Even students that completed the 12th grade in 2013 are now several grade levels below what is needed to pass the GED.

Do figure out what you need to study

Obtain an assessment of what you need to work on first before you begin preparation, so that you don’t waste time and effort studying what you already know. Understand that the vast majority of people that seek their GED are not at “grade level” and need to first make up that shortfall before they can begin to prepare to take the test itself.

Do take practice tests

Look for a preparation program that will be able to simulate test conditions and take practice tests.Test anxiety is a key element in pass rates and to be comfortable in the test environment (especially for those that aren’t comfortable on the computer) is critical to success.

Do be realistic

If you dropped out of high school prior to the test change, you are already behind on the material. The greatest disservice you can do for yourself is to believe you can take the test, without proper preparation or that it can be done quickly. A typical student who has a 9th grade level comprehension takes at least 1 year to prepare for and pass all segments of the test.

Do be committed

If things in your life don’t allow you to study every day and consistently attend preparation sessions, then it might be better to wait. Straighten out child care, transportation, schedules, work issues, etc. before attempting to prepare for and take the GED.


Don't

Do not believe others can do this for you

You have to be motivated and simply do the work – there is no short cut. You can’t fake your way through the test.

Do not get the GED for anybody else but yourself

Don’t join a program for the sake of making a parent, significant other, Parole Officer, etc. happy. You have to want it for yourself and truly embrace how this will change your life. Understand that this is the first step for you to take control of your life.

Do not believe that you are stupid because you didn’t finish high school

Life happens and some people simply don’t do well in a school setting. Look for a preparation program that is personalized and isn’t more time just sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher lecture. Think about why you didn’t finish high school and realize that a different approach might work better.

Do not think you can avoid getting your GED

More and more industries require a GED that did not previously, including trucking, manufacturing, construction, trade, retail, food services, etc. If you do not obtain your GED, you will find that it is extremely difficult to find and keep a job and it will only get harder the longer you are out of school.

Do not give up

Math is the hardest segment and the vast majority of people stop when they hit the math wall. Understand you aren’t alone and need extra help with math – it’s OK.


Summary
Jumping cartoon

The GED (General Equivalency Diploma) was created in 1942 to meet the needs of GIs. But now, more than 500,000 people take the test worldwide each year. High school dropouts who obtain a GED typically earn an average of $385,000 more in their lifetime than people without. That’s a raise of $12,000 a year for most people.

Some well-known GED graduates include Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, news anchor Peter Jennings, comedian Chris Rock, and actor Michael J. Fox. So you shouldn’t be ashamed of going back and getting your GED - no matter how old or young you are.


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Photo Credits: lisafx/bigstock.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Diane RenaudCEO and Executive Director

Diane Renaud, executive director/CEO of Detroit’s St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center passionately leads the Center to help remove barriers to education. Education fosters a reduction of dependence and encourages a self-sufficient community. For...

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