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Can You Go Back To High School As An Adult?

Missing out on a high school education can limit your options when it comes to careers. Fortunately, just like a college education, it’s possible to get a high school education at any age. And no, you don’t have to sit in a class with a bunch of teenagers. Below is a guide on everything you need to know about getting a high school education as an adult.

GED or adult diploma?

There are two main types of high school qualifications that you can obtain as an adult in the US – a GED or an adult diploma. Most employers recognize both as official high school qualifications. The main difference is what you study and how you study them.

In a GED, you are assessed across five areas: writing, reading, math, science, and social studies. You can take the test at any time without having to attend any prior classes (although most people studying for their GED will take some form of class). If you don’t have a lot of credits and want to study at college, a GED can help you to achieve all the credits you need.

A high school adult diploma on the other hand can help you to complete specific classes that you may have missed out on in high school. You typically need to enroll in a course and take classes to complete it. For those looking to eventually get a college education, a high school diploma is typically ideal for those that already have some credits. 

high school
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Attend a night school

A popular way to study for an adult diploma or GED is to attend classes at a high school – usually at night or at weekends. In these classes, you’ll study among fellow adults.

For those that value the camaraderie of others to motivate them to learn, night schools can be a good option. Obviously, you will need to find one that is locally available to you. Most towns of a fair size will have these night schools, but smaller towns and villages may not. 

Take an online course

An alternative option is to take an online course. This can be more flexibly studied in your own time and can be studied from any location. For those with commitments who are studying towards their GED, it’s a popular option. Online courses can also be taken to study for adult diplomas.

It’s worth taking the time to look into online adult schools for GED. Opting for an online course can give you more options as to the types of courses to take. Of course, this may not be a good option for those that thrive in a physical classroom environment.

Get your qualifications

You will either need to complete coursework or exams to get the qualifications you need. A high school diploma typically takes a year or two to obtain, whereas a GED can take as little or long as you need. You will have the choice to attend an official graduation ceremony, although you don’t have to attend this to officially receive your qualification. 

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