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5 Steps To Finish Your High School Diploma Or GED For Adults

Just recently, I spoke to a lady who told me that she didn’t manage to finish high school or get her GED. She said that she left school when she was only 16 after she delivered her twin boys and could not afford to continue with her education. She was raised by a distant aunt who did not really bother with her after she became a mum. This lady, Norah, said that she had tried to go back a couple of times but it just didn’t work out but she was still determined. I urged her to try again and this time, try to finish She is now in her 40s.


For many adults who left high school without earning their diploma or GED, they may wonder exactly how to get back into the system to earn their credentials. This article highlights 5 steps adults like Norah can take to get their credentials.


  1. Find an adult education provider. By going to any community college or public school in their area, adults can be directed to the right person to speak to about their situation. They may also search online using the American Literacy Dictionary. The California Department of education is one such institution that can give you all the information you need about diploma credit requirements, how to get an adult high school diploma or High School Equivalency Certificate. Find out what documents you will need beforehand such as any test scores or transcripts you received when you were first in high school or any proof of identification or follow-up from your previous school.


  1. Choose what type of high school credential you want/should obtain. Adults have at least two options to choose from. They may decide to get an adult high school diploma (from schools like Coachella Valley High School who offer adult education), sit for a High Sc GED test or HiSET exam. There are several GED programs offered in various cities in California such as Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Thousand Palms, Desert Hot Springs and La Quinta. HiSET exam gives youth who are not in school and adults the best opportunity to showcase their skills and earn a high school equivalency credential that is state-issued.


  1. Make sure the program you enrol for is recognised by the state. You do not want future employers doubting the legitimacy of your credentials. Checking the programs online will not suffice. Ensure that you have verified legitimacy with your state agency. For those in California, that will be the California Department of Education. Whichever city you are in, be it Indio, Coachella, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Mecca or any other city in California, the state department will help you out.


  1. Consider the time you will need to finish the program and the cost associated with it. Every state in the U.S. offers low-cost ways to earn a high school credential. In California, the California Adult Education Program offers free to very low-cost classes for adults who are 18 years and above. The students can get GED or a high school diploma, then learn about jobs. They can then know how to speak English and become a U.S. citizen. These adult schools are located in many towns and cities, including Mecca, Thermal. El Centro, La Quinta and others.


  1. Enrol in a program- It may take a few months or a few years to earn high school credentials. It is good to know the various procedures that take place beforehand and the requirements for different programs. In California, passing the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is a requirement to receive a public high school diploma if they are enrolled in an adult school that is operated by a public school district. If you are taking the GED test, you will have to prepare for the test first. It is made up of 5 sections: Science, Math, Social Studies, Reading and Writing. There is a tonne of information online and books in the public libraries to help you prepare. It is also recommended that you take a practice test before sitting the actual test. This will help you gauge your skill level, identify areas you should improve in and test your speed in taking the test. Once you think that you are ready to take the test, register for it and depending on when your particular state has scheduled tests, you should take the test. Your results should appear in your regular mail in a couple of weeks. You will have to have attained at least a 60% overall score in order to pass the test. This will be equivalent to a high school diploma. If you take the test and fail, do not worry, you can re-take it as many times as you need.


For adults who did not receive a high school credential, that is not the end of the road. With hard work and determination, you should be able to get the credentials you need. Whether it is for employment purposes or you would just like to hold your own high school diploma in your hands as a sign of personal achievement, you are never too old to do it. High school this time round will not be the same for you this time round. You may be the oldest person taking the tests, but this should not deter you from following your dreams.


Do not just stop at high-school diploma level. For you to be able to actively compete in the job market, that is just the first step. You will need to pick up a few skills and some additional education or training to get the specific skills necessary for your desired job sector is important. You will need to be goal-oriented and willing to be hardworking to be the best version of yourself that you could possibly be.

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