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Online GED Preparation Course

written by: Kimberly Roberts, MPH•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 4/16/2009

With a struggling economy many high school drop outs are making a decision to work towards earning a General Education Diploma (GED). This article explains an online program that helps students prepare for the GED exam.

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    Online GED Preparation Course

    School Districts throughout the country have been expanding opportunities for students who have dropped out or have been expelled from school to earn their General Education Degree. Now, more than ever, a degree is critical in today’s workforce. In efforts to make this opportunity more accessible to students that live in rural areas or have limited transportation, online GED courses have been created throughout many school districts. These programs are appropriate for students who are computer literate, have access to the Internet and already have a strong foundation in reading and basic arithmetic such as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. These programs assist young adults in developing the additional reading and thinking skills that are needed to successfully pass all areas of the GED exam; Writing and Reading, Math, Literature, Social Studies and Science.

    There are many different formats for a GED online course. However, one structure that has proven to be successful was designed through the Adult Education Department within the Buffalo Public School System. This format outlines lesson plans over the course of six weeks. Students can remain in the program as long as it takes until they gain the need skills. Each week there are two lessons that are posted on the courses web page. The lesson must be completed within two weeks of its release. During Week 1 students are asked to practice reading comprehension by reviewing GED testing process and writing a paper. The paper covers information related to how much time you have to finish a GED exam, where do you go to take the exam and what skills you need before you sit for the exam. This lesson provides strategies for sentence and paragraph structure.

    The second, third and fourth week of the course focuses on Social Studies and has students reviewing and writing about historical documents and areas of civics and government. This is also where the instructor introduces economics and geography and begins having students practice understanding and analyzing maps and graphs. This skill is again strengthened in the fifth week when Science is introduced. There is a great deal of formulating hypothesis and utilizing graphs to support independent research studies. The sixth week focuses on fraction and word problems. It develops problem solving skills and prepares students to be able to identify the probability of an event using mathematics. The instructor using current situations that are relevant to students lives where they can see math being applied to real world scenarios.

    The feedback to this approach from students has been remarkable. Students feel confident walking into an exam. Despite the lack of face to face interaction students still felt that their questions were answered and their education process was supported throughout the course. This online GED course experienced high graduation rates and is one of the most popular modes of assisting people in earning their General Education Diploma. You can check with the Buffalo Public School System, or even your own city's school system to see if the online GED course is available to you.

    By: Kimberly Roberts, MPH