By Leonard Williams
If you’re planning to take the GED® test soon, you’ll want to know how the test works and what the test measures. Knowing the GED Test is a good way to outline a course of study and improve your score. An online GED practice test free sample can help get you started. You’ll also need a basic understanding of GED testing scores and what GED results you’ll need to get a GED diploma or credential.
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About the GED Test
The GED test is actually a series of five tests, a 7.5-hour timed exam, and it’s important to prepare for the GED test before taking it. The test series includes the GED mathematics test, the GED reading test, the GED writing test, the GED social studies test, and the GED science test. The individual tests in the series can be taken at different times. Once you pass an individual exam, you don’t have to take it again.
While most people have more questions or concerns about the GED mathematics test and the GED writing test, it’s important to understand all the parts of the exam. Here’s a review of all the tests in the five-part GED test series.
For the science, social studies, and GED reading tests, questions measure your ability to understand material, and then apply that understanding or knowledge by selecting the best answer among five multiple-choice options. You’ll need to read and understand short passages of information and then make inferences, evaluations, and deductions to determine correct answers. The ability to understand information and apply reasoning skills are valuable for these tests. These abilities, along with common sense and judgment, are more important than memory, or the knowledge you remember from a basic skills class or high school.
The GED mathematics test is also a multiple-choice test. The test is divided into two parts, and there are 25 questions on each part, with 45 minutes allowed for each section. Both parts of the GED mathematics test require background knowledge and ability in basic math skills, and most test candidates will need to refresh these skills, or learn them. The test covers basic number operations, basic algebra and geometry, along with analysis of charts and data. A GED math practice test can help you get started on studying.
One part of the math test allows you to use of a calculator. The calculator used for the GED test is the Casio fx-260, and the official testing site will provide it for the test. Since not all calculators are alike, you’ll want to become familiar with particular fx-260 calculator functions required for the test, and re-learn or sharpen your math skills so you’ll be ready.
The GED writing test also has two parts. The first is a multiple-choice test about the mechanics of English usage such as sentence structure, verb tense, punctuation, and grammar. The second part requires an original written essay, and requires you to make an explanation or present a point of view. The two-page essay must address the prompt that’s on the test.
Here’s an example of a prompt:
“What is one career goal you hope to achieve in the next two years? In your essay, identify your primary career goal and explain how you plan to achieve it, using your experience, background, and knowledge to support your essay.”
Your GED essay scoring is based on essay organization, how well you stay on topic, and how well you develop your ideas. The essay is also measured on appropriate English mechanics such as grammar, punctuation, your choice of words, and sentence structure.
A total of 120 minutes is allowed for the GED writing test, with 75 minutes slotted for the 50 questions in part one and 45 minutes slotted for the essay test. Your GED writing test score is a combination of the GED results from the multiple choice section and the essay. The better your essay is, the fewer correct multiple choice questions you need to pass.
Understanding GED Results – A Basic Primer
The standard GED testing scores range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of 800 on each test. Though GED scoring is more complex than just a percentage, roughly 60% is required for passing the GED test. You’ll need to score at least 410 on each GED test to pass it, and achieve an overall average score of 450 for the five-test battery. The score for any single test can’t be less than 410. But if some scores are lower, other GED tests need to be above 410 so that the scores for all five GED tests average out to a minimum of 450 each.
Once you’re ready, you’ll take the GED test at one of the official GED test locations. Official GED Test Centers™ are located in all major cities across the U.S. and Canada, and the state requirements vary. You may need to fill out a GED application for your state to register for the test.
Even though some companies claim to offer the GED test or award GED diplomas online, taking the GED test online is not possible. The GED is not given online, only at Official GED Test Centers™. You can get GED online courses, but you can’t take your GED online. International testing is available, as well as testing in the U.S. and Canada. For Official GED Testing Center™ locations, visit: http://www.passGED.com/test_state.php
The American Council on Education provides GED test online free information about testing, official GED locations, GED testing scores, example test questions, and GED transcripts. The website address for the ACE is www.gedtest.org.
GED Academy is an online community that offers learning solutions and free GED resources and support for GED diploma students, instructors and programs sponsored by businesses, nonprofits and government. Free GED online information and resources include test advice, study guides, student support, financial aid and an online message board for students and teachers. The website address is http://www.passGED.com.
PBS television stations broadcast GED courses, and PBS offer some free online GED classes that will prepare you to get a GED diploma. Check out this link for resources or broadcast times: http://www.pbs.org/literacy.