Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.
Practice Tests and Prep Classes to Help You Pass the GED
Are you looking for GED online classes and practice tests? There are free practice test sites, and a few free online prep courses to help you get your GED. In this article, I describe the ones I recommend most to students.
What is the GED?
The tests of GED, General Educational Development, are administered by the American Council of Education (ACE). They were originally developed for the Army after World War II as a way for veterans who left high school for the service to show their knowledge and get employment after the war.
Many states use the GED as a key requirement for an HSE certificate or diploma. Because of that, the state diploma or certificate is usually referred to as the "GED" as well. So you often hear the GED called a General Education Diploma.
But testing requirements have changed over time and vary by state. Many states provide options for other types of exams such as HiSET or TASC.
A few states do not accept the GED. Be sure to check your state's education website, local community college, or Adult Basic Education (ABE) Center to see which tests your state accepts.
The GED Tests
There are actually four GED tests. They cover high school-level knowledge and skills in:
- Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA)
- Mathematical Reasoning
- Social Studies
All of the tests are now taken on computers at testing centers. ACE GED Testing Service, which administers all GED tests, provides answers to frequently asked questions about these tests, as well as free practice questions and tips on taking the tests. Just register for free on ged.com
Free Online Test Prep Classes
Each state offers on-site classroom prep courses to help you prepare. But only a few, such as Kentucky, offer free online GED test prep courses. Check your state's education website, nearby community college, or adult education center.
Your Local Public Library
Another source for free online courses is your local public library.
If you don't already have one, get a library card and login account. They're free. Before you go to the library to set up your account, call them to find out what proof of residency they require you to bring in.
After you have your card, ask the librarian how to login and use their adult learning resources. Ask specifically where their site has online GED prep materials. Then you're all set to login from home and take your GED prep class online!
For instance, my library has an online GED course on one part of the website and GED practice tests on a different part of their site. My library also offers online books to help prepare students for the GED tests.
Many large businesses, especially restaurant chains and grocers, will pay for GED prep classes and practice tests taken through ged.com. As of this writing, Walmart, Taco Bell, and KFC are a few of the businesses that do this. So check with your employer to see if they will pay for your prep classes and practice tests.
GED Practice Tests
In addition to taking an online course, you should also take a couple of full-length, timed practice tests in each of the four subjects. The results of the practice tests will indicate how likely your chances are of passing the actual tests.
First, take a sample short test in each subject on the GED website. This GED site has more details about each test. Their sample tests will help you learn the computerized test format. Then try a free full-length practice test from one of these sources:
- Your library's online test prep website.
- 4Tests - offers practice exams in all four subject area.
- McGraw Hill - GED Math practice test.
- Best Classes for GED Prep - timed practice tests in all four subjects.
- GEDPracticeTest.net - practice tests in all subject areas, and an essay sample response.
You will have access on your GED test computer screen to a TI30-XS calculator for portions of your Math, Science, and Social Studies tests. Review GED's Calculator Tutorial so that you will understand how to use it during your test.
More Free GED Study Help
If your practice tests show you need more prep on specific topics, these sites have good study resources. Although not specific to GED, they are excellent for test prep.
- The Five Paragraph Essay Wizard - For the writing portions of the Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA) test, you'll find some helpful instruction and examples.
- Khan Academy - Excellent online courses in math, science, US history, government, economics, and world history. Registration is free and optional, but it enables you to keep track of your progress with the online lessons and practice.
- cK12.org - Study materials in science, math and English (Language Arts).
How Should I Prepare for My GED?
There truly is no "best way". But the important thing is to get started.
- Find out your state's requirements and if you meet the qualifications.
- Take a GED pretest and find out what you need to work on. Focus on that.
- Study, practice, test, study.
- Take two timed practice tests in each subject. If you don't pass at least one, don't waste you money yet on the official test.
- Take the Math and Language Arts tests first. You need the skills in those subjects to do well on Science and Social Studies tests.
- Schedule you test at the local testing center.
Where Do I Take the GED Tests?
You can only take the tests on site at an ACE-approved testing center. There are more than 3,400 testing centers around the country. Check with your local Adult Education program to find the GED testing center closest to you.
While there are many free resources to help you prep for GED tests, you must pay to take the tests. The cost varies widely by state and can also differ from one testing center to another in the same state.
If you had a documented learning disability in school, notify your testing center. They may provide some accommodations for your test-taking. You will have to submit a request for accommodations, depending on the type of disability.
What if I don't pass a GED test?
Don't get down on yourself! About 30% of candidates do not pass one or more of the tests. You do not have to retake all the testa. You can retest in the content area you need twice more in one year. You may have to pay an additional fee to re-take a test.
Your chances of passing are much greater if you take and pass at least two official practice tests (OPT) for each content area.
Determine your area(s) of weakness from your test results. Then study that topic more, take and pass two official practice tests in that subject, then try again.
What are the requirements for a HSE certificate or diploma?
Once you have passed your GED tests, you may need to complete other requirements to get your HSE diploma. These vary by state. For example, Illinois requires that you pass an exam in US and state government, as well as the GED.
Some states permit students as young as 16 to take the GED tests. Others require you to be at least 18 years old. Check your state's education website to find out if you meet the requirements. Then apply for your diploma!
Do you have a high school education? - Diploma, GED, not there yet?
Some GED Inspiration and Advice
Have you used any of these GED prep and pre test sites? - Which were most helpful to you?
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on April 16, 2020:
Not that I am aware of. Bangladesh requires you take a course from an approved GED provider. Those courses are not free, to the best of my knowledge.
PTE in Dhaka from DHAKA on April 16, 2020:
Is there any scope to conduct GED for students in Bangladesh with collaboration with any of the GED schools.
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on December 09, 2019:
First, go to your nearest public library. Ask them how to get to the free online courses. If you don't already have one, they'll give you a library card. You'll use the number on the card to sign on to use the courses.
Then you'll have to take the four tests. Contact your local community college to find out where the nearest testing center is.
If you tell me the city and state you live in, I can give you more specific info.
Hayden on December 09, 2019:
How do I get my geld on here
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on November 06, 2019:
Hi Jacob. What city are you in?
Jacob on November 06, 2019:
Any idea where to get free GED prep classes in New York?
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on October 28, 2019:
Tell me the city and state you live in Marie, and I'll do my best to point you in the right direction.
Marie paul on October 28, 2019:
Need help to take GED class online
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on December 01, 2018:
Kudos to you Lee! North Carolina's community college system offers GED prep classes. Many offer them online. You will need to take a pre-test at your local college first and complete some basic paperwork. To find the nearest college to you, look here: https://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/about-us/main-...
and there's more info here:
Lee on December 01, 2018:
I live in North Carolina and want to do online classes but can't afford most sites
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on August 25, 2018:
In Michigan, you can take one of 3 sets of tests to get you High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma: GED, HiSET, or TASC. The program is administered by Michigan's Workforce Development Agency. Here is their website:
Michigan offers a GED-to-School program to encourage you to continue on with your education after the GED. In this program, they will provide preparation classes for the GED. And you can take the tests for the first time for free. Details about this program are here. Call 517-373-1692 to learn more:
To prepare for the GED in Kalamazoo, here is a list of prep centers (not sure if they are current):
Kalamazoo Adult Education Center
Goodwill Industries of SW Michigan Adult Literacy
Compass High School Adult Education
Youth Opportunities Unlimited
Even Start HSE Program
Barclay Hills Education Center (for 16-19-year-olds)
Good luck with getting your diploma, Shatara!
Shatara on August 25, 2018:
I live in Kalamazoo county Michigan trying to figure out how to get my GED
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on August 24, 2018:
Hi Freddy. Illinois offers a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma. To obtain it, you must take and pass a series of tests for just one of these: GED, HiSET, or TASC. You must also pass a U.S. and Illinois State Constitution test.
In your area, you can prepare for the GED test through Morton College. They also offer test prep online through i-Pathways. Here's the link with contact info for Morton. They can best explain what steps you need to take:
To study for the U.S. and Illinois Constitution test go here for the test guide:
The Illinois Community College Board runs the HSE program in your state. You can get more information about HSE through their website. Click on the link for "HSE Info" or "Students":
Best of wishes in getting your diploma!
Freddy on August 22, 2018:
I live in Berwyn Illinois I want to get my ged but I don’t know we’re to star
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on August 06, 2018:
Hi Desiree. What city and state do you live in? I can point you in the right direction if you let me know.
Desiree on August 06, 2018:
How do I get started learning for the ged
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on July 07, 2018:
To obtain the Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency, TxCHSE, you can take one of 3 tests - the GED, the HiSET, or the TASC. To find a prep program in your area call TCALL at 800-441-7323. They are open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.
You can find information comparing the tests and info on Texas requirements on the Texas Education Agency website at this link:
I wish you much success in your future, Eddie!
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on June 11, 2018:
I'd like to help you Jasmine. Please tell me the state and county or city you live in. Then I can point you to the closest free classes.
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on April 28, 2018:
I'd be happy to help you Charity. Tell me what state and county you live in and I'll point you in the right direction.
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on March 28, 2018:
Lots of help is available. What state do you live in?
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on December 20, 2017:
In Louisiana, you take the HiSET exam to get your high school equivalency diploma. The requirements are listed here: http://hiset.ets.org/requirements/state/la/?WT.ac=...
To study for the exam, towns offer classes for free or low cost. Check out Louisiana's WorkReady-U website to find classes and help near you: https://www.lctcs.edu/workready-u/#hiset
If you're still having problems finding help, please use the "Contact Author" link near my pic at the top of this page. Tell me what town you're in and I'll direct you to the nearest classes.
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on September 06, 2017:
What state do you live in Julia? Some have free classes.
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on August 22, 2017:
Every state provides free or low-cost classes and practice tests to help you prepare for the GED. Check out the interactive map at https://www.learningreviews.com/hse-requirements-b... to find what your state and city has to offer. If you can't find what you're looking for, tell me what state you live in. I'll do my best to point you in the right direction.
Margie Rivera on August 21, 2017:
Hello I'm interested in getting my ged how can you help me move on to my next step
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on October 02, 2015:
I look forward to what you can tell us about the GED program, Debra. Good luck in hubdom!
Debra Hargrove from North Carolina on October 01, 2015:
Great Hub, I am new and learning about creating Hubs. I did a Hub like this one, but you have so many details. I am enjoying researching this topic.
arlenematthews on June 30, 2014:
Thank you for this post! Very informative and interesting information! I have not used any of these sites but I may look into them.
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on February 19, 2014:
@purplemadhatter: Classzone is useful for students who are using their grade-level textbooks and have an access code. However, it does not have any GED-specific study materials.
purplemadhatter on February 19, 2014:
most of ged failure is due to math and ive found that you just have to get back to the basics and work your way up. that's what i did. use www.classzone.com it has 12 chapters worth of math work, starting with the easiest and working on up to algebra and more multi step math equations. im currently working to get my ged. this website has also given some great links so check them out.
GED_nikki2014 on October 09, 2013:
i came on here because i want to get my grade 12 but i don't have time to be in a class room at the moment and i want to start collage soon
boa11kfh on September 06, 2013:
No. I came on here because I was interested to know what a GED was after seeing it on fanfiction.net. I put that I was a college graduate on the poll but I'm only on third year - there was no option for "I've finished high school but I'm not from here."
Whistleman on March 04, 2013:
Good information. Best of luck to anyone working to earn their GED!
anonymous on June 15, 2012:
Here's another site that talks about getting a GED or finishing out high school - http://www.gedordiploma.com/
HaleySchaeffer LM on April 11, 2012:
This is fantastic! I have a friend who never got her GED and thinks it's too late, she can't afford to go to school now, blah, blah, blah. I'm going to share this with her. Great Lens. Thank you!
zeutron11 on April 04, 2012:
Hey. Great page. Another great GED site for classes and testing is GED101.com
Have a great day!
anonymous on August 04, 2011:
Studying for a GED can be very isolating but no more with all the assistance you offer here. Getting some support can make such a difference for carrying through from start to finish.
Tiddledeewinks LM on January 31, 2011:
Two of my home schooled kids are getting their GED's. Two will follow and I'm studying for mine as I only missed a couple semesters of High School to get married.
anonymous on November 23, 2009:
Excellent lens for those who would like to earn online college degrees in whichever field they desire. The main advantage to home study is that you have that much needed flexibility allowing you to mould or rather sculpt your degree programme around your current life situation. Excellent work nonetheless.
Treasures By Brenda from Canada on June 01, 2009:
Very nicely done; blessed by a Squid Angel. I hope your page can help some people obtain their General Education Diploma!