By Michael Ormsby
Most adult learners and GED® students want to know what to expect on the GED test and whether passing the GED test is harder than passing the tests and exams they took in high school.
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There’s no question about it. The GED test is challenging. It’s especially difficult without preparation. Most GED Academy graduates say the test isn’t as hard as high school exams, since GED testing is about essential skills and relevant information. The emphasis of the GED tests is not on memorization, but on thinking skills and the application of practical knowledge. It’s a test where you show what you understand, not a test that requires recalling knowledge from memory.
So what’s the difference? Just consider how standard high school classes and courses work. Over weeks and months, a student covers lots of information, and in most cases, must remember it. While quizzes and tests create a grade, and indicate how well a student is progressing through the material, the real test—or most important grade—probably results from mid-term and final exams. Students who have a tough time with memorization may not test or score well, especially if weeks and months have passed since the information was covered.
Also, many students find it hard to learn and remember information that doesn’t seem important or practical to their lives. For example, a history or social studies test may require that the student remember the date the Magna Carta was signed. The correct answer may not seem relevant to real life; still, the answer could make the difference between pass or fail.
The GED test measures knowledge differently, and requires application skills. Like high school, it addresses science, social studies, math, reading, and writing. But it’s not memory at the test measures. It’s the use and application of knowledge.
Consider the Magna Carta again, as it would be presented on the GED test.
GED Sample Test Passage:
Signed in 1215 in England, this document, coined the Great Charter, was developed by English nobles. The nobles compelled King John to execute the Magna Carta as a means to recognize the rights of noblemen and common Englishmen. It established the principle that no one, including the king or a lawmaker, is above the law. The Magna Carta marked a turning point in preventing tyrannical rule and anarchy. It also marked a turning point in political history and is considered the first step in the process toward constitutional law.
Sample GED Multiple-Choice Test Questions:
If this were one of the GED social studies readings, one test question might ask for the date the Charter was executed, since knowledge application requires your ability to get information from what you read. The answer is in the first sentence of the sample GED passage.
Other questions might stress thinking skills and the ability to make conclusions, asking what “tyrannical rule” or “anarchy” mean in the passage, or to define the meaning of the phrase “above the law.” The GED test is also designed to measure judgment—or the ability to apply significant information to a different situation. So you may also see a question on how the Magna Carta is comparable or relevant to a recent civil rights event.
For some people, especially those who have relied on memorization skills in their education, GED testing can seem more difficult than high school because it’s easier to just memorize information than know how to use it. For people who haven’t had much experience in making inferences, analyzing data, and making judgments from information, the GED test can seem difficult. But fortunately, there are strategies test candidates can use to make the test easier and net higher test scores.
Understand the Test: Get acquainted with the GED writing test essay, the GED mathematics test, and the GED Test structure as a whole: Become more familiar with how test passages and questions are presented and the best way to find the right answer among five multiple-choice options.
Practice First: Take an online GED practice test to increase your familiarity with the test and to determine skill weaknesses and strengths. A GED pre test or GED practice test can also help you plan a study program and determine how much time you’ll need to prepare for the GED test. Pencil-and-paper GED practice tests may be available at a local GED community college, adult school, or GED test prep program.
A practice GED test online should be a comprehensive package that includes multiple tests in each subject, designed to be just like the full GED test. To get an idea of what information is on a GED practice test and the actual GED test, the ACE provides sample GED sample test questions. You can also get an online GED practice test free sample from GED Academy.
Back to School: Consider taking a local GED class or enrolling in GED classes online. Most communities offer free GED programs or low-cost programs and classes through schools, nonprofit organizations, and even libraries. Some states offer special programs with free online GED classes. You can also enroll in affordable online classes for GED test prep. Do shop, compare, and read the fine print when searching for an online GED school; lots of online companies offer fake diplomas or promise results that they can’t deliver. Try sample online GED courses for free.
Get Support: Find a community-based support group, study group, or online learning community of GED students, student supporters, or instructors. Likely, you’ll find test advice, test-taking tips, and encouragement from people who want you to achieve your educational and career goals. Find more information at http://www.passGED.com.