It is no secret that the majority of employers have deemed a high school diploma to be a minimum requirement for even the most entry level jobs. While this proves to be an issue for some, there are viable options to make sure that you are able to readily compete in today’s market. One of those options is to obtain the General Educational Development Certificate, otherwise known as the GED. There is a testing site in Peterborough where both the GED Final can be written as well as the preparation assessment otherwise known as the pre-test. The Pre-test can be taken in the evening or during the daytime. The Ministry Final is scheduled on weekends providing access for those who are working full time.
The GED is recognized by most employers and can be used to meet apprenticeship and college requirements. However, you should speak directly to the college for confirmation. There may be specific courses required for some college programs and obtaining the necessary credits may still be an additional requirement outlined for course eligibility. There is no expiration date so when you pass, receive your certificate and GED transcript, it is deemed that you have met the requirements associated with a high school diploma. If you have the ability, the GED may be a viable tool to obtain your Grade 12 equivalency.
We have outlined a few steps to help you prepare for the GED:
- Reserve a Seat for the GED Pre-test: There are many advantages to writing the Pre-test. It recognizes your life experience and general knowledge. It is offered in a safe environment and minimizes test anxiety by providing a simulated experience with comparable questions, format and scored results to the Final Ministry test. The results let you know what you need to work on allowing you to focus your studying only on the subject areas required. If you score over 500 in all subject areas, you are likely ready to write the Ministry test.
- Prepare: The GED includes an essay component which is marked on your ability to stay on topic, your organization of the material (introduction, body, conclusion), the development and detail of your story, the use of proper grammar, spelling and punctuation, and vocabulary. Many of us have not written an essay for a very long time so creating a sample essay before trying it on the Pre-test may serve to increase your confidence. For more tips on preparing to write the test, check out https://www.dummies.com/test-prep/the-canadian-ged-for-dummies-cheat-sheet/. If you would like to review practice tests, printable samples for each subject area can be found at https://ilc.tvo.org/en-ca/GED/prepare/test-overview
- Study, Study, Study: If you score slightly below or slightly above the passing mark of 450 in any of the following subjects, Language Arts (writing), Language Arts (reading), Social Studies, Science and Mathematics, it is recommended for you to get the GED Self-Study Guide. This resource will allow you to focus on the topics needing improvement. The amount of work you put in dictates how long the process will take.
- Sign up for Tutoring: In the Peterborough area, the Trent Valley Literacy Association and Peterborough Native Learning Program provide support for GED preparation. Having that extra assistance can be beneficial for those who scored low in any of the GED subject areas. A referral by a GED Counsellor can be made to these services.
- Manage Your Time: Because the GED is a timed-test, answer the easier questions first. Avoid spending too much time on difficult questions. Return to those questions if you have time later. Try not to overthink your answers. Apply common sense, especially in the Science section. Carefully read two-part questions.
- Schedule to Write the GED Final: You need to complete the application, provide ID with your date of birth on it, and make payment. This needs to be done at least three weeks prior to the test date.
- Identify Accommodations Needed: There is an option for accommodations to be put in place for you during the testing phase. You must have a documented disability with accompanying information from a credible professional. The need for extra testing time, extra breaks and a separate testing room will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you feel that you will require special accommodations in order to be successful, an application needs to be completed and forwarded to the GED office in Toronto at least 3 months prior to your desired test date. Applications for accommodation requests can be accessed at the Peterborough test site or online at the GED website.
- If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Again: If you pass some but not all of the subjects, there is no need to rewrite the entire test. Only the subject(s) you did not pass need to be re-written. Your score will determine the potential waiting time to re-write.
- Look After Yourself: Get a good night sleep. Eat a nutritious meal. Turn off your mind to other distractions. Take a deep breath. Do your best.