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GED prep? I'm 22, no formal education.


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Hello, 

I don't want to get too much into personal details, but to make a long story short, I was never put into a public school, and wasn't really "homeschooled" either. There were no records kept or anything like that. My mother taught me how to read and write and basic math (multiplication, addition, subtraction, some fractions and some basic division), really without any structure, and then after the age of nine or ten, nothing. My dad was pretty much absent when it came to anything to do with schooling. I didn't understand what a diploma or GED was until I was around nineteen.

 

Anyways, I've been working for them on construction sites for as long as I can remember, and I'm trying to kind of secretly gain independence now. I want to expand my job options, and I want my own place! My mother knows this, but neither of us have told my dad about my desire to shoot for a GED. He's a controlling person, and to be completely honest, unstable, so I'm kind of flying under the radar and attempting to be discreet about this which means I can't really go to any GED classes. 

I want to help my mother gain independence too, but that's another story unrelated to education. :/

 

I've bought the McGraw Hill GED Preparation, 2nd edition, but I'm at a loss as to what other materials I will need. I'm very unfamiliar with Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and any math beyond the categories that I have mentioned earlier in this post. Suggestions will be very helpful! Online resources, workshops, books, and whatnot; any guidance offered in these areas will be greatly appreciated. :) 

 

Thanks in advance! 

Mikayla

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I have no experience with completing a GED, so will not try to address your particulars, but from reading your post, it doesn't appear you will have any difficulty in the language arts areas of the test. You have better grammar skills than most high school graduates, I'd say :).

 

Best wishes to you and your mother as well.

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I have no experience with completing a GED, so will not try to address your particulars, but from reading your post, it doesn't appear you will have any difficulty in the language arts areas of the test. You have better grammar skills than most high school graduates, I'd say :).

 

Best wishes to you and your mother as well.

 

Thank you, that is encouraging. :)

 

Mikayla - I'm hoping you have regular internet access. Here is a link to free online homeschooling materials. 'Easy Peasy All in One.' If you find you have gaps, you can start with this and try to fill it in. Also, their high school materials are here.

 

Yes, I do have regular internet access, fortunately. I've never heard of that website. I will have a go! Thank you for the help! 

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Used book stores often have inexpensive textbooks. Margaret Lial's math series starts with arithmetic in Basic College Math. Not sure whether the GED tests through Algebra 1 (Lial's Elementary Algebra) or Algebra 2 (Intermediate Algebra). If you hope to attend community college for a degree at some point, you will want to do through Intermediate Algebra.

 

Khan Academy is free but requires internet access and might be harder to discreetly use than paper textbooks.

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As someone else mentioned, you have remarkably good writing and spelling skills.  Libraries often have GED preparation materials available for check-out or for reference use in the library.  They also may  have free tutoring available if you start the prep books and realize that you need some help.  A GED test prep book should also have a test of some sort in there so that you can see how you do.  It would be helpful to do something like that to know where you are as far as skill level. 

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Used book stores often have inexpensive textbooks. Margaret Lial's math series starts with arithmetic in Basic College Math. Not sure whether the GED tests through Algebra 1 (Lial's Elementary Algebra) or Algebra 2 (Intermediate Algebra). If you hope to attend community college for a degree at some point, you will want to do through Intermediate Algebra.

 

Khan Academy is free but requires internet access and might be harder to discreetly use than paper textbooks.

 

 

Danica McKellar's math series is a good resource as well because she puts things in "plain English". It's aimed at 'tween and young teen girls so you might find it a bit cutesy but the math explanations are solid.

 

Thank you, that's very helpful. I will look those up. Khan Academy will certainly make things easier too, when I am able to work through the videos.

 

As someone else mentioned, you have remarkably good writing and spelling skills.  Libraries often have GED preparation materials available for check-out or for reference use in the library.  They also may  have free tutoring available if you start the prep books and realize that you need some help.  A GED test prep book should also have a test of some sort in there so that you can see how you do.  It would be helpful to do something like that to know where you are as far as skill level. 

 

I did in fact get a test prep book last night; I haven't had a chance to take the pretests yet, but I'm excited. Even if I get all the questions wrong, it's nice to know I have something solid to work off of! I'll look into my local library too, if only for a place to study at, though I'm sure they'll have a wide range of material I'd like to check out. 

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The GED test just got made a lot harder. The test makers are a for-profit company that is primarily interested in making a profit. Their desire to increase profits seems to have backfired as fewer and fewer students are taking the test. Colleges and other institutions are now often offering students the option of taking other fairer tests.

 

In almost all instances, just one completed class at a community college will allow you to list "some college" on your job applications and will mean more than having a GED. I would find out if your local CC offers an alternative test to the GED. If so, you might want to prepare for that test and get a single college course completed, instead of studying for the GED. The current GED is not like the old GED. For some students the payback is not worth the effort of preparing and taking the GED.

 

The library in the capital city often offers free library cards and college and career counseling to all residents of the state. Did your parents make sure you have a birth certificate and social security number? Do you have access to that paperwork? You might want to call the library in your capital city and see what they offer.

 

My capital city library offers free online courses through Gale and Lynda.com. With a library card, they can be accessed from any public wifi spot. Gale has a GED math prep class, but it is HARD and way too fast. It is only good for review not an introduction to the math on the test. If you take math through Gale, do the other math courses first and the GED prep last. There are lesson quizzes and a final and courses take 6 weeks with 2 lessons a week and then some extra time to take the final. The Lynda.com courses are videos and there is not sign up and completion date or tests. But the videos are very helpful. Counseling might and might not require serious identification paperwork. The card should be easier to get. Sometimes the online card is even easier to get than one that allows checking out physical books.

 

Sometimes the unemployment agency of some towns will pay for GED prep courses and even cover the cost of the test.

 

I would try and contact the libraries of both your town and capital city,  the unemployment agency of your town, and the closest community college, and find out what is needed and offered.

 

If your mom is a Christian, and in need of domestic violence advice, have her check out http://abigails.org/ as a place to start. The most critical thing DV victims need is paperwork. Your mom needs to have copies of paperwork hidden somewhere outside the home. Without minor children, sometimes heading straight for the capital city, and entering a regular homeless shelter, not a DV shelter, is the best option. It is what I had to do. Paperwork is critical!

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Aufmann is a similar math series to Lials, and often used in community college remedial math classes. One of my sons used the basic math text, and the other used the upper levels. We found them for pennies at a yard sale. Sometimes the older and cheapest editions are hidden a bit at Amazon, but they are there and cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/Richard-N.-Aufmann/e/B001ILM9FO

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Hi,

 

First of all, check with your state requirements. Some states, like mine - MD, give GED exam passers a full high school diploma and not just a GED certificate. Some states also allow other tests instead of the GED exam. Every state has a free GED or HS equivalency test prep program. Do not pay money for these if you go this route. Many times these are run through the local community college, but sometimes these are through the regular school system or library system. Google your county adult education program to see what turns up. These classes are required to be free. There is also often a free online GED tutoring program that is also offered. Also some states offer the National External Diploma Program for a high school diploma. These are not free, but consist of completing a portfolio of work that gets assessed by the adult education program in your county.

 

If you are going the GED route, go to www.ged.com and try out the practice test. I teach GED preparation classes part time in addition to homeschooling. You can take a practice test online for each of the four exams to see how close you are to passing. Often the GED program has coupons/discounts on the website to reduce the cost and some states (mine included) reduce the cost for test takers. Based on your suggestion of your skills, I'd suggest that you try it out. You might be pleasantly surprised that you are either already over the cut-off or just below it. For math, you'll need some very simple algebra and very simple geometry. For the social studies exam, about half is US government and civics with the remainder divided up between history, geography, and economics. Within science, the bulk of the exam comprises two main science problems: environment and health. The disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science are woven into those main topics. Good luck and hope this helps.

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The GED test just got made a lot harder. The test makers are a for-profit company that is primarily interested in making a profit. Their desire to increase profits seems to have backfired as fewer and fewer students are taking the test. Colleges and other institutions are now often offering students the option of taking other fairer tests.

 

In almost all instances, just one completed class at a community college will allow you to list "some college" on your job applications and will mean more than having a GED. I would find out if your local CC offers an alternative test to the GED. If so, you might want to prepare for that test and get a single college course completed, instead of studying for the GED. The current GED is not like the old GED. For some students the payback is not worth the effort of preparing and taking the GED.

 

The library in the capital city often offers free library cards and college and career counseling to all residents of the state. Did your parents make sure you have a birth certificate and social security number? Do you have access to that paperwork? You might want to call the library in your capital city and see what they offer.

 

My capital city library offers free online courses through Gale and Lynda.com. With a library card, they can be accessed from any public wifi spot. Gale has a GED math prep class, but it is HARD and way too fast. It is only good for review not an introduction to the math on the test. If you take math through Gale, do the other math courses first and the GED prep last. There are lesson quizzes and a final and courses take 6 weeks with 2 lessons a week and then some extra time to take the final. The Lynda.com courses are videos and there is not sign up and completion date or tests. But the videos are very helpful. Counseling might and might not require serious identification paperwork. The card should be easier to get. Sometimes the online card is even easier to get than one that allows checking out physical books.

 

Sometimes the unemployment agency of some towns will pay for GED prep courses and even cover the cost of the test.

 

I would try and contact the libraries of both your town and capital city,  the unemployment agency of your town, and the closest community college, and find out what is needed and offered.

 

If your mom is a Christian, and in need of domestic violence advice, have her check out http://abigails.org/ as a place to start. The most critical thing DV victims need is paperwork. Your mom needs to have copies of paperwork hidden somewhere outside the home. Without minor children, sometimes heading straight for the capital city, and entering a regular homeless shelter, not a DV shelter, is the best option. It is what I had to do. Paperwork is critical!

 

 

Aufmann is a similar math series to Lials, and often used in community college remedial math classes. One of my sons used the basic math text, and the other used the upper levels. We found them for pennies at a yard sale. Sometimes the older and cheapest editions are hidden a bit at Amazon, but they are there and cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/Richard-N.-Aufmann/e/B001ILM9FO

 

Wow. That's overwhelming, and in a good way! Thanks for taking the time to provide all that info; I will bookmark all of this and save it so I can access it whenever. I will show my mom the Abigail site as well.

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Hi,

 

First of all, check with your state requirements. Some states, like mine - MD, give GED exam passers a full high school diploma and not just a GED certificate. Some states also allow other tests instead of the GED exam. Every state has a free GED or HS equivalency test prep program. Do not pay money for these if you go this route. Many times these are run through the local community college, but sometimes these are through the regular school system or library system. Google your county adult education program to see what turns up. These classes are required to be free. There is also often a free online GED tutoring program that is also offered. Also some states offer the National External Diploma Program for a high school diploma. These are not free, but consist of completing a portfolio of work that gets assessed by the adult education program in your county.

 

If you are going the GED route, go to www.ged.com and try out the practice test. I teach GED preparation classes part time in addition to homeschooling. You can take a practice test online for each of the four exams to see how close you are to passing. Often the GED program has coupons/discounts on the website to reduce the cost and some states (mine included) reduce the cost for test takers. Based on your suggestion of your skills, I'd suggest that you try it out. You might be pleasantly surprised that you are either already over the cut-off or just below it. For math, you'll need some very simple algebra and very simple geometry. For the social studies exam, about half is US government and civics with the remainder divided up between history, geography, and economics. Within science, the bulk of the exam comprises two main science problems: environment and health. The disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science are woven into those main topics. Good luck and hope this helps.

 

I looked around after reading your reply and found this: http://mycareertools.com/ged-online-classes/

It looks promising, but I'm not one to judge. The prospect of taking actual physical GED prep classes isn't very likely anytime soon, but at the very least this might get some practice under my belt until I'm in a position to where I'm able to do that.

I'll check with my state requirements.

Thank you for time and help! I'm inspired.

 

Edit: Upon further investigation, the math section of that site I linked seems a bit confusing and cluttered. Maybe I'm just not ready for it yet and need to start with something more elementary, or it's really just not put together all that concisely. 

Edited by MikaylaR
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For math, pre-algebra wlll cover most of what you need.  Much more to pre-alg than simply alg:  pre-alg locks down your +. -. x, and x/y; fractions, decimals, and conversions,  pos/neg #s, and basic geometry (terms, volume, area), and basic algebra expressions. Then an algebra 1 class (certainly, if you are in CA).  Try an online class. Classes are reasonably priced, can do it in the middle of the night, and can replay until you understand.  For pre-algebra, I have no problems recommending Thinkwell ( about $120 for a year, though regularly on 1/2 price at Homeschoolbuyerscoop) . For algebra 1, my son enjoyed TW.  The board has many other opinions on algebra. 

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Our state offers "GED on TV" classes.

 

http://litlink.ket.org/ged_connect.aspl

 

I think most high schools and public high schools can help you.

Our community college has an entire department to help GED preppers.

Honestly, you are exactly the type of person they are ALL eager to help succeed!

I'm guessing the prep materials may even be loaned or given to you at no charge.

 

Hopefully you've gotten enough encouragement here to take the next step!

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Mikayla, our local library system offers free GED prep classes. Does your library system offer this?

 

Another option would be to prepare for the Accuplacer, which is used to place community college students in leveled classes, and attend community college. Where I live, you don't have to have a high school diploma or a GED to attend.

 

Good luck to you.

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For math, pre-algebra wlll cover most of what you need.  Much more to pre-alg than simply alg:  pre-alg locks down your +. -. x, and x/y; fractions, decimals, and conversions,  pos/neg #s, and basic geometry (terms, volume, area), and basic algebra expressions. Then an algebra 1 class (certainly, if you are in CA).  Try an online class. Classes are reasonably priced, can do it in the middle of the night, and can replay until you understand.  For pre-algebra, I have no problems recommending Thinkwell ( about $120 for a year, though regularly on 1/2 price at Homeschoolbuyerscoop) . For algebra 1, my son enjoyed TW.  The board has many other opinions on algebra. 

 

Thanks. Looking up Thinkwell now, and I'll search other online classes too. I'm very tight on money so I'll look at Homeschoolbuyerscoop as well. 

Our state offers "GED on TV" classes.

 

http://litlink.ket.org/ged_connect.aspl

 

I think most high schools and public high schools can help you.

Our community college has an entire department to help GED preppers.

Honestly, you are exactly the type of person they are ALL eager to help succeed!

I'm guessing the prep materials may even be loaned or given to you at no charge.

 

Hopefully you've gotten enough encouragement here to take the next step!

 

I've definitely had plenty of encouragement to push me forward :) Thanks for the link. 

 

Mikayla, our local library system offers free GED prep classes. Does your library system offer this?

 

Another option would be to prepare for the Accuplacer, which is used to place community college students in leveled classes, and attend community college. Where I live, you don't have to have a high school diploma or a GED to attend.

 

Good luck to you.

 

I don't know if my library system offers that. They don't have much on their website as far as I can tell, but I will be going to the library soon to see what I can find. I appreciate it. 

 

You might look into adult education night classes offered by your local school district

 

Is there a community college in your area?

 

There is one, in fact, reasonably close. That's something I'm going to explore when I have my own transportation! Thanks :)

Edited by MikaylaR
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Though old you might want to look into The High School Subjects Self Taught book series by Lewis Copeland.  Just remind yourself they are old.  The last updated version was 94.  I read an article about a girl who was raised in a cult.  She was homeschooled (well somewhat) The cult believed that girls really didn't need an education past reading, some math I believe (can't remember) but how she caught up was with the What Your Grader Needs to Know series by E. D. Hirsch and I think 2 years of CC.  She was surprised at how much she was prepared for college with the E. D. Hirsch books.

 

Edited by happybeachbum
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For math another free idea to improve your skills in general might be to try the online Alcumus http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/alcumus at Art of Problem Solving. It is totally on the computer and suggests which of their videos to watch for what you need to learn. I believe algebra and geometry are covered and that it is possible just to work on those sections.

 

This isn't going to be geared towards the GED at all but might be a way to work on the math section on your own. My kids really enjoyed using Alcumus because of the chart that lets you see your progress.

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Definitely check with the public library system and with your local community college system for free or low-cost high school completion programs or materials.

 

Khan academy hasn't been mentioned yet - they have instructional videos on all sorts of subjects.

Bozeman science for science.

Do you have to pass a US history test for the GED? Try Crash Course US History or Keith Hughes.

 

Those are all YouTube channels.

 

Good luck.

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Our community college simply has students take a computer based standardized test for placement. Now, if you test below a particular level the classes they place you into for math and English won't count toward a degree, but this would be a way for you to get more education without needing a GED. Some places look down on GEDs and you might be better off taking classes until you get some college credit. Even if it takes you an extra term to get the sub 100 level classes done so you can list "some college" on job applications.

 

If money is tight for the OP, I would strongly encourage her to self-study the math as much as she can using free/low cost resources. The CC's where I live all require pricey access codes in their remedial math courses. So instead of paying a few $ for an older edition textbook the student is stuck paying $90+ for a single-use access code in addition to the tuition charged. It's one thing to pay that for a course that will grant credit towards a degree but quite another to pay it for a remedial course.

 

I had to outsource math to the CC for my oldest as she's now beyond where I can teach her and it is costing $150 for the tuition plus another $90 for the access code and $30 for the single-use workbook (and she is required to have her own copy). The sequence she's taking combines algebra 2 with college-level statistics and spreads it out over 2 semesters. The first semester will not earn her credit by itself; however, if she completes both semesters she will satisfy the general ed math requirement for an Associate's plus non-STEM majors at the state's 4 year universities.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Mikayla! We are sort of in the same boat right now. I'm 20 and I have no formal schooling. I recently got married and I'm trying to apply for a GED. I was wondering if anyone here knows how I could go and apply for/take a GED test overseas, or if that is even possible? (I am living in a military base)

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Hi Mikayla! We are sort of in the same boat right now. I'm 20 and I have no formal schooling. I recently got married and I'm trying to apply for a GED. I was wondering if anyone here knows how I could go and apply for/take a GED test overseas, or if that is even possible? (I am living in a military base)

Every military base has an education office. They should be able to, at the very least, point you in the right direction. At the most, they will provide prep classes and administer the test as well.

 

Also, Military OneSource is a good place to go for information. Anything you need to know should be located there.

 

Good luck!

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