by Johanna Skelly
originally published in the 2012 Winter Issue
If you are an adult who didn’t get a high school diploma, for whatever reason, you probably don’t want to re-enroll in a high school program and work your way through years of classes. But if a high school diploma is your goal, there is another way.
The General Educational Development (GED) test is an on-line course that provides you with the means to acquire an Ontario High School Equivalency certificate. The tests are based on core curriculum subjects— English, Mathematics Social Studies and Science—and are administered by the Independent Learning Centre (ILC) in Ontario. You can go to www.ILC. org or call in Toronto 416-484-2704, or toll free at 1-800-387-5512. Staff is available to take calls every afternoon, Monday to Friday from 12pm to 5pm.
GED testing allows you to study at your own pace, receive online tutoring, and have access to an online instructor every day. The ILC understands that, as an adult learner, you may well have acquired real-life knowledge that will allow you to work at a higher grade level than the one where you left off. So, if you stopped just short of getting a high school diploma or if you need more extensive review, the GED study guide is designed to allow you to review and strengthen each subject area, based on your current knowledge.
Following are some basic Questions & Answers to help you determine if GED testing is for you.
WHAT IS GED TESTING?
If you are an adult who did not complete a formal high school program, the GED test will provide you with the level of skills and knowledge of a high school equivalency program.
WHO CAN TAKE IT?
Any Ontario resident who is 18 years of age or older and has been out of school for one full year is eligible.
WHY CHOOSE GED?
A high school diploma can make all the difference in your qualifying for a job, being promoted where you work, entering a training or apprenticeship program or pursuing higher education.
WHAT IF I’M NOT SURE WHAT LEVEL OF SCHOOLING I NEED?
Even before you explore the idea of going back to school, you can go to a city-by-city listing of preparatory centres that can be found at www.ilc.org/ged/prep_centres. php. The GED work booklet can be downloaded and this will give you a clear idea of what subjects you need to study.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The cost for the 5 courses is $100. The study guide is $18, and can be ordered from the ILC site.
WHAT IS ON THE GED TESTS?
The GED tests are a set of five tests in the core high school curriculum areas: Language Arts: Writing, Language Arts: Reading, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Part 1 (use of calculator) Mathematics : Part 2 (no calculator) The tests measure important knowledge and skills such as your ability to understand and apply information; to evaluate, analyze, and draw conclusions; and to express ideas and opinions in writing that are usually acquired during a regular high school program of study. You can go to the GED site and see the complete test outline.
WHAT KIND OF TEST QUESTIONS ARE ON THE EXAM?
All of the tests contain questions that require the use of important ideas and thinking skills and are formatted as multiple choice questions. Few of the questions ask for isolated details, definitions, or specific facts. The Language Arts: Writing Test includes an essay component that a candidate must pass in order to receive a score for the test. The Mathematics test includes the use of standard and coordinate plane graphs and a calculator. The tests are available in English and French. Special editions and testing accommodations are available to help people with special needs and physical and/or learning disabilities. The tests used in Canada have been developed especially for Canadians.
HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE?
Detailed information is available on the GED web site at www.ilc.org. There you will find the application form you’ll need to fill out, the location of the ILC (in Toronto, 2180 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON N4S 2B9 ) where you go to take the test, directions on ordering the study guide, information on the academic requirements you need and even samples of how the tests are laid out.
Once you have decided to enroll for GED testing, the steps are simple.
Step 1: The GED site lists the testing dates. Checking these dates is the very first step for you to take. However, this does not mean that you have to book a date at this time. The testing dates and times just allow you to think ahead and decide for yourself when you will feel ready to write the GED test.
Step 2: Go to GED’s website at www.ilc.org. Download and print an application form.
Step 3: Complete the form and return it with payment and a photocopy of a document that proves you are 18 years of age or older to: The GED Coordinator at the Independent Learning Centre PO Box 200, Station Q , Toronto, ON M4T 2T1. Or If you are paying by credit card, you may fax your completed application to 416.484.2750 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 4: Receive your work package within 5-7 business days. If a high school diploma is one of those things you always meant to go back and get, check the GED web site for
complete details on how you can do this, today.