Differences: GED Vs. High School Diploma

Is a GED as Good as High School Diploma?

Completing your GED or high school diploma is the initial step towards the development of your career. Whether you intend to pursue university or college or start a job instantly, many paths will necessitate that you first complete one of these academic programs. Every route will offer you the basic academic knowledge expected of high school education, but each has its own requirements. This article focuses on the main differences between a high school diploma and a GED and what each can do for your career.

What is a GED?

GED stands for General Educational Development. It is an alternative to the traditional high school diploma. A General Educational Development is a great choice for people who left high school early. Also, it is advantageous for learners who have other life responsibilities like a family to raise a full-time job.

In order to earn a GED, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • You have not finished a high school diploma.
  • You can’t be currently enrolled in high school.
  • You must take the examination at a physical test location.

One of the benefits of General Educational Development is that you can take it at any time in your life. Even if you dropped out of high school for numerous years, you could still finish your GED at any age.

What is a High School Diploma?

A high school diploma is a diploma that you get after meeting all the requirements of a high school program. Although individual requirements differ by state, learners will have to earn credits by taking courses in general subjects like math, science, and English. Students can get a high school diploma online or attend traditional classrooms in order to graduate from high school. A high school diploma certifies that you have finished the necessary coursework.

High school diploma requirements include:

  • Attendance of high school courses
  • Successful completion of examinations

Some learners may complete their high school diploma requirements faster by attending online courses.

GED Vs. High School Diploma: Differences

What are the Advantages of GED?GED is a high school equivalency diploma that can be utilized in applying for a college or job just as a high school diploma would. Nevertheless, there are major differences between the two. Understanding the differences between a high school diploma and GED can assist you in deciding which one is appropriate for you. These are the major differences between a high school diploma and General Educational Development:

  • Educational requirements
  • Testing requirements
  • Experience

Educational Requirements

One of the major differences between a high school diploma and a GED is the educational requirements. Online high schools usually have certain coursework requirements that learners have to complete in order to qualify for graduation. Even though the specific requirements differ from state to state, learners are supposed to complete coursework in topics such as history, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Some learners might also fill their credit requirements with electives that enable them to earn credits while starting to develop professional skills.

Even though there are no specific course completion requirements for attaining a General Educational Development (GED), most GED learners will opt to finish a test course prior to sitting for the examination. The GED examination comprises test questions from the same topics that high school students learn; hence this preparation is crucial, particularly for GED learners who have been out of school for a long time.

Testing Requirements

Although the GED needs less time to complete, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is simple. High school learners will usually have to finish examinations in all their classes in order to attain grades that qualify them for graduation. High schoolers can take advantage of classes to master challenging topics ad request extra credit to make up for lower scores.

General Educational Development students are required to complete a series of four examinations successfully. The four GED subjects include social studies, language arts, science, and mathematical reasoning and are similar to high school programs. The GED test is made up of multiple-choice, long-form, and extended essay questions.

Although some GED students will enhance their test-taking skills with practice tests, there are fewer opportunities for making up lower test scores. If a GED learner doesn’t attain a minimum of 60%, nevertheless, they qualify to retake the General Educational Development examination up to three times every year.


The experience involved with every kind of learning opportunity also differs. Students who opt to complete a high school diploma have the chance of experiencing more than the academic side of the school. Online high school students can collaborate with their colleagues and teachers and chase their talents. In contrast, since GED coursework focuses majorly on preparing for the GED examination, the experience of learners completely entails educational activities.

Which is Better GED or High School Diploma?

You can determine whether a high school diploma or GED is suitable for you by considering the following steps:

  • Consider where you are academically.
  • Consider your schedule and other responsibilities.
  • Consider your career goals.
  • Perform your research.

1.Consider Where You are Academically

It is important to consider your academic progress. If you dropped out of high school many years ago, you might not qualify to go back to school, making a General Educational Development (GED) the better option. On the other hand, if you have already completed many years of high school and are just a short time away from graduation, then it may make sense to finish your high school diploma. Learning for the GED can take several months. Depending on how far you are in high school, you can just obtain your diploma in the same amount of time.

2.Think of Your Schedule and Other Commitments

Completing a high school diploma takes four years of full-time classes with regular attendance. This schedule doesn’t work for every student due to financial or family issues and jobs. However, students can earn their high school diploma by enrolling in the best online high school.

Attaining a GED needs learning and preparation, but people aren’t necessitated to attend several classes. Your schedule and capability to meet these requirements can assist you in determining which program is appropriate for you.

3.Consider Your Career Goals

Also, it is important to consider your career goals when determining whether a high school diploma or GED is appropriate for you. Some colleges and universities consider a GED to be equivalent to a high school diploma, while others require an actual high school diploma. Consider your career goals and the associated academic requirements to guide you in your decision. A high school diploma also provides the ability to develop crucial life skills. In high school, learners have the chance to learn problem-solving, project management, organization, and teamwork skills.

All these skills will transfer over to a college program or career and can make a person a more competitive candidate. By completing a GED program, you can pursue volunteer opportunities in order to gain similar skills as well as experiences.

4.Perform Your Research

Whether you opt to pursue a GED or a high school diploma, it is important to know the requirements. Perform your research to understand the requirements of each program. If you want to undertake a particular university or college course, it is important to reach out to an admissions office to understand the requirements better. Also, you can research minimum education requirements for careers that you have an interest in.

What are the Advantages of GED?

Meaning of GED and High School DiplomaThe first advantage of a GED is better employment opportunities. With a GED diploma, you will have a wide range of job opportunities compared to candidates who do not have a high school diploma.

Secondly, attaining a GED provides better opportunities for advancing your academics. If you have an interest in a college program, obtaining your GED provides you with better opportunities of being accepted into a program, which ultimately will result in greater salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, people with a high school diploma or a GED anticipate earning more annually compared to people without either.

With a GED, you will be more self-confident since you believe that you have finished your future investment steps. Even though GED isn’t an easy examination, when you excel, think of the sense of success that you might feel.

Can You Apply for College with a High School Diploma or a GED

Although a high school diploma is a common route to a college or university, attaining a GED doesn’t disqualify you for college entrance. Most colleges currently consider a GED to be equivalent to a high school diploma. Nevertheless, GED learners might require to take part in volunteer efforts and community events to compete with other candidates with extra resume experiences. People with a GED might also require higher ACT/SAT scores and recommendation letters to compete against other candidates.

It is crucial to assess the specific admission requirements of the program for which you are applying. Programs differ greatly; hence it is important to know what is required for your personal goals.

Resources and References: