By Leonard Williams
Preparing for the GED® test can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Start by knowing that GED test prep is worth time and effort, since preparation builds knowledge and thinking skills, the most important elements to getting good GED test results.
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Here are some essential steps for solid GED test preparation:
Without an understanding of existing knowledge and abilities, it's difficult to map a study plan. So first determine the knowledge and skills you already have, along with the ones important for the test. Measuring abilities will also determine skill weaknesses, and identify areas for study.
The best way to make a self-assessment is with a GED practice test online. Practice tests include the same type of questions as the actual GED test and measure the same skills and knowledge the test expects you to know. Also, a GED practice test is a good predictor of GED test scores, and it will help you become familiar with the way the test works. Having a working knowledge of the test is another way to improve the final test score.
GED practice tests may be available at local bookstores or through a local GED test community college or adult learning center. An online GED practice test can be taken at home, on your own time, and you can get your GED test results immediately. Try a GED practice test online free sample.
Develop a Study Plan
The results of your assessment or GED practice test provide a map for a study plan. A full online GED practice test will give you more detailed information than a free GED test online, but either will get you started. GED test scores should indicate which test areas require little or no study, areas for refresher study and basic reviews, and skill areas where there are real weaknesses. Design a study plan that reflects areas for reviews and for developing knowledge and strengthening skills or developing new ones.
For example, if you take a GED math practice test free online, and your score predicts a 170 on the GED test prep, you can be pleased that it's predicted a passing score. But passing the GED test means getting a minimum of 150 on each test, and the predicted GED test results was 160. Plus, there's a margin for error in GED practice test results. A score of 160 means you'll want to brush up a little and get into practice, so you'll be sure you'll pass.
You'll also want to reinforce good skills since higher test scores in some areas can help compensate for lower test scores in others. And, strengthening skills you already have will help you develop skills you don't have.
Use the Study Plan
Your study plan really works if you exercise it. It should include three components: instruction, application and routine.
Instruction: You'll want to relearn basic knowledge in any test area where you need improvement. There are many ways to do this. Most community colleges offer free or low-cost GED test classes or basic skills classes. Or, you may find a support program through local family resource centers, nonprofits or in your workplace.
An online GED test class can also provide a good learning solution for adults who haven't had good classroom experiences, have schedule conflicts, or have lots of family and work responsibilities.
Application: Use knowledge that you learn. Apply it. Make sure your study plan includes plenty of practical problem solving. This will help prepare you for the GED test and also identify any areas that require additional instruction. It will also help to use new knowledge in everyday situations. Consider how math study can be used to mentally calculate groceries while shopping, balancing a checking account, managing a budget, or perhaps during a home repair project that requires measuring. Skills newly learned for other parts of the GED test can be used while reading, planning, organizing, or interpreting directions or instructions on the job.
Routine: The study plan works best when it's routine. GED test candidates best benefit from daily study, with short and longer study sessions. Still, the most important practice is to make study a frequent habit.
Exercise Thinking Skills.
Make sure your GED test prep involves a lot of thinking skill practice, to develop or improve critical thinking skills. The GED test requires that you show what you understand, not what you've memorized. Critical thinking is the most important skill measured by the GED test. The test will call for you to analyze material, evaluate it and make inferences, deductions and judgments. Unlike the memorization skills so many students use in high school, the GED test measures 'application of knowledge' skills, or the ability to use knowledge to solve problems. Consider ways you solve problems every day, and determine ways to use those same skills in study sessions and for the GED test.
Once you feel you've mastered new knowledge and skills and strengthened your existing skills, assess again. Use another practice GED test online, or a paper-and-pencil GED practice test. Like your first assessment, your GED test scores will predict your GED test results, so you'll know if you're really ready to get GED test dates, or if you need more instruction, application, and further work and study to build knowledge and improve thinking skills.
Once you're ready for the GED test, you'll take it at one of the official GED test locations since the actual GED test is not given online. You can call for information on a GED test application and GED test schedule. To find GED test centers near you, use the GED test center locator.
GED test prep is a major undertaking. By using these easy and essential steps, you'll learn exactly what you need to earn this important education and career credential.
- For additional study tips and test information, and to get free online GED test resources, visit http://www.passGED.com.
- Visit the official website for GED test information, delivered by the American Council on Education: www.gedtest.org.
- Contact your local Volunteer Center to learn about learning resources and tutors or local agencies that offer volunteer support or local learning resources. For a center directory, visit the Points of Light Foundation at http://www.pointsoflight.org/centers/find_center.cfm