By Michael Ormsby
Many GED® candidates speak English as a second language or have some difficulty with reading and writing. Here is an overview of the GED reading and GED writing tests to help learners get an idea of what to expect. The best way to understand what the GED tests are like is to take a GED sample test. Taking a GED practice test also tends to improve your GED testing scores, because you’re familiar with what to expect and you have a good idea of how to prepare.
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The GED reading test is not too hard. You’ll need to read passages, including non-fiction, plays, poetry, and fiction, and answer questions about them. If you have some problems with English grammar and can’t always find the right word, that’s okay! It’s not going to affect your GED reading test. You just need to be able to read the passage and understand what’s going on.
The GED writing test has two parts, an essay and a multiple choice test. The better you do on the essay, the less you need to get right on the multiple choice test, and vice versa. It’s fairly easy to improve your essay. You might have some trouble with vocabulary and grammar, but you can still improve your essay score. Practice with GED essay prompts, and follow these steps:
- Be sure you read the prompt and understand what it’s asking, and answer it fully.
- Be sure your essay is organized, with a beginning, a middle, and an ending, and that it’s all about a main idea that answers the prompt.
- Be sure you’ve got details that support what you’re saying.
You can improve your essay a lot with organization and supporting details. If you are less familiar with writing in English, try to be clear and use simple sentences (to avoid confusing grammar). If your essay is well organized around a main idea that answers the prompt, you should do well.
That just leaves the GED writing multiple choice test. The questions cover punctuation, verb use, grammar, organization, and other basic English grammar skills. Depending on what your “textbook” English knowledge is, these questions might be very easy for you, even if your spoken or written English is a bit awkward. But, if you don’t know some of the rules of grammar and punctuation, it might be a bit harder. Brush up on the basic rules of verbs, pronouns, and punctuation. Try to figure out what “sounds” right, even though you don’t have as practiced an ear for English as for your native language. And remember, the better your essay is, the less pressure there is on the multiple choice test.
With a little preparation, you can approach the GED reading and GED writing tests with confidence and get the score you need to move on to higher education or a better job. Don’t let worry over language skills stop you, because you can succeed.
Michael Ormsby is the president of the GED Academy and oversees software and curriculum for adult learners and people with educational challenges. For more information, visit passGED.com. Michael can be contacted by telephone at 800-460-8150.