Once you turn sixteen, in the United States, you have many choices ahead of you in regards to your education. Some of them include whether or not you plan to attend college, and if you do which university would you like to attend. But before you even consider college there are two other options that present themselves, for your future education: high school diploma or GED. Both of these offer advantages, but there are also disadvantages associated with each option so it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks before choosing which path to take.
Details of getting your high school diploma.
Most young people understand that a high school diploma requires you to stay in school until you’re 18, but it isn’t nearly as simple as that. The requirements for high school graduation are slightly different in each state, but in general there are a given set of classes and tests that students need to show competency in before they are awarded their diploma. Most high schools will have a required schedule for their students that includes classes in English, math, science and social studies. Each high school is different but most of them require the same general courses to graduate with honors or regular diplomas. Most high schools require a different number of credits but the majority of schools fall from 24 to 36 to complete a program and get a degree.
Some high schools go beyond just having basic requirements when it comes to graduating from high school. Some high schools also require state prescribed tests for most subjects to show that students have met a minimum level of competency in each subject.
What about a GED?
The GED is a certificate awarded based on a national battery of tests that show that you have the knowledge of the average high school graduate. You can take the GED anytime after your 16th birthday. The General Educational Development Test, or GED, is made of four tests in different subject areas. You can take all of the tests in one day, or you can take each test individually depending on how you arrange your schedule and how you feel about testing. Once you have passed each of the tests, you will be awarded a GED certificate and will no longer have to attend or complete high school.
One major difference between a high school diploma and a GED is that the GED can be completed at any time in your life. Most high schools in the US don’t let students over the age of 21 attend, unless there are special circumstances like an intellectual disability. While you can take your GED as early as 16, there are no limits on the upper end of age for completing it so you can literally take the GED at any time in your life when you feel that it would be beneficial to have the certificate.
How you can choose the best option for you
1. How are you currently doing academically?
It’s probably a good idea to consider your current academic standing when you are thinking about whether a high school diploma or GED is the best path for you. If it has been many years since you were in school, the GED is probably your only current option. Conversely, if you only have a few months left in high school, it may take longer for you to study and test for a GED than it would to finish your coursework. Taking into account your academic progress is important when deciding on your future education options.
2. Think about all of your responsibilities.
Going to a traditional high school takes up as much time as a full time job, and doesn’t allow for much flexibility in your schedule. Considering factors like your schedule and perhaps your work responsibilities may help determine whether a GED or high school degree is your best option.
3. Keep in mind your career goals.
It can also be useful to consider your career goals when determining whether a GED or high school diploma is right for you. Some colleges will consider a GED to be equivalent to a high school diploma, whereas others might require an actual diploma. Consider your career goals and the associated academic requirements to guide you in your decision. A high school diploma also offers the ability to develop important life skills. In high school, students have the opportunity to learn problem-solving, teamwork, organization and project management skills.
As you grow older, there are many decisions in your life that have lasting impact. One of the most important things can be based on education. If you are unsure which option may be your best choice, you might want to consider ordering replica certificates (both high school diploma and GED) to see which feels better for your lifestyle. ValidGrad offers fast shipping on high-quality replica diplomas, so that you can see what it feels like to hold each, and maybe even use it for inspiration moving forward in your education.