How Long Does It Take to Get a GED? [2024 Guide]

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How long does it take to get a GED? This question is frequently asked by people interested in earning their General Educational Development diploma.

How Long Does It Take to Get a GED

Taking the GED involves several steps, including studying for the exam and completing each section online or at a testing center.

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This guide covers every part of the process and explains the typical timeline for finishing the GED.

How Long Does It Take to Get a GED?

students taking GED

Most people spend 2 to 3 months preparing for and taking the GED.

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But the timeline for earning this credential varies based on several factors, including:

  • Level of familiarity with GED subjects. The GED tests your proficiency in four subject areas. You may complete your GED faster if you’ve already learned most of the concepts covered on the subject tests.
  • Preparation time. The amount of time you can spend studying for the GED is another important consideration. Most experts recommend dedicating at least one to two hours daily to studying for the exam. Busy people who can only study a few times a week may spend longer preparing.
  • Study materials. You can study for the GED independently or by taking a class. Structured courses may help you learn the material and test-taking strategies more efficiently, reducing your preparation time.
  • Test format. You can take the GED online or at an in-person testing center. In-person appointments often fill quickly, which may lead to a longer wait to take the exam.

Additionally, needing to retake any subject tests can extend how long it takes to complete your GED.

How to Get Your GED

students getting in-person GED exam

How do you get a GED? The process involves several steps, including:

  1. Study. It’s helpful to study the concepts covered on the GED subject tests and familiarize yourself with the exam rules.
  2. Take practice tests. You can complete practice tests to evaluate your readiness.
  3. Register for an in-person or online GED exam. You can take all four subject tests on the same day or separately.
  4. Assemble the necessary documents and equipment. If you take the online GED, you’re required to have access to a private room, a stable Wi-Fi connection, and a computer with a working webcam and microphone. You’ll also present a valid photo ID.
  5. Pass GED Ready practice test. If you’re taking the online GED, you’re required to pass the GED Ready practice test before taking the official exam.

You can visit the GED Testing Service website to register and access free study materials.

How Much Is the GED Test?

students taking the GED Test

The cost of the GED depends on the state and testing format. Typically, you can expect to spend between $30 to $46 to take each subject test. The GED consists of four subject tests, so the average total exam cost ranges from $120 to $184.

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Most states charge different rates depending on the test format. Generally, it’s more expensive to take the exam online. For instance, Kansas charges $29 per subject test at a testing center and $39 per test online. You can research your specific state’s costs for an exact price.

How Long Is the GED Test?

student getting the GED exam

The GED includes four subject tests with varying time limits. You can take all four tests simultaneously or spread them out across different days.

Here’s each subject test and the allotted time for each:

  • Social Studies: 70 minutes
  • Science: 90 minutes
  • Mathematical Reasoning: 115 minutes
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts: 150 minutes

The language arts test includes a 10-minute break, while the math exam has 2 minutes of instructions and a 3-minute break to retrieve your calculator if you take it in a testing center. In total, you’ll typically spend 425 minutes—or around 7 hours—taking the GED.

Can You Get Your GED Online?

student accessing the GED Testing Service online

Yes, you can get your GED online. The GED Testing Service offers the exam online in many states for people 18 and older.

You’re required to complete several steps to take the GED online, including:

  • Earn a green score on the GED Ready practice test within 60 days of your exam date.
  • Get the required documents and equipment, including a laptop with a working webcam and an approved web browser.
  • Run a system test to ensure your computer meets the GED’s technical requirements.

In addition, many organizations offer online GED courses to help you prepare.

Getting Your GED Online

student completing his GED online

So, how long does it take to get your GED? Most people can earn their GED online in 2 to 3 months with regular study sessions.

Earning your GED is a personal journey, though, so there’s no definitive answer to this question. Many factors can affect your timeline, such as your level of preparation, available testing dates, and the amount of time you spend studying. After you complete your GED, you might be interested in continuing your education by earning a college degree or certificate.

A number of online colleges now accept the GED for admission. You can explore the countless possibilities by researching online programs from accredited schools today.

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Brianna Anderson
WRITTEN BY
Brianna has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida and an M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include careers and professional development, digital pedagogy, and first-year writing.