By Leonard Williams
Students always ask me, "How can I get my GED certificate? I can't do it!" Why? Because a lot of learning programs don't work. But once GED® test students discover how to activate the learning process and reinforce learning, they find out that learning can work for them. Real learning happens when you use knowledge, especially if it's freshly learned. And since learning is really a lifelong process, a lesson on how people learn, and continue to learn, is important to understand.
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Learning Is a Self-Controlled Process.
People learn faster and better when they control the speed of learning. In most classrooms, it's the teacher who controls the material. So it's important for GED test students to determine their own learning speed, and to devise methods or a study plan that accommodate that speed.
GED test classes online can help you learn at the right speed. Self-guided study is a good way to control the speed and pace of learning. But when you're doing an online GED test class, it's important to make study a habit. You can set aside short periods for studying each day, or study for longer periods two to three times a week. Try a free GED test class.
In classroom situations, it's more difficult to control the speed of learning since instructors follow lesson plans. Talking to the instructor will probably help. Perhaps you need to move more quickly through information or need a mentor or student supporter to help when you need more time than the rest of the class. Some students may learn better by moving more quickly through material, while others need extra time. Probably, you need a mix of pacing depending on what you're learning. Whatever your personal pace is, it doesn't mean you're good or bad at learning. It's simply the speed where your learning works best.
Once a student understands that they need to control their own learning-and the speed in which it takes place-learning is almost always easier. They can then identify the most comfortable speed, and consequently, learn faster and learn more.
Learning Requires Rapid Feedback.
Feedback is a critical part of the learning process, one that's often overlooked. The more immediate and meaningful the feedback is, the more quickly people learn.
Consider how classrooms usually work: Information is presented over days or weeks, or sometimes over months. Then students are tested. Until they see test results, students may not know whether their learning is effective.
The best learning situation gives the learner immediate feedback on their progress. A good GED test study program should include continuous ways for students to connect their learning effort with what they've successfully learned. With feedback, students can quickly identify whether they've learned material and reinforce the learning process by using information quickly and frequently.
Testing isn't the only way to create feedback. Consider these strategies for a simplified GED test study program:
- Discuss knowledge and information learned or studied, and don't limit yourself to study or classroom times. Tell your family what you've read, studied or learned at lunch or at dinner. Talk to friends, co-workers, and classmates.
- Use new knowledge and information in different situations. Use math while you're shopping or balancing your checkbook. Use GED test writing skills to write a letter or email. Use GED test reading skills to read a book. These are real-life skills you're learning. Put them to use!
Real Learning Means Real Knowledge - Use it!
Once you learn material and gain new knowledge, use it every chance you get. Using new knowledge ensures ownership and enhances critical-thinking skills, the most important skills measured by the GED tests. Using your knowledge and new skills will also build your confidence, and reduce test stress. Passing the GED test isn't about memorization or spending excess time studying. It's about understanding.
Here is a good example of how one successful GED Academy student gained real knowledge through the application of it:
Maria, studying for the GED test, encountered an unfamiliar word in a literary passage: the word 'superfluous.' (It's not an easy word…)
At first, the word just seemed confusing to Maria. She wanted to check the word in a dictionary, but remembered that she wouldn't be able to use a dictionary at GED test time. And she had learned in her online GED test class how to look for context clues to find word meanings, especially if the word seemed to be important to the passage. She found three words that seemed to point back to the word 'superfluous.' One word was 'extra,' another was 'over-abundant,' and the third was 'excessive.' Maria was fairly sure that all the other words were talking about a large amount. She also looked carefully at the word superfluous, and found the word 'super.' So she was sure that she was right…superfluous obviously meant something extra. Then, her dictionary confirmed it.
Through the next few weeks, Maria began using new words she was learning during conversations. At first it was hard-using new words seemed unnatural and she had to really think about them. After a short time, though, new words came to her more naturally. She developed complete ownership of her new knowledge. Not only was her vocabulary expanding, but she discovered that it became easier to move through GED test reading passages while she studied. Her feedback scores were climbing. Also, the Extended Responses section of the GED test Reasoning Through Language Arts exam seemed much less challenging. Not only were her reading and analysis skills improving, her writing skills reflected her work.
Maria was delighted. She was pleased by her success and started really enjoying her studies. Studying now seemed more of a hobby instead of a chore. And she wasn't the only one impressed. Her boss asked her to lead a training program since she was demonstrating quick abilities to understand, analyze, and explain new information.
Maria's story is an excellent example of all three ways to reinforce the learning process.
When Maria first encountered a difficulty, she controlled the speed of her learning. She slowed the pace of her learning, and really spent some time thinking about the information. She used a test-taking technique she had learned to provide immediate feedback. And it wasn't a test that initially provided the feedback; it was similar words that gave the feedback and a dictionary then confirmed it.
Then, Maria used her new knowledge. By using it in everyday situations, at work and in conversations, she quickly became the rightful owner of the knowledge.
This new knowledge benefited Maria at work and in her online GED test classes. Her knowledge was reflected in her test scores, improved her critical-thinking skills and created an enthusiastic attitude good for learning and a terrific career opportunity.
For real knowledge-knowledge that's powerfully owned-activate and reinforce the learning process!