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Timeline of Earning a GED: How Long Does It Take to Earn a GED?

September 11, 2020

How long does it take to get a GED? Studying 2-3 times a week can help you become GED ready and more likely to pass the test in just a few months, which can vary based on the last grade you completed and how recently you attended school. In most cases, the more you study, the quicker you can learn the information needed to pass the GED test subjects. Decide how quickly you want to finish, and use a step-by-step checklist to get there.

There are four different tests you’ll take to earn the GED: Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts. If you shoot to finish the process of earning a GED in three months, you could either:


Option 1: Study a single subject for three weeks, take the GED test for it, then repeat for the next subject.

Advantage: Focus completely on just one subject at a time and finish faster.


Option 2: Study all four subjects for about three months, then take all four tests in one day.

Advantage: If you have to drive far to get to your testing center, avoid taking the trip four different times.

Either way, you’ve got to set a goal that will work for you and start using it. Be realistic about your situation and personality. For example, if you don’t have a lot of time to study, you may need to give yourself a longer timeline.


A Sample Plan for 3–4 Months

You’ll want to know exactly what the timeline of earning a GED looks like so you can plan accordingly. Here is an example plan you can use to get an idea of what the process could look like for you:

Month 1

  1. Download Free Practice Tests or Study Guides: Find practice tests for social studies, language arts, mathematics, and science. Practice test on each of these four subjects. Spend time studying the answer explanations, writing down what you did well at, what you didn’t know, and the tips they give you on why certain answers are wrong.
  2. Take GED Ready: Check if you’re ready to pass the GED test.
  3. Get Organized: Put your study guides, calendar, and notepaper in one binder. Write down your practice test results. Make a master list of all the big ideas you need to study under each subject so you can check them off as you go.
  4. Schedule Study Times: Write in your calendar the exact date and time for each of your upcoming study periods. Remember, they have to really work for your schedule so you can stick to them. Try 30–90 minutes per session.
  5. Start Studying: As soon as you’ve finished these steps, start using your scheduled study times for the rest of the month.

What if you start studying and realize your study schedule doesn’t work for you? Change it. Right away. Only use a plan if it works for you. Try different places for studying, or different times of day, and maybe a study group or partner.

Keep adjusting your schedule until it fits into your everyday life. Remember, you’re going to need to stick with it for a few months, so it better make sense.

Months 2–3

Keep using your study calendar, and change it when you need to. If you feel like you always procrastinate, try using shorter study periods, like only 25 minutes. 

Or study with a group that keeps you motivated. It’s more fun to do something with a group. Just keep trying different ideas and reading about other study tips to make it more fun. 

Also, keep track of how you’re improving. Keep checking off each big idea that you master. You can even re-take each practice test to see if you can pass it. If you suddenly realize you can, that can cut down your study time.

Month 4

So, how long does it take to study for a GED? You might be ready to take your tests during month two, or you might still be taking practice tests in month four. Either way is great. Just do what works best with your learning style. Be patient with yourself, and only take the real tests when you’re totally confident in the practice tests. 

Are you excited about earning your GED? Then set your goal, start on step 1 above, and work your way down—you’ll have your GED in no-time. Earning your GED can give you exciting new opportunities. You can do it! And we’ll be here for you when you need us.


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