Study for the GED/High School Equivalency Diploma at Home

Each state offers resources to help you succeed

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There are many options for low or no-cost GED classes. But many adults prefer not to go to a classroom to prepare for their GED. There are many reasons why that might describe you. For example, you may have obligations at home that make it tough to go out at night. You may live a long distance from a town where GED classes or offered. Or you might prefer not to learn in a public place. 

Whatever your reasons for wanting to prepare for the GED at home, you're not alone. And there are quite a few resources available to make GED preparation possible without entering a classroom.

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Start with Your State's Requirements

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Every state in the U.S. has specific requirements for earning a General Educational Development credential. Make sure you know exactly what is required of you before you begin so you don't spend time or money on study options that don't matter.

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Choose a Study Guide

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Your local bookstore and library will have a shelf full of GED/High School Equivalency study guides from various companies. Each book takes a slightly different approach to studying. Flip through each one, read a few paragraphs or chapters, and choose the one you respond best to. This book, essentially, is going to be your teacher. You'll want one that you relate to easily.

The price of these books can be on the steep side. You might find a deal in a used book store or online. Write down the title, edition, publisher, and author, and search for the book at or

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Consider an Online Class

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Online GED classes allow you to learn in the privacy of your own home, and some are very good, but choose wisely. One good place to find online GED options is on your state's Department of Education website.

Remember, too, that you must take the GED test in person at a certified testing center. Don't worry. They're in almost every city. 

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Create a Study Space

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Create a study space that helps you make the most of the time you have to study. Chances are, your life is busy. If you have kids, it's likely hectic. Make the most of your study time by creating a space that helps you study, in whatever way is best for you.

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Know What's on the Test

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Before you start studying, make sure you know what's on the test so you study the right topics. There are several parts to the test so it's important to do all that you can to prepare yourself before you actually take the test.

You may have already taken classes in some areas, and feel confident in your abilities. If so, consider taking a practice test to see whether you really need to spend time studying every topic.

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Write and Take Practice Tests

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As you study, write down questions about the facts you think might be most important. Keep a running list, and you've written your own practice test. Brilliant! It's one of the very best ways of studying. And saves time too!

Of course, you can also take online or written practice tests — and it's a great idea to do so. This will give you the confidence you need when you're ready for the real thing.

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Register for the Test When You're Ready

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Remember that you cannot take high school equivalency tests online. You must go to a certified testing center, and you must make an appointment. The best way to find the center closest to you is to check your state's adult education website. Every state has one.

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Take Your Test and Ace It

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The best way to take a test is calmly. If you're the type that stresses over tests, try one of the 10 ways to relieve stress that we have outlined. They work. Really.

You can do this. Believe in yourself.

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When you pass your test, I hope you'll realize what a wonderful accomplishment it is. Celebrate! In whatever way is meaningful to you. Whether it's a quiet night of satisfaction at home alone or with a whole bunch of your favorite people in the world. Celebrate. You've earned the equivalent of a high school diploma, and you can do anything you want with it. Congratulations!

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Help Someone Else

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Now that you know how to do it, share your knowledge and confidence with someone else you know who has always wanted to earn their GED. It's one of the greatest gifts you can give.