How long does it take to get a GED - Early Finder

How long does it take to get a GED

For many adults, obtaining a GED (General Educational Development) credential becomes a pivotal step along their career or higher education path. A GED certifies that an individual has high school-level academic skills and knowledge without requiring full completion of a traditional high school program. While GED programs and study options are flexible, prospective test takers often wonder – how long does it take to prepare for and earn a GED? Key considerations exist when mapping out a GED timeline, from registering for the exam to building the necessary skills. With motivated preparation and focus, adults from all backgrounds can work toward success on the GED exam. This process takes two to three months for most learners. By understanding the exam structure, preparation timelines, registration requirements, and benefits of earning this important credential, adults can chart their course and unlock greater opportunities.Early Finder

Getting a GED Can Open Doors to Your Future

Many adults who did not complete high school need a high school equivalency credential later in life. According to the GED Testing Service, more than 20 million GED diplomas have been issued since the test was first offered in 1942. A GED can expand your career opportunities, help you pursue higher education, and increase your earning potential. If you’re considering getting a GED, here’s what you need to know about how long the process takes from start to finish.

How the GED Exam Works

The GED (General Educational Development) exam is a standardized test that measures skills and knowledge equivalent to a high school diploma. The GED test covers four main subject areas:

  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies

The exam is administered on a computer and takes about 7.5 hours. It is broken up into four sections that test each subject area separately. Most states require you to pass each section with a score of 145-164 to earn your GED credential.How long does it take to get a GED

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Preparation Time Varies

How long it takes you to prepare for the GED depends on several factors, including your current skill levels and how much time you can dedicate to studying each week. Many GED seekers need 60-90 hours of study time to prepare adequately. This equates to roughly 2-3 months if you study 10 hours weekly.

Some students progress faster, while others need more time to build skills and confidence. Attending adult education GED prep classes can help streamline the process, as you’ll study each subject in a structured environment with an instructor guiding you. Self-guided studying also works for many adult learners but requires discipline and self-motivation.

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Building Math and Reading Skills

The Reasoning Through Language Arts and Mathematical Reasoning sections of the GED exam tend to require the most preparation time for many students. If your math and reading skills are strong, you may be able to prepare for the GED more rapidly. Planning for a lengthier study timeline is wise if these areas need improvement.

Don’t worry if you struggled with these subjects in high school. GED prep programs and study guides are designed to help you build skills step-by-step. Use practice tests and worksheets to pinpoint your weak areas, then spend more time studying those concepts. With diligent practice, your math and reading comprehension abilities will strengthen.

The GED Registration Process

Before you can sit for the official GED exam, you’ll need to complete a few administrative steps:

  • Research your state’s requirements and age regulations for earning a GED. In most states, you must be at least 16-18.
  • Create an account on and apply to take the GED in your state. There is a one-time fee.
  • Schedule your exam date(s) and testing location(s). Exams can be taken online or in person.
  • Provide identification and other documentation required by your state on exam day.

This registration process typically takes 1-3 weeks to complete fully. Build this time into your GED timeline if you have not registered yet. Some states may have a waiting period before you can retake sections, so it pays to prepare the first time around thoroughly.

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Earning Your GED Opens Doors

Investing the time to earn a GED credential provides benefits that can last a lifetime. With a GED, you’ll have access to more job opportunities, the option to apply for vocational training programs, and the ability to pursue a college degree. While the length of time needed to prepare for the GED exam varies for each person, this achievable milestone is well within reach with perseverance and commitment. Let the potential of your future motivate you as you embark on your GED journey. With an organized study plan and determination to succeed, you’ll be prepared to pass the GED and accomplish your goals.

How do I get my GED for free online?

Getting your GED (General Education Development) credential online for free can be challenging, but some resources are available to help you achieve this. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Research free online GED programs: Several online programs offer free GED preparation courses and practice tests. Some of the popular ones include,, and Khan Academy. Check out their websites to see if they offer free GED courses.
  2. Check with your local library: Many libraries offer free GED preparation classes and resources. They may also partner with online GED programs that offer free course access.
  3. Look for scholarships and grants: Some organizations offer scholarships and grants to cover the cost of GED testing and preparation courses. Check with organizations such as the National College Transition Network, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
  4. Utilize free GED study materials: There are a variety of free study materials available online, including practice tests, study guides, and video tutorials. Check out websites such as,, and GED Study Guide Zone.
  5. Consider taking the GED test in person: While the GED test is typically administered in person, some testing centres may offer online options. Check with your local testing centre to see if they offer online testing and what the requirements are.

Keep in mind that while resources are available to help you prepare for the GED for free, there may be some costs associated with taking the test. Be sure to research the requirements and costs for testing in your area.

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Earning a GED can be a significant milestone that opens new doors professionally, academically, and personally. While the time needed to prepare depends heavily on your current skill levels and study regimen, focus your energy on developing the math, reading, science, and social studies abilities needed to pass. An organized preparation plan can build your knowledge and confidence in about 2-3 months. Stay driven by keeping your eyes on the prize – the considerable opportunities a GED credential can provide, from rewarding careers to advanced education. Approach the GED exam with dedication and a vision for how this achievement can improve your life. Be patient with yourself throughout the process, seek help when needed, and celebrate your commitment to reaching this important goal. The investment of time and effort will pay dividends for years to come.

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