Bridge Insights

A Crash Course in GED Testing

Sep 3, 2020

Your schooling and education level plays a large role in the types of opportunities available to you. For someone who finds themself without a high school diploma, finding a job and starting a career can feel like it’s virtually impossible.

Maybe you didn’t realize how important it was until your job searches and interviews were being affected by not having a high school diploma. Maybe something happened that kept you from completing high school. Maybe you never had the opportunity. Whatever the reason you find yourself without a high school diploma, you are a hard worker who wants to make a difference. You deserve to be in a position where you can support yourself and be happy.

Unfortunately, one piece of paper often prevents you from getting your foot in the door.

If this situation sounds familiar, investing in your future and pursuing a GED could help open doors to the professional opportunities you have been looking for.

[blockquotes color=”blue” logo=”yes”]  In short, having a GED usually translates into higher earning potential. blockquotes]

What is a GED?

GED stands for General Educational Development. It is viewed the same as a high school diploma but is earned after your high school eligibility has expired or after having officially withdrawn from high school.

Why Bother Getting my GED?

A GED can open professional doors that require a high school education and allow you to pursue higher degrees of education like an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. In short, having a GED usually translates into higher earning potential.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The median usual weekly earnings for adults age 25 and over that lack a high school diploma is $493, compared to $678, for workers who have a diploma. That’s an annual difference of $9,620.”

What is the Process Like?

You can register online at Many community colleges offer adult education courses for GED Test Preparation. The test can be taken in English or Spanish, and all four modules must be completed in order to receive a GED.

The test can be taken three times consecutively – if a student fails the first two attempts. A third failing grade will result in a 60-day waiting period before a student can retake the exam.

What Coursework am I Missing?

The four tests composing the GED exam are:

  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Some states, like Illinois, also include an exam covering the state and U.S. constitutions.

[blockquotes color=”highlight” logo=”yes”]Looking for Open Positions?

How Do I Know if I Qualify?

 You are eligible to take a GED exam if you are:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Did not graduate high school or are not enrolled in a secondary school
  • A resident of the state you live in

Seventeen-year-olds can be eligible for the test if they meet certain criteria.

How Much Does it Cost?

There are fees associated with taking the GED exam. Currently, the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) lists the cost of an exam at $30 per module, so testing for the four modules, that comes to a total of $120.

Also, according to the (ICCB), GED® preparation classes are offered free of charge at local adult education programs.

For more information call 1-800-321-9511 or you can visit the Program Locator. GED® study materials are also available through the MyGED® portal at

Additionally, free resources exist in the form of practice tests, quizzes and online classes.

Where Do I Go to Take My Test? has a list of all the GED exam centers in the state of Illinois.

Investing in Your Future

Getting a GED can open professional doors to help you improve your earning potential and your quality of life. The GED is a feasible option for any teen or adult who did not graduate high school. Earning one can make a noticeable difference in your life. The preparation is free and the test is relatively inexpensive, so why wait?

Sometimes, things happen that can delay your personal and professional goals, but a GED is always an option to help you achieve what you want in life!

Additional Resources