Preparing for the GED: Classroom vs. Online Classes

What is the best way to prepare for the GED examination? You can choose between traditional classroom settings or online lectures.

As a refresher, the General Educational Development program is an alternative high school credential curriculum in the United States for adults who failed to obtain high school diplomas. Individual states manage the tests, study resources, testing facilities, and schedules. The test is not easy. Of course, preparations are very important so this is one of the areas that candidates should focus on. What are your options? One is distance learning (online) and the other is traditional classroom review.

Online Modules

Web-based classes for test candidates are considered by many as the most convenient solution. In fact, one research study commissioned by the Department of Education found out that persons who chose online programs from 1996 until 2008 (July) performed well compared to those who opted for classroom instructions. This is why many people consider web education as more beneficial for as long as these are customized to the needs of individual learners. Given a particular learning level, you can expect prompt feedback and clear objectives.

Many of these preparatory programs have been certified as official by reputable accreditation institutions. The courses have been conceived properly and make use of advanced technology.

Informal students can benefit from distance learning since most of them have not been to the classroom for some time. Hence, there is a possible aversion to conventional teaching methods. However, lack of or insufficient knowledge of IT can produce certain issues. This is one reason why some adults deem e-learning as ineffective and a waste of time as well as resources.

It is very important then to study closely the different facets surrounding online GED preparation.

Advantages of Online Learning


One of the major advantages of the online studying method is the time factor. Although schedules are quite demanding in terms of turnaround, you can study from your home and at your own time. There are no obstacles in ensuring that any assignment is submitted punctually. On the contrary, there is limited period to do this if you are in the classroom. Besides, e-learning is perfect for parents or grown-ups who have many chores to do or other things to take care of. You need not ask for permission to leave the classroom anymore.



It can be more cost-effective than the usual classroom setting. The special online module will normally cost from $50 up to $200. Basic courses are even free of charge. There are no incidental expenses like transportation, fuel and food. You save time since traveling is eliminated completely. Distance learning modules normally include e-books, review materials and practice tests. Students can even avail of mobile learning so you can learn while you are on the move.


The enticing aspect of web-based GED review particularly for elderly students is that it is accomplished without having to enroll in a real school. While this is something that youngsters look forward to, adults have family, personal and career requirements. Thus, this alternative is really a boon for them. Studying online is completed from the coziness of your own abode or any location that you find convenient. There is no fixed timetable provided assignments are finished promptly.

Virtual Learning Setting

Some mature students are apprehensive that the all-virtual review environment can be ineffective especially with regards to group tasks and personal interaction. Nonetheless, technological evolution has made online learning as comprehensive as the conventional approach during the past years. Moreover, there is a good formula of email messaging, video clips, forums, and sharing of sources. In other words, it has turned into a suitable e-learning milieu where lessons and presentations are done through novel technology.

Many facilities offer instructions by way of specialized VLE platforms. The only downside is that the individual should have sufficient knowledge of computers and the Internet to cope with the software applications. Students will have more time to become familiar with the system and benefit from additional training classes. However, it is vital to become adept in dealing with electrical or web malfunctions. This is necessary so there will be no disruption in viewing classes and homework submissions. Mentors for virtual subjects as a rule also teach in traditional classrooms so there is no question regarding their competence.

Distance learning GED classes are valuable for adult students who never found success in the high school classroom. The academic community may have been trying for them. Therefore, many grown-ups even hesitate to avail of free GED practice tests. This system fits those who want to earn the certificate without being embarrassed in a class full of younger learners. It is more like having personal tutors or coaches who can keep pace with your tempo. Furthermore, there is a multitude of learning styles which puts emphasis on understanding instead of memorization.

Top Online GED Programs


GED Online

Find the most prominent and reliable online courses for GED test preparation. So far, GED Online is the longest existing web program. All you have to do is pay a reasonable fee. The site permits subscribers to take approved GED practice tests formulated by GED Testing Service. These can be graded online by qualified instructors. You can enjoy interactive practice modules and obtain the answers to examination questions through a web knowledge base and email support. Review subjects consist of social studies, mathematics, science, language arts-reading and language arts-writing (essay). There is no fixed classroom agenda so you learn at your own speed. GED Online was given accreditation by the Better Business Bureau.

Adults with budgetary concerns can go for this exceptional preparation program at completely no cost. The portal relies on subsidies as well as advertising revenues and donations. It also provides users access to preparatory materials. The program was created primarily to help users obtain knowledge that will help them pass the GED testing. It is made up of 74 one-week modules that include a wide range of high school subjects. On the average, learners can finish three lessons every month and interact frequently with other students in doing homework by means of email groups. is another established website that gives GED practice exams without charging the students. The test is classified into five sections and averages from 20 to 31 questions. You can take the examination in seven hours and 15 minutes which is the recommended time. There are no pointers for the essay but the site features an all-inclusive store with links to proposed study materials. These cover relevant subjects along with forums enabling different users to interact with each other. is said to be used by more than a million people.

Traditional Learning Approach

Now, it is time to take a close look at the traditional classroom setting for GED testing preparations. Many states in the US have built adult educational hubs that arrange formal classes, coaching and provide review materials for the real exams. Yet, timeframes, locations and costs vary according to state guidelines. You can always browse through the partial listing of state resources at the ACE website at (

There are individual preferences and situations so here are points to consider before you decide to choose GED in a traditional classroom setting:

Go through the upsides of classroom learning:

  • Many learning facilities give out printed collaterals and allow their students to bring these materials home.
  • The student gets personalized attention for the mentor which is useful for feedback purposes particularly for individuals who have not been to school for a long duration.
  • These centers provide the most updated information about the tests for accuracy.

You have to contend with certain drawbacks which include the following:

  • Classroom schedules are fixed in terms of time and date. It may be troublesome for grown-up learners whose work or family matters will not allow classroom instructions during prescribed hours.
  • The subjects may be in chronological order so any missed instruction will definitely affect the study program negatively.
  • There may be many students. This means that the attention of the teacher will be divided.
  • The program may be relatively expensive compared to the online approach.

In case you opt for classroom instructions, check out the facilities carefully.

  • The classroom space should have proper lighting and ventilation.
  • Teachers ought to have enough experience in the five High School Equivalency (HSE) Test Assessing Secondary Completion subjects which are Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Requirements for the HSE-TASC are eligibility, age of student, residency, and application procedures. Mentors also need to be familiar with adult students.
  • Instruction materials must be readily available. Adults should preferably consult local testing centers and select methods that will match their learning styles and schedules.

Incidentally, keep in mind that there are diagnostic testing materials which consist of the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). This is meant to find out grade levels in reading and mathematics of prospective learners. There is a readiness test which will judge the capacity of students to take this exam.

At the same time, it is essential to prepare by knowing the guidelines as described in the website of the High School Equivalency Center.

You can check

Here are the pointers as quoted:


“Be familiar with the official GED test, from how the exam will look on a computer screen to practicing with all the different types of questions, with the Introduction to the 2014 GED Test tutorial.

Take the first full-length practice GED test in your weakest subject: Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, or Social Studies. You will get detailed answer explanations for every question and score reports that will help you understand what your strengths and weaknesses are so that you can study more effectively.

There is a separate tutorial for each subject test: Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, or Social Studies. Each subject tutorial will teach you through lessons, practice, and quizzes. These are concepts and skills you need for the official test. It is highly recommended that you take a tutorial from start to finish, focusing on the topics that you identified as weaknesses in the practice GED subject tests.

After completing the first practice test and subject tutorial, you’re one step closer to being ready for test day. The next step is to take the second practice test in Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, or Social Studies to see how much you’ve improved in the subject you’re focusing on. When you have finished, return to the tutorial to focus on remaining weaknesses. Be sure to follow said steps for all four parts of the GED test.”


Choosing between distance learning and a traditional classroom environment may seem confusing at first. However, this must not be a burden to you at all. Your primary target is to pass the exams and get the GED certification. It does not matter which path you choose as long as the results are positive. You also have to take into consideration convenience, financial resources and time constraints.
Passing the General Educational Development tests is the best and perhaps the only way to secure secondary school credentials without graduating from the long-established high school. The test measures knowledge and skills which are expected of those who finish this level and become eligible for college. The sad news is that roughly 40 percent of test takers do not pass the GED exams on their first attempt. One other concern is that only some states such as Hawaii mandate that GED test candidates go through a preparatory course prior to the actual testing. This is a means of getting higher scores in each of the different categories.

Again, the importance of preparations becomes imperative. You need to make up your mind on whether to choose the first or second option. Consult your personal acquaintances, next of kin and professional educators before making a final decision. Finally, look through the GED Testing Service and American Council on Education for pertinent inputs.