By Michael Ormsby
Over 700,000 people take the GED® test each year… not surprising, considering that 39 million American adults lack a high school diploma and need to get a GED diploma to move forward to better jobs or higher education. But almost half of GED candidates fail the tests on their first try. Why? The key is critical thinking.
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Why do so many people fail the GED tests on the first try? Many students believe that learning facts is more important than learning how to think about information, but actually, the thinking process is much more important than learning facts. Passing the GED Test is about critical thinking.
The problem is that many people study the wrong things. They memorize rules and learn by rote. The good news is that you don’t need to do boring memorization. It’s actually easier to learn thinking skills and learn to understand ideas about math and language, instead of just learning facts or memorizing information.
The GED test is primarily a test of thinking skills. There are five subject area tests in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, but the emphasis of these tests is not generally on remembering facts or knowing specific pieces of information. Instead, the tests focus on test-takers’ thinking skills, such as the ability to solve problems, interpret information, and evaluate explanations.
The GED asks you to understand cause and effect, to come to conclusions about information, to understand different points of view, and to see the difference between facts and opinions. That sounds like a lot, but it’s easier to learn different ways of thinking about information than it is to memorize dates from history.
The GED Academy focuses on these critical thinking skills, which are really the skills you need to get GED-ready, the skills the GED test is designed to measure. GED students need to learn critical thinking skills in every discipline. In other words, students need to learn to think things through. It’s a lot easier than people imagine… it’s even fun.