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How Long Will It Take to Get My GED? 9 Factors That Impact How Soon You’ll Be Ready to Test

 How long do I need to study for Math? Is 3 months realistic to finish my GED? I signed up for my test in 6 weeks. Is that enough time to study?

We hear questions like these all the time. We even hear more specific versions, such as:

  • I’ve been out of school for 5 (or 10, or 30) years, how long will it take to get my GED?
  • I only went to school until the 4th (or 11th, or 7th) grade, how long will it take to get my GED?
  • I was homeschooled. How long will it take to get my GED?
  • I only have 2 (or 10, or 6) hours to study each week. How long will it take me to get my GED?
  • I don’t like to read but I love math! How long will it take to get my GED?
  • It takes me a while to learn new things. How long will it take me to get my GED?

Unfortunately, the short answer to all of these questions is never what a student wants to hear:

“It depends on a handful of factors. Every person is different.”

Before you sigh in frustration, that’s just the short answer.

It is important to remember that high school equivalency tests like the GED and HiSET are intended to tell colleges and employers that you are just as ready as someone who has completed all 4 years of high school.

Some students come to Seeds and brush up in two or three tutoring sessions, and then test right away. More are with us a few months, and some a few years. 

How long will it take you? It depends. Ask yourself these 9 questions.


(1) How long have you been out of school?

Whether you’ve only been out a few years or if it’s been a few decades may matter. Are the concepts still relatively fresh in your memory or do you need to relearn the skills? (Don’t worry, Seeds can help you either way!)

(2) How far did you get in school before leaving?

A student who left in 5th grade will need more help than a student who left in the 12th grade, simply because education is cumulative. Someone with a 5th-grade education has to learn many new concepts, while a 12th-grade education may require just a brush up on skills. 

(3) What do you already know?

Before tutoring even begins, Seeds administers the Test of Adult Basic Education, also known as the TABE. It’s not a pass/fail type of test, it just gives staff a sense of how much you already know and what you still need to learn before taking the GED. Seeds also gives a 60-second fluency assessment and a brief math assignment to help us pick the right study materials for you and a tutor.

(4) How much time do you have to dedicate to studying each day?

The more you study, the faster you learn.

Tutors at Seeds of Literacy are available for “class” four days a week, three times a day.That means there are 12 opportunities to study each week and you simply pick the days and times that work with your schedule – no appointments needed. 

Students who work with tutors at least three sessions a week tend to make the most progress.

If you can only study with a tutor one class session a week, that’s ok! We understand that you have other priorities and a life outside of studying. Everyone is different. We don’t judge. You can work with Seeds for weeks, months, or years. Whatever it takes. 

Tutoring at Seeds of Literacy is offered Monday through Thursday.

  • Morning 9am – 11am ET
  • Afternoon 1pm – 3pm ET
  • Evening 6pm – 8pm ET

We also offer resources for you to study on your own, outside of tutoring times.

(5) Do you have a distraction-free environment to study?

This is an especially important question for virtual students.

  • Some students have children at home especially during the summer months. 
  • Others may log in from the noisy break room at work because their lunch hour is the only free time they have available. 
  • Is your phone constantly ringing? Does your partner have the tv volume up?

Sometimes these distractions are unavoidable. But students who have a quiet, undisturbed opportunity to work with a tutor will find learning much easier. 

Students who are local to Cleveland are encouraged to study in-person at Seeds East or Seeds West in our classrooms designed for learning.

(6) How much time will you take between classes?

Did you know that when you learn something new, the moment you walk away from it the forgetting curve begins? The more time you spend away from something (like math) the less you will remember as the days go by.  With tutoring sessions available 4 days a week, you have the opportunity to study more frequently (and flatten your forgetting curve!)

(7) How quickly do you pick up a new skill or concept?

Think about when you started a new job…how quickly did you learn your tasks? Studying for the GED can be similar. Some students are slow and steady. Others speed through various concepts. There is no right or wrong speed to learn – only YOUR speed.

(8) Are you a “reader”? How well do you read?

There’s no shortage of research that demonstrates readers have higher vocabularies and tend to be better writers than their non-reading counterparts (which is helpful for the essay portion!) However, the foundation of every section of the GED is reading comprehension – even Math. 

Comprehension, critical thinking, and analysis are all skills that improve by reading more – every section contains story problems and reading passages that provide context clues.

Reading also advances these critical LIFE SKILLS: focus, concentration, speech.

5 Tips to Learn to Love Reading

(9) Do you have a strong support network?

Supporters often provide more than just encouragement – they remove barriers for you, like providing childcare or solving temporary transportation issues so you can attend tutoring.  Students who have a strong network of support outside of Seeds tend to do better at Seeds.  

If you do not have the strongest support at home, never fear, Seeds is here! Tutors and staff at Seeds of Literacy are the best cheerleaders around. Our graduates regularly report that “tutors believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.” 

Although the program is flexible, staff will call, text, and send postcards if we don’t hear from you for a while. We don’t do this to scold you for not studying – we do it to make sure everything’s ok and to offer support if we can help.


Don’t Be Discouraged 

Seeds wants you to understand what MIGHT impact the amount of time it will take you to finish your GED. Don’t be discouraged: We can and will help. It might be faster than you expect.

Our unique one-to-one program is designed to address these factors. 

  • We’re flexible and ongoing, working around your schedule.
  •  Our tutors are caring and encouraging, helping to keep you motivated. 
  • We offer virtual and in-person tutoring. 
  • We are one of the few adult education programs that also serves adults below a 4th-grade reading level
  • We’ve worked with all kinds of adult learners: homeschooled adults, adults who graduated high school but still struggle with reading comprehension, 80-year-old adult students, and students who enroll just to brush up. 

Regardless of your level and speed, we’re here to help. 


Did you mean LITERALLY how long will it take?

How long is each GED test section? How long is each HiSET test section?

For those of you who are ready and confident about testing, each section varies in length.

GEDHiSET
Language Arts150 minutes65 minutes Reading
120 minutes Writing
Math115 minutes90 minutes
Social Studies70 minutes70 minutes
Science90 minutes80 minutes

For additional information on each test, including a break down of subject matter, click here.

# ##KLK