GED vs High School Diploma: What Are Differences? [Updated 2023]
1. What is GED?
GED, which stands for General Educational Development, is an alternative to the traditional high school diploma. The GED test is a great choice for those who left high school early. It may be also advantageous to those who have other life responsibilities such as a full-time job or a family to raise.
To qualify to take the GED test, you need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be 16 years old or older.
- You have not enrolled in high school.
- You must take the test at a physical testing location.
One of the benefits of the GED is that you can pursue it any time in life. In case you graduated from high school many years ago, you still can pursue GED.
2. What is a high school diploma?
When you finish all the requirements of a high school program, you will receive a high school diploma. While the requirements are different by state, students must gain credits by taking courses in general subjects like Science, English and Maths. Students need to go to school full-time for four years to get high school diplomas.
To be recognized to complete a high school diploma, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Regularly attend high school courses
- Successfully finish exams
Although several students may complete their high school diploma faster, in general, it often takes four years to get a diploma.
3. What are the differences between GED vs high school diploma?
Although the GED certificate and a high school diploma both indicate that you have already acquired an amount of knowledge, there are certain differences between them, for example, the amount of time a student needs to spend to gain a GED certificate compared to a high school diploma. There are various minimum and maximum requirements regarding ages as well as many other differences. Learning which option is right for you will help you thoroughly evaluate your needs and what you expect to gain in return.
The first noticeable difference between GED and high school diploma is the one concerning age requirements. In most states, people are eligible to take the GED test at any time provided that they are 16 years old or older. The only condition is that they have not graduated from high school and are not currently attending high school. In several states, students may have to meet some other requirements so as to obtain a GED certificate.
There is no minimum age requirement to qualify for a high school diploma; however, you need to complete the course specified by the state to the satisfaction of the degree-granting school. In the majority of states, students are given between one and three years after their 18th birthday to finish all of their high school coursework on the taxpayer’s dime. In some states, nevertheless, that have high school completion courses for adults where the end result is a high school diploma, not a GED.
Another obvious difference between a GED and a high school diploma is the time they take to complete. It takes as much as four years for a student to get a high school diploma although many students make efforts to complete high school in as little as three years. Meanwhile, four GED subject tests take seven hours. The GED test is scored in an interesting way. Every few years or so some students graduating from high school are chosen to take the GED.
To be eligible to attain a GED, test takers must do better on the test than 60% of the graduating high school seniors who sit for the test. This means that the passing score of the GED may alter over time. Though no formal study is requested, it is advisable to take a prep course or invest a good deal of time in preparing well for the test.
Finally, whether to try for a GED or high school diploma depends on your future plans. Many employers will not care whether or not you possess a GED or a high school diploma. Likewise, the majority of community colleges will admit students with a GED rather than a high school diploma. If you desire to attend university or a four-year college, you may need to consider gaining a high school diploma. Otherwise, you can spend one year at a community college so that you can show your academic skills to be eligible to enter a college or university. If you simply intend to go to work, your job skills, resume and references are much more essential than whether you possess a GED or high school diploma.
4. Do course subjects vary between the two?
Social Studies, Math, Science, Reading and Writing are required coursework in high school. These subjects are also included in the GED exam. High school gives you more chances to take coursework in other fields of interest such as foreign language studies, music and art. It is crucial to note that finishing high school also offers mental and social experiences to create more well-rounded skills that will help you to have better preparation for university and beyond.
5. What is better GED vs high school diploma?
For the average student, getting a high school diploma is the more common educational path. The GED certificate is often attained by people who left high school soon and thus could not finish the high school program.
Practically, GED is equivalent to a high school diploma. There will be 95 percent of U.S. colleges and universities accepting GED graduates who meet their other qualifications for admission, according to the College Board.
If you are choosing to get a GED certificate, take the GED Practice Test on our website now!