Is it better to finish high school or take the GED test?

Taking the GED test and getting a GED credential is a wise choice for adults who have dropped out of high school. GED exams, when done completely, can be taken in 7.5 hours. If you get good grades, you can take advantage of many opportunities when it comes to your academic and professional pursuits, such as being hired for a better-paying job, getting a promotion, or going to college. This may sound appealing, but there are advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing to earn a GED diploma versus a high school diploma.

A GED diploma is equivalent to a high school diploma. Passing the GED exam and having a GED credential means you have the same skill set as a high school student. However, there are different requirements and different outcomes related to obtaining a GED diploma and a high school diploma.

Learn the pros and cons

It seems faster to get a GED diploma. You can do this after passing an exam covering the four areas of science, math, social studies, and thinking through language arts. On the other hand, working toward your secondary education diploma allows you to have valuable life experiences. The GED test can be taken by adults ages 17 and older who have dropped out of college, and it’s ideal for those who are past the learning age for high school. Going to high school prepares students for college education and a high school diploma is accepted both in the United States as well as abroad.

The disadvantages of taking the GED are that it tends to be a difficult test and the corresponding credentials may not be accepted by schools and companies abroad. The catch of high school is that it takes a long time to complete – 4 years to be exact.

Who is the best GED test candidate?

The average age for GED test takers is 26 — mostly individuals who have been out of school for 10 years or so. They may be embarrassed to go to school to complete their secondary education or they may already have work and family commitments. For high school students who are at least 16 years old, taking the GED exam may be an alternate path to pass until they graduate.

However, the best means is to finish high school. Unless extreme situations force a student to drop out of high school, it makes sense to earn a high school diploma. If he gets stuck in the dilemma of either finishing high school or taking the GED, it’s a smart decision to talk with a school counselor first.

Think wisely before making a decision

Thus, if one has the ability and means to finish high school, it is wise to do so. Attending and finishing high school provides a student with useful life and work experiences that help in his healthy social development as well. In the same way, although a GED credential is considered equivalent to a high school diploma, employers still prefer to hire an applicant who holds the latter.

These are the benefits and downsides of a GED certificate versus a high school diploma. Think wisely and seek sensible advice before deciding which choice to make.

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