GED vs. High School Diploma Which One is Right For You

GED vs. High School Diploma: Which One Is Right For You?

A high school diploma and a GED credential basically mean one thing: that you possess high school-level knowledge and skills. It means you’re ready for college or for a job that requires you to have high school education.

Earning a high school diploma means finishing the four years of high school by getting a passing grade in all your classes and subjects. As simple as it may sound, not every student can complete high school for various reasons.

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Why High School Students Drop Out

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A 2015 Statistic Brain data reveals over 3 million students drop out of high school each year. The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network at Clemson University cites school-related, family-related, and employment-related reasons why students drop out of high school.

Here are common reasons why a student might not be able to complete high school:

  1. Missed too many school days due to illness
  2. Could not catch up with schoolwork
  3. Conflict with students or teachers
  4. Early pregnancy or parenthood
  5. Need to work to support the family
  6. Boredom
  7. Lack of parental support
  8. Financial problems

When students drop out, the next option is to complete the GED, the only high school equivalency credential that all the 50 states recognize. The GED only tests four subjects: math, science, social students, and reasoning through language arts and it takes just over 7 hours to complete. However, you can schedule each subject on different days. You need to be at least 17 years old to take the test. Also, you should not be currently enrolled in high school.

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Where the Real Difference Lies

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While both credentials mean that you have the skills and knowledge of someone who completed high school, colleges and employers often ask you why you took the GED. And this is where the real difference lies. What you want your future college or employer to know is you have the right reasons for taking the GED.

It’s important that you are able to provide a good reason why you chose GED instead of completing your high school years.

For example, if you quit high school because of money problems, you can tell future employers that you’re taking the GED to improve your chances of getting into college. You can also tell them that you’re doing this to boost your chances of landing a better job. This gives them the impression that you are a responsible and driven individual.

Sometimes, students take the GED to complete high school and consequently finish their university education earlier. If you are thinking of doing this, it is best to talk to consult your school’s guidance counselor. This will give you a clear picture of the pros and cons of your options.

Once you have made the decision to take the GED, don’t just aim for a passing score, especially if you’re planning to take it to get into a good college or university. Some schools require scores that are above the passing rate. Prepare for the test by reviewing GED study guides, attending Online GED classes and taking practice tests.

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7 Top Jobs For GED Graduates: Earn Six Figure Income Without A College Degree

Don’t lose hope if you aren’t able to acquire a college degree. You have other options (and they’re not that discouraging) even if going to college is not possible for you. Deemed to be an equivalent of a high school diploma is a GED certificate, and with it, you can avail of opportunities to earn six-figure salaries. What are the top jobs for GED graduates?

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  • Working As An Electrician

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It’s these people who basically keep the lights working, so their job is just as important. A career in electrical troubleshooting can bring in a good amount of income. Even if you don’t have experience, you can learn through on-the-job training in an apprenticeship as an entry-level worker. Working as an electrician can have you earning a median yearly wage of $51,110, as indicated in 2014 data. If you’re good in your job and belong to the top 10% tier, the figure can rise to an annual income of more than $85,000.

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  • A Career As A Loan Officer

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What do loan officers do? These individuals are the ones who make decisions whether an applicant is financially fit to pay a loan back. If you’re interested in obtaining this career in the financial services industry, you can earn up to $62,620 of median annual salary, according to statistics gathered in 2014. The top 10% of those performing this job can gain a yearly income of $128,390. 

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  • Doing The Work Of A farmer

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What farmers do is supervising the crop production as well as the ranging process, from the planting task to fertilizing, along with harvesting and herding. Selecting and purchasing machinery and fertilizer supplies, among others, is part of the job. Agricultural managers, ranchers, and farmers can make a median yearly wage of $68,050 in 2014. The top 10% of these workers can earn as much as $121,690 of annual salary.

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  • A Job As A Power Plant Operator

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For some people, it can be exciting to work in a power plant wherein they operate pertinent equipment and troubleshoot and repair malfunctions and perform equipment maintenance. Those working as power plant operators, dispatchers and distributors can make $72.910 of mean annual salary in 2014 with those belonging in the top 10% earning approximately $97,300 yearly.

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  • Performing The Job Of An Elevator Installer

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What does an elevator installer or repairman do? It’s these people who take over when an elevator, escalator or other lifting equipment need to be installed, fixed or maintained. Part of their task is to identify and repair testing equipment in case they malfunction. As an elevator installer or repairman, you can earn a yearly median income of $78,620 in 2014. Being in the top 10% tier of this career can have you making $109,450 of annual wages.

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  • Enjoying A Career As A Commercial Pilot


As a high school or GED diploma holder, you can enjoy a career in aviation. Being a pilot can be a dream job where you get to enjoy traveling and piloting commercial airplanes. There’ll be plenty of new places to visit and get to know interesting folks at the same time. Other than your high school or GED certificate, you need to get hold of a commercial pilot’s license which is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. In 2014, it was indicated that a commercial pilot can earn a median annual pay of $103,390, with the top 10% of these employees earning $187,200 of yearly income.

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  • Doing The Job Of An Air Traffic Controller

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If the hustling and bustling of the airport is your thing, you’ll enjoy a career as an air traffic controller. What are the requirements of being an air traffic controller? Primarily, you have to be a U.S. citizen, obtain training from the Federal Aviation Administration Academy before your 31st birthday and pass your medical and security evaluation. Make sure that you pass the pre-employment test, too. According to the FAA, you can find employment opportunities as an air traffic controller at the USA jobs website. As an air traffic control specialist, you can avail of a median yearly salary of $122,340 (2014 statistics) and over $172,000 if you belong to the top 10% of these workers.

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ACT Test

5 Quick Tips For Reading ACT Science Passages

What’s in the ACT Science test? Many students wonder if they have to know a lot of scientific theories and principles in order to ace the science section of the ACT. It sounds daunting. The fact, however, is that the ACT Science test is not so much about science, but rather about reading. So if you want to get a high score in this particular test, you have to be keen on your reading skills. Get effective tips for reading ACT Science passages:

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Reading Approaches For Data Representation And Research Summary Passages

act dates1. Skip reading the passage but go over the questions first. This tip suggests that you first read the questions and answer them based on the data presented in charts, graphs, and other visuals. Try to answer as many questions that you can refer to in the visuals. If ever you come across questions that need more information, skip them for the time being. Go back to responding to them by skimming through the passage. This reading strategy for the ACT Science passages is one of the best approaches. Consider that you only have 52.5 seconds to answer each question in the ACT Science test. By far, this is the most efficient reading technique to cope with the limited time.

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2. Skim through the passage then proceed to read the questions. As a second-best reading strategy for the ACT Science passages, you can use this technique if you need to answer questions based on context. As you skim through the passage, look for keywords that provide clues to what it is about. Some of these keywords may indicate trends, examples of which are increase or decrease, or keywords that imply differences, such as big or small, and high or low. Encircle these keywords as you encounter them along the way of your skimming. These are the key terms that are typically asked for in Data Representation and Research Summaries passages. There may be times when you’ll find it difficult to understand complicated terms, but you’ll likely understand their meanings better as you read the question.

3. Start by reading the entire passage. You only resort to using this strategy only if the first two approaches don’t work. For one thing, it will consume an ample amount of time if you read the whole passage. There are numerous items wherein you can arrive at the correct answer by referring to the visuals first or by skimming through the passage. Remember that there are 7 passages featured in the ACT Science test, and you have to be very quick in your reading. If you plan to use this approach (reading the whole passage), you have to complete reading the total passage in less than 2 minutes. You need to allocate 3 minutes in answering the questions, which gives you about 5 minutes to tackle each passage completely. You can also check out  our ACT Reading Practice Test here.

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Reading Strategy For Conflicting Viewpoints Passage

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4. Begin with reading the complete passage. This is actually not an applicable strategy for reading Data Representation and Research Summary passages, but it is effective for reading the Conflicting Viewpoints passage. You need to be able to distinguish the viewpoints of scientists and students, so you need to read the whole passage so that you can answer all of the questions.

Apparently, you need to know the complete information included in the Conflicting Viewpoints passage to be able to respond correctly to the ensuing questions. You shouldn’t miss the key information that’s necessary to fill in the right bubble, that’s why reading the full passage is the most effective strategy in tackling the Conflicting Viewpoints passage of the ACT Science section.

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5. Skim through the questions then proceed to read the passage. Primarily, you only use this technique if you want to scan through the questions first to know what to expect to read in the passage. The first strategy (mentioned above) is nonetheless more effective. This second strategy for reading the Conflicting Viewpoints passage may slow you down. Then again, every test-taker is unique, so in your practice test, go by the reading strategy that makes you arrive at the correct answer faster, whether strategy #1 or strategy #2 in reading the Conflicting Viewpoints passage.

Want to try these strategies? Take the ACT Science practice test and give these strategies a go.

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