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How to Get Your GED®

By Marisa Campana, Educator

More than 700,000 people take a high school equivalency test each year. It's not surprising, considering that 39 million American adults lack a high school diploma. They need a HiSET, TASC, or GED certificate to move forward to better jobs or higher education. But almost half of candidates fail the tests on their first try. Why? The key is critical thinking.

Why do many people fail the HiSET exam, TASC test, or GED test 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 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, HiSET exam, and TASC test are primarily tests of thinking skills. There are five subject areas: reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. The GED test combines reading and writing into one test. The emphasis of these subject 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.

High school equivalency tests 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.

Essential Education online preparation programs focus on these critical thinking skills, which are really the skills you need to get ready. They're the skills the tests are designed to measure. Students need to learn critical thinking skills in every discipline. In other words, they need to learn to think things through. It's a lot easier than people imagine…it can even be fun.

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How to Get Your GED® by Marisa Campana is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United Stated License, redistribution of this article is allowed under the following terms outlined here.

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