Pursuing the General Education Diploma, or GED, in Illinois can prepare students in many ways for the workforce or in furthering their education. Going after this certificate shows ambition, an ability to apply yourself, study habits and a grasp of critical thinking, math and other rudimentary skills.

Getting a GED in Illinois can open doors that can lead to job security and higher-paying positions as you navigate your chosen career path.

GED in Illinois

The minimum age to take the GED in Illinois is 17. The exam fee is $120. You have to prove that you are a state resident to take the GED in Illinois.

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The exam is only offered at certified exam centers. The GED in Illinois is not offered online at home. Aside from the GED, Illinois also accepts HiSet and TASC high school equivalency testing results.

What Is on the GED?

Before you crack open a study guide, you should understand what is on the 115-minute test. The GED has four subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Reasoning through language arts

In Illinois, a student taking the GED must also pass the Constitution test in order to pass the high school equivalency qualifications. The minimum score for passing the GED is 150. There are no specific GED test dates, but you must take the test at an official test center.

Studying for the GED

There are many resources that focus on specific subjects of the GED. GED study guides are plentiful and can help you to focus on areas where you feel less confident in your grasp of the subject. You can receive a free GED study guide by mail.

If you struggle with math, pick up one of the many GED guides that break down the math section of the GED. Flashcards and online tests can help you to prepare for the test before you sit down at a testing center.

Prepare to Take the GED

Before scheduling a GED test, make sure the date works for you and you have time off from work, school or any familial obligations. Go to MyGED.com and create a free account before calling a testing center.

MyGED has a large amount of resources that can assist you in passing the test with a high grade. With study guides, practice tests and answers to questions that are commonly asked, take the time to take advantage of all this helpful site has to offer.

Retaking the GED

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t fret. Some students falter the first time they sit down to take the GED. The test can be taken up to three times with no waiting period. Once you’ve taken the test three times, you will have to wait 60 days before you are eligible to retake the test.

To retake the GED, the cost is $30. There is no limit to how many times students can test in a year to get a score they find suitable for their next pursuit.

Benefits of a GED

More than just a slip of paper or letters on your job or college application, a GED is a symbol of your ability to pursue and achieve a personal goal to a successful end.

Once you pass the GED, it can:

  • Help you get into higher education institutions to further your career goals.

  • Increase your earning potential with a current employer.

  • Be accepted to training programs such as those for electrical linemen, to culinary school or to community college to pursue a lucrative career.

If you are homeschooled, a GED can allow you to gain early entrance to a college or training program. Students who would prefer to graduate early can skip their final semester or even year of high school and take the GED to start their pursuit of higher learning or a vocation.

Things Needed

  • Identification (Driver's License or Passport or State I.D.)
  • $50 testing fee
  • GED Application Form (available at ICCB website)
  • Letter of withdrawal from previous school (if you withdrew in past 12 months)

About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.