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GED vs. High School Diploma: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on February 11, 2024
A GED is a test-based certification equivalent to a high school education, while a high school diploma is awarded after completing coursework at a high school.

Key Differences

A General Educational Development (GED) test is a series of exams that, when passed, certify the taker has high school-level academic skills. Unlike the GED, a high school diploma is awarded to students who complete the requisite coursework and credits at a high school over several years.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024
The GED consists of four subject tests covering language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. In contrast, earning a high school diploma involves attending classes, completing assignments, and passing exams in a variety of subjects over the course of four years.
Huma Saeed
Feb 11, 2024
Eligibility for the GED typically requires the test taker to be of a certain age and not enrolled in high school. Conversely, a high school diploma is earned by attending and successfully completing high school, usually beginning in the ninth grade and concluding in the twelfth.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024
The GED test is often taken by individuals who have not completed high school for various reasons and seek an equivalent certification. A high school diploma, however, is obtained through a traditional school experience, including participation in extracurricular activities and social events.
Janet White
Feb 11, 2024
In terms of recognition, the GED is widely accepted as equivalent to a high school diploma for employment and admission to educational programs. However, some employers and colleges may prefer a high school diploma over a GED due to the broader educational experience it represents.
Janet White
Feb 11, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Educational Approach

Test-based certification.
Completion of a curriculum over several years.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024

Subject Focus

Four core subjects: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies.
Broad range of subjects including electives.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024

Duration

Can be completed in a few months.
Typically takes four years.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024

Eligibility Criteria

Age requirement, not currently enrolled in high school.
Enrollment and attendance in a high school.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 11, 2024

Perception/Recognition

Often seen as equivalent, but some prefer a diploma.
Broadly recognized and sometimes preferred for its breadth.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024
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GED and High School Diploma Definitions

GED

GED tests are a pathway to higher education for non-traditional students.
Obtaining her GED opened the door to college admissions for her.
Janet White
Jan 20, 2024

High School Diploma

A high school diploma represents the completion of a broad range of subjects.
His high school diploma reflected years of study in various academic fields.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 20, 2024

GED

GED is a set of tests certifying high school-level academic skills.
She passed her GED with flying colors, proving her academic abilities.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 20, 2024

High School Diploma

A high school diploma is earned after successfully passing all required courses.
After four years of hard work, she proudly earned her high school diploma.
Janet White
Jan 20, 2024

GED

GED is a credential recognized by employers as equivalent to a high school diploma.
His GED helped him secure a job that required secondary education.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 20, 2024

High School Diploma

A high school diploma is often a prerequisite for higher education and employment.
Most colleges require a high school diploma for admission.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 20, 2024

GED

GED serves as an alternative to a high school diploma.
After dropping out, he decided to pursue a GED to advance his career.
Huma Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

High School Diploma

A high school diploma includes both academic and extracurricular achievements.
Along with academics, his high school diploma showcased his involvement in sports.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 20, 2024

GED

GED stands for General Educational Development.
The GED program offers a chance for adults to complete their formal education.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 20, 2024

High School Diploma

A high school diploma is awarded upon completion of secondary education.
She received her high school diploma, marking the end of her secondary schooling.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 20, 2024

GED

The pike or luce.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 18, 2024

GED

(Scotland) A greedy person
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 18, 2024

GED

The European pike.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 18, 2024

FAQs

Can a GED be considered equivalent to a high school diploma?

Yes, for many purposes, a GED is equivalent to a high school diploma.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024

How is a GED different from a high school diploma?

A GED is test-based, while a diploma is earned through coursework over several years.
Huma Saeed
Feb 11, 2024

Can you go to college with a GED?

Yes, many colleges accept GED holders.
Janet White
Feb 11, 2024

What are the requirements for earning a high school diploma?

Completing required coursework and credits in high school.
Janet White
Feb 11, 2024

How long does it take to get a GED?

It can vary, but often it can be completed in a few months.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024

Are there different types of high school diplomas?

Yes, including standard, advanced, and vocational diplomas.
Harlon Moss
Feb 11, 2024

Can adults earn a high school diploma?

Yes, through adult education programs or online high schools.
Harlon Moss
Feb 11, 2024

Is a high school diploma valued more than a GED?

Some employers and colleges might prefer a diploma for its broader educational experience.
Harlon Moss
Feb 11, 2024

Who typically pursues a GED?

Individuals who haven't completed high school and seek equivalent certification.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024

What is a GED?

It's a series of tests for certifying high school-level academic skills.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024

What subjects are covered in the GED?

Language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Harlon Moss
Feb 11, 2024

Is it possible to get a high school diploma online?

Yes, there are accredited online high school programs.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 11, 2024

Do colleges differentiate between GED and high school diploma applicants?

Some might, considering the overall academic and extracurricular background.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 11, 2024

Is there an age limit for earning a high school diploma?

Generally, no, especially with adult education programs available.
Harlon Moss
Feb 11, 2024

Does the GED include practical skills testing?

It focuses on academic skills, not practical or technical skills.
Janet White
Feb 11, 2024

Can you participate in extracurricular activities with a GED?

GED itself doesn't include such activities, unlike high school programs.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024

What is the success rate for GED test-takers?

It varies, but preparation significantly improves chances of passing.
Harlon Moss
Feb 11, 2024

What is the age requirement for a GED?

It varies by state, but typically 16 or 18 if not enrolled in high school.
Harlon Moss
Feb 11, 2024

Can you earn college credits with a GED?

Not directly, but it allows entry into programs where you can earn credits.
Harlon Moss
Feb 11, 2024

Can you retake the GED if you fail?

Yes, but there may be waiting periods and retake limits.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 11, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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