When you don't have a GED diploma, you may feel that you're getting passed over when it comes to employment or promotions. Getting a GED diploma is a good steppingstone toward further success, but you don't want to spend a lot of time getting it. Some companies may offer you opportunities to get a GED diploma quickly, but unless you're getting one from your state, after taking the test at an official test center, be wary of scams.
Take the Test
If you've only recently dropped out of high school, you may have retained enough knowledge to pass the test without a lot of preparation. Sign up to take the next exam at your local test center to see how you do. At the time of publication, in order to pass, you must have an average score of 450 out of 800 on each section, with none of the sections dipping below a score of 410. If you can do better than this, you'll have your GED diploma in no time at all.
Retake Failed Portions
You don't have to retake the entire test if you passed some portions of it. Instead, note your weak areas and study for them prior to the next test. GED Testing Service will combine your old scores with your new ones. It's important to know, however, that the format of the GED test is changing in January 2014, and that scores from tests taken before 2014 will not be combined with scores from tests taken after the change becomes effective. If the change is approaching, you may be better off waiting to take the test unless you're relatively certain you will pass on the first attempt.
Take a Fast-Paced Course
Free courses abound at adult learning centers or community colleges. However, these may take too long for you. Instead, look for a school that offers condensed GED preparation. The classes may be shorter and they pack more information into less time, but you won't have to spend as much time sitting in class.
Resources for self-study are readily available for free. Your library should have GED preparation books that you can take home. New York's Department of Education recommends Kentucky Educational Television's Literacy Link, KhanAcademy.com and TeachersDomain.org, as well as the practice tests available at GEDPractice.com. When you're studying on your own rather than in a classroom, you're able to go through the material at your own pace, as well as to focus only on the areas where you need the most help.
Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.