General Question

skateangel's avatar

What is the real difference between a GED and high school diploma?

Asked by skateangel (321points) January 26th, 2012

I know they’re supposed to be the same but I don’t get how GED students learn everything in a few months (at least) that high school students take four years to learn. Which one is the better way to go?
Does the GED really teach as much as high school? I’ve been wanting to get a ged but it’s just the long test freaks me out…What do you think?

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10 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Some universities don’t recognize a GED and they like students to have credit and high grades in specific diploma classes. Like Math, English and Science… The one I wanted to go to needed five five credit classes at a minimum grade level… So I went first to Business school and I found out the I needed Grade 12 English, Math, and two five credit classes in Sciences. So I retook all of my High School classes and Got a High School Diploma and then eventually made it to a private university with a C average. I need to get a Higher Higher School average of 70 – 90% and pass Physics and Chemistry in order to take any Science classes in the university that I want to go to. After 10 years I still don’t have the marks and I am learning on my own by purchasing my books on my own.

As to the content of the course material I think they use the same textbooks.

Aethelflaed's avatar

The GED isn’t a set of courses, it’s a test that certifies that you have the same level of knowledge and competence as someone with an American or Canadian high school diploma. There are GED prep courses that you can take, but you don’t have to.

The GED is less prestigious. While it’s often not based in reality, people tend to think that people with GEDs are failures, losers, high school dropouts. Entry-level employers are usually fine with the GED, but higher paying jobs often want more (like a college degree). You can almost always get into community college with a GED, but 4 year schools can have their own rules, especially private ones, so some with GEDs have to take classes at a community college and then transfer to a 4-year school. Each military branch has a cap on how many GED applicants they’ll accept a year.

Jeruba's avatar

A high school diploma signifies that you have completed a prescribed curriculum with passing grades. A GED signifies that you have received a passing score in tests of various areas of knowledge; it says nothing about how or when you acquired the knowledge or how long it took. A few months? Where did you get that idea?

I think you’re better off obtaining the knowledge at a reasonable learning pace, systematically and under the guidance of an instructor. But I appreciate the fact that some people, especially older people who lack degrees, do know a lot more than their formal academic record shows, and the GED is an alternate way to gain certification for your knowledge. Cramming to pass a test and then forgetting it is not the idea at all.

Moegitto's avatar

A High School Diploma shows you completed the guidelines for completion of the high school curriculum. A GED is a certificate that means you completed a test that proves you understand the material that would have been in the current HS curriculum. Basically a HS degree is first hand and a GED is second hand education. There are alot of opportunities that are blocked out by a GED. Your not supposed to be able to join the military with one, there was a period where they would, but it’s actually regulation that a GED isn’t acceptable. Like someone said, most colleges won’t accept a GED, even though the ones that do require alot of extra testing to prove you would be able to make it.

jazmina88's avatar

My nephew just got his GED. He had night school for 6 weeks before he took the test. There are online practice tests and study guides.
It’s a good idea.

DaphneT's avatar

My nephew had to decide between a GED or completing high school. If you are of the age to still be accepted into high school, you should look into what is required of you there. If a GED is necessary, then talk to the GED guidance people to find out what it would really entail for you. No matter which option you choose, if tests are a problem, let the guidance people know, they’ll be able to help you sort out the options. Their goal is to get you into good paying jobs, higher education, get on with your life.

As for whether one teaches more than the other, or conversely do you learn more from one than the other, that entirely depends on you. Without either you are faced with the school of super hard knocks, but you’ve done some high school and therefore can identify the elements that gave you difficulty. If you develop a plan for dealing with those elements you’ll be able to succeed at any form of education. Good luck to you.

Blueroses's avatar

I do some tutoring for GED students through the Adult Education Community Outreach Center and it is not easy. People work hard to achieve their goals and they deserve praise for doing it.

It isn’t true that most colleges and universities reject the GED. Out of 200 major schools in the country that students have wanted to apply for through the AECO, only 6 would not accept a GED in place of a diploma. Among the schools that do accept it are Harvard, Princeton and Yale as well as most State Universities.

The caveat is that many of those schools also want to see a wide variety of extracurricular activities, and those you will not get outside of school unless you work hard at various community service organizations.

YARNLADY's avatar

If you are an avid reader and accumulate a lot of random knowledge, you can pass your GED as soon as the testing facility will let you take it. There are no “required” courses to take.

The value of a high school diploma is the curriculum the school district chooses to use, and the socialization factor.

skateangel's avatar

Oh I see.. what do you think about online high school diplomas like Kaplan?
I know it’d be longer but I wish I had a complete knowledge
that most people my age have..
I’m just embarrased that I don’t:/

Akua's avatar

I have several friends who were homeschooled. These friends were learning things that aren’t even taught in high school (college level literature, calculus, anatomy and physiology, arabic) . They were extremely advanced academically but because they wanted to advance their education and/or get a job and there were no academic records they had to take the GED exam. As for the Military, I went to the military with a GED many years ago. They also gave me the ASVAB exam to see just how much I knew and what NOS would suit me in the military and I aced the exam.

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