The Meaning of GED: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of GED? This guide will provide you with all of the information you need on the acronym GED, including its definition, usage, examples, and more!

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What does the acronym GED stand for?

According to GED and College Transfer, the term GED stands for General Educational Development Test, though it is sometimes referred to as a General Educational Diploma, or sometimes Graduate Equivalency Degree or General Equivalency Diploma. A GED is a certificate that is for people without a high school diploma. A high school diploma decrees that you have completed all of the necessary material in order to graduate high school. If someone drops out of high school, cannot finish high school, or otherwise has some other extraneous circumstances as to why they cannot complete their high school coursework, they can take the GED exam to gain the equivalent credential. If one passes the GED, they earn a high school diploma in the state that they have taken the exam in. Then, they qualify for better jobs and higher degreed. Most United States colleges and employers accept the GED as a diploma. There are over 20 million GED graduates worldwide. Someone might also choose to take the GED exam to graduate from high school early if they want to attend college or enter the workforce early. 

To take the GED, you must not be enrolled in high school and you must be at least sixteen years old. You can either take the GED in person at a  testing center, or online. There are many preparatory courses and practice tests that people can take to prepare to take the GED. The GED is broken up into four different testing sections that cover numerous different academic skills. The battery of tests includes mathematical reasoning, reasoning through language arts, science, and social studies. Each of these series of tests takes one hour. You can take one subject area at a time or take all four at once. According to GED, the math section of the exam covers basic math, geometry, algebra, and graphs and functions. The language arts section covers grammar and language, reading for meaning, and identifying and creating arguments. The social studies portion covers numerous reasoning topics related to history, and the science section covers numerous reasoning topics related to science. Testing accommodations are also offered to obtain the equivalent to a traditional high school diploma.

The GED test is a great option for high school dropouts. Without the degree that has high school equivalency, many jobs and opportunities are out of reach. However, by obtaining your GED credential, you are considered to have graduated at a high school level and have the same opportunities as high school graduates. High school seniors and juniors might even opt for the GED certificate to graduate early and complete high school to attend community colleges or enter the workforce. This high school equivalency credential gives many former high school students the opportunity to pursue higher education while they may not have been able to do so without a General Education Diploma. Contact a GED testing center or GED testing service to learn more about your eligibility.

According to The Free Dictionary, the acronym GED can also stand for a plethora of other meanings. These, however, are far less common than General Educational
Development Test. While these definitions are still valid, they are not used as frequently and should therefore be used sparingly and with caution because they could cause confusion. If you do decide to use one of these alternate definitions, ensure that you are providing the reader with proper context before using them. This was, any confusion can be eliminated. This should be standard practice when using any acronyms that have more than one meaning.

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How can the abbreviation GED be used in a sentence?

The abbreviation GED can be used in many different ways when discussing the General Educational Development test. In this example, Kaily is talking to her parents about taking the GED instead of continuing with school. 

Kaily: I think I want to take the GED. I’m sixteen now so I qualify, and I don’t think I want to go back to school in the fall.

Mom: What? You want to drop out of high school?

Kaily: I don’t consider it dropping out. I can gain the equivalent of a high school diploma two years early, and then I can start at cosmetology school like I really want to. Plus, I checked the requirements for the local cosmetology school – you have to be eighteen OR have a highschool degree or equivalent, which the GED would give me.

Dad: Won’t you miss your friends?

Kaily: We’ll still see each other, and Nat promised she’d take me to prom so I don’t feel like I’m missing out!

Overall, the acronym GED most often refers to the General Educational Development test. This is an exam that is administered to people without a high school diploma and if passed, provides the equivalent to a high school degree. Getting a gED is a great option for high school dropouts or those who want to enter higher education or the workforce early.