"I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more if they had known they were slaves." - Harriet Tubman

How You Can Prepare For Your GED

What to expect in a GED test and how to prepare for it.
by D. Silva

To receive a GED diploma, you're required to pass five tests covering writing, reading, social studies, science, and math. Altogether, the GED includes 240 questions, plus an original essay. Completing the entire set of tests can take nearly 7 1/2 hours.

A daunting task at first glance.

But it doesn't have to be overwhelming. With some pre-test preparation, the experience can go much easier than you ever imagined.

First, let's get a better idea of what's included in the GED testing process.

The GED Language Arts, Writing Test is composed of two parts, and takes two hours to complete. In Part I, you'll answer 50 multiple-choice questions. In Part II, you'll write on a topic provided to you. The topic will be something you should have no trouble writing about, such as your personal goals in life or your opinion on a current event.

The GED Language Arts, Reading Test covers 40 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 65 minutes. The test requires you to be able to comprehend what you're reading, and be able to interpret different passages.

The GED Social Studies Test is 70 minutes long and is composed of 50 multiple-choice questions covering U.S. history, world history, government and civics, economics, and geography.

The Science Test allows you 80 minutes to complete 50 multiple-choice questions based on life science, earth and space science, and physical science.

The GED Mathematics Test runs 90 minutes and is delivered in two parts, each with 25 questions. Areas covered include: number operations and number sense, data analysis, statistics, and probability, algebra, and geometry and measurement.

Now, the good news is that you don't have to go in cold. Most libraries and bookstores carry GED preparation materials. In addition, most local testing centers also offer preparation programs at either a minimal charge or often no charge at all. You can also check with your local school district office to see if there are any adult school programs in your area that offer GED preparation help.

There are also some great Internet resources that can help you get a jump on the GED. For instance, at GEDonline (http://www.gedonline.org/) you can take the official GED Practice Tests developed by the GED Testing Service, grade them online, and study using online interactive practice lessons. It's a great interactive community of people who are all after the same thing ... success taking the GED.

You can also take the complete GED Preparation Course online through Steck-Vaughn's Gedpractice.com (http://steckvaughn.harcourtachieve.com/en-US/gedpractice). This is a free service provided by Steck-Vaughn to help familiarize you with the types of items you'll see on the actual GED test. Answering the practice questions and getting feedback can help you get a feel for the kind of reading, thinking, and problem-solving skills you'll need to pass the GED test.

Then there's GEDforFree (http://www.gedforfree.com) where you can take a complete online GED Preparation Course for free. This two-hundred page course, presented as an online class, is designed for adults with a ninth-grade education or higher. The information provides you with a solid foundation in the GED topics, includes helpful tips and strategies, and even includes links to the official practice tests presented by the GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education (ACE).

Don't let the idea of taking the GED intimidate you. Even though it can sound overwhelming, you have access to a wealth of resources that can help make sure you're well prepared and your goal of attaining your GED is a successful one.

Author's info/links:
D. Silva is the webmaster for GED First Stop, where you can learn more about the GED and what's available on the Internet to help you succeed in taking your high school equivalency test. Learn more here: GED

Written by: D. Silva
10 July 2008

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