When immigrants enter the United States, they may find that the educational credentials they earned in their home countries are not valid, according to the American Council on Education. Refugees may not have proof that they earned their educational certificates because they were not able to take them when they fled their homes. And some immigrants arrive in the United States with limited educational backgrounds. Obtaining a GED (general equivalency diploma) is necessary to help them obtain better jobs or enter college.

Locate an local adult education center. The adult education center is designed to help adults learn English and study for the GED. Teachers and staff at these centers understand the time commitments of jobs and parenting that adult immigrants face, and the educational programs are tailored to help them succeed.

If English is not your first language, it will be necessary to attend English as a Second Language classes before enrolling in GED classes at the adult education center.

Check out books and study materials from the library in preparation for the GED to study on your own or supplement your classroom studies. There are online resources (see below) that have sample GED questions as well.

Attend classes regularly and ask questions. Teachers are there to help, and there are often volunteer tutors available at adult education centers who can help immigrant students succeed in earning their GEDs.

Register for the GED test. Information on registering for the test is available at the American Council of Education's GED website, or you can call your local adult education center for more information. The GED test cannot be taken on the Internet, as some online sites will lead students to believe. Students must take the test at a designated place and time as determined by the GED program.


Before deciding to study on your own, make sure to assess whether you learn best in a classroom environment or on your own. To prepare for the GED on your own, you need to be very self-motivated and fluent in English.

Be wary of online and distance education courses that say they will give out high school diplomas if the student completes the program. The American Council on Education warns against these types of programs. Many are scams. Be sure that the program or school you enroll in is accredited by the state's department of education (see reference 3).

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