No high school diploma? Then you might be thinking about taking the GED test. Can you take the GED online? What about online GED courses?
In this guide, we'll discuss what the overall GED process entails and why you can't actually take the GED online (even though it would definitely be more convenient!). We'll also give you our top picks for the best online GED classes.
What Is the GED Process? Overview
The GED (short for General Educational Development) test is a group of four subject tests that, when passed, certify that one has achieved the US and Canadian high school educational standards.
The four GED subjects are as follows:
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
As an alternative to a high school diploma, the GED targets those who did not finish high school and who are older than 16. It tests the same essential skills students learn in high school.
So what exactly is the process for taking the GED? Here's an overview of the steps:
Check your eligibility: As stated above, in order to take the GED, you must be at least 16 years old and not currently enrolled in high school. Some states have requirements in terms of how long you must have been out of high school, so be sure to check your state's policies on this before you decide to take the GED.
Register for the GED: You must make an account on the official GED website to be able to register for the test. Note that you can take up just one of the tests or all four at once. Each subject test costs about $30 (this price can vary slightly depending on the state).
Prep for the GED: Though studying isn't required, it's certainly encouraged, especially if you haven't taken a high school class in a long time or are rusty with a particular subject. We'll talk more about what you can use for your GED prep shortly.
Take the GED test: The final step is to go to your testing center and take the GED!
This is just a brief outline of what you can expect when starting the GED process. But can you take the GED online?
Can You Take the GED Test Online?
The short answer is no, you cannot take the GED online.
Similar to many standardized tests, including the GRE, the GED can only be taken in person at an authorized GED test center.
Although the GED is administered on a computer, you can't take the test at home or online from anywhere other than an authorized test center. You can search for nearby test centers using the GED website test center search tool.
Unfortunately, this hasn't stopped websites from claiming to offer real GED diplomas and certificates online. Any website you come across that insists you can earn a GED online or take the GED test online is simply a scammer trying to steal your money. Don't be fooled! All they are actually offering are fake GED diplomas and certificates that are not accredited or recognized in the US or Canada.
Even the official GED website has a page warning against these GED online scams:
"If the state isn't awarding you the GED® credential or you are taking the exam online or at home, you're paying for something other than the GED® test. Don't assume a website is stating the truth when it says 'accredited.' They'll say anything to take your money! To find out if a high school or online program is recognized or accredited by your state, please contact your state's Department of Education."
So what can you do online with the GED? Though you can't take the test on your own computer, you can prep for it using online resources and classes. Read on to learn more!
The 4 Best Resources for Online GED Classes and Prep
You can't take the GED test online, but there are many (legitimate!) online GED classes you can take that are guaranteed to help you do your best on exam day. Here are some top resources you can use for online GED courses and prep.
#1: Official GED Website
By far the best resource you can use for GED prep is the official GED website.
The GED Testing Service not only has a tool to help you find in-person prep courses near you, but also offers an array of high-quality, live online GED classes. Course materials can be accessed anytime and anywhere from your computer, cell phone, or tablet.
Each live class lasts 60-90 minutes and is taught by an expert Kaplan instructor. This video shows you how these official online GED courses work:
The cost is $129 for 90-day access to all four subjects. Alternatively, you can get 45-day access to one subject for $59 (Language Arts or Math only).
If you don't want to pay a lot for a class, the GED Testing Service offers practice tests and practice question flashcards for $6-$15 per subject.
Kaplan is already a pretty famous test-prep company, but it shines extra brightly when it comes to its offerings of GED prep materials.
In addition to the live online GED classes Kaplan does in conjunction with the GED Testing Service, the company offers a self-paced online GED class for $129. This three-month course is ideal for working adults and people with kids since you can study on your own time and at your own pace.
With this course, you will get access to more than 150 instructional videos, hundreds of GED practice questions, a diagnostic test, and a final practice test.
#3: UGO Prep
If you're in a time crunch, UGO Prep offers a top-rated two-week GED online course. Online practice tests include real GED questions from previous exams and use an interface extremely similar to what you'll see on test day.
The course costs $69.99 for one-month access to the full study package for all four subjects. You can also buy add-on features, including math lecture videos ($9.99), audio lectures ($24.99), and flashcards ($14.99).
If you're not sure how long your GED prep might take you, you have the option to upgrade your package to lifetime access for $15 more—a pretty good value when you compare this price with those for the official online GED classes and Kaplan GED online course described above.
#4: Union Test Prep
If you're searching for free GED classes online, I recommend Union Test Prep. This company offers a broad array of free GED prep materials, from full practice tests to flashcards to study guides.
Though these materials aren't a GED online course in the traditional sense, you can use them to structure your own GED review sessions, going over only what you need to know.
With Union Test Prep, you're getting a comprehensive overview of the different kinds of questions and topics you can expect on the GED for all subject areas. You'll also learn about the GED format and question types.
Key Takeaways: Getting Your GED Online
The GED is a set of four subject tests that, when passed, earns you certification equivalent to a US or Canadian high school diploma. The test is exclusively administered at GED testing facilities, meaning you cannot take the GED online.
Any website or company that claims to offer the GED test or GED diplomas/certificates online is a scam and should not be trusted!
Despite this risk, the internet isn't completely worthless when it comes to GED prep. You can take online GED courses to help you prepare and review for the exam. The best online GED classes we recommend looking into are those by the GED Testing Service, Kaplan, and UGO Prep.
If you'd rather save some money, try studying with the free GED online study materials provided by Union Test Prep.
What exactly is the GED? Learn everything there is to know about this high school equivalency test, including who takes it and whether you should, too!
Looking for other GED prep resources? We have dedicated lists of the best GED prep books and GED practice tests.
What is a high school equivalency diploma? Get the scoop on how these diplomas differ from your typical high school diploma.
Not sure whether you need a high school diploma to do what you want in life? Then take a look at our comprehensive guide to how you can get a high school diploma, even if you're not in high school currently.
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Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.