The GED® Math Test: Online Study
By Roland Dempsey, Educator
May 24, 2016
Innovative new GED online preparation software tackles the most difficult subject for many adult learners: the GED math test. The approach focuses on real-world applications and true-to-life virtual students.
The GED Academy online courses are part of a new breed of educational software. Through the innovative GED test prep program, the GED Academy brings a virtual classroom to life on students' computer screens…a classroom peopled with fellow students who struggle with real-life problems.
GED Academy Math Course
One of the hardest GED test subjects for many adult learners is math. The GED Academy sees the need to approach math in a way that students can really relate to.
From the first glance, the GED Academy is clearly different from conventional GED prep or other online GED programs. With unit names like "Learning About Numbers" and "Understanding Shapes," the GED Academy appeals to students who find terminology like "number operations" and "geometry" off-putting.
The philosophy is more than superficial. When you load an activity, what appears on the screen is not a math problem or a written introduction. It's a classroom, with four students and a teacher sitting around a table. Leonard Williams, the instructor, begins a discussion.
Part of the course is learning how to learn. Through the virtual students, learners can examine students' thought process. Students can see other students learning and connecting learning to their lives.
The first discussion in the math course is about what students hope to gain and how math can be valuable in their lives, beyond just the GED math test. "I'm not very good at math," says Elizabeth, one of the virtual students. "My mind doesn't work that way." Elizabeth does struggle as she works through the online GED class. Sometimes the teacher helps her, and sometimes other virtual students give their own perspectives on how to think through the problems.
Thinking is the Key
Thinking is the key. That's the most valuable thing students can learn...how to think through a problem, whether it's math or any other subject. The virtual students find ways that math applies to their lives, like figuring out interest rates. When the students talk about probability, they start out joking about whether one of the virtual students, Maria, will date another. "I think the chances are a million to zero," says Maria, to general laughter.
"What exactly do you mean by that?" Leonard prompts. The students begin discussing the idea of odds, and soon they're learning about probability. How does probability affect students' lives? The lesson identifies probability in weather forecasting, the lottery, and even card counting.
The lessons are full of arguments. In the lesson on the metric system, one of the students complains about needing to learn a new system. "Why doesn't everyone do it the same way? It just makes everything totally complicated." Another student responds.
Where she comes from, Mexico, they use the metric system, and it's so much easier. The virtual students discuss everything: what is the point of studying particular ideas, what is the right answer to a problem, how ideas relate to their lives.
Learning means being involved. Identifying with the students and being interested in the discussion facilitates understanding. Beyond generating interest, seeing other people work through solving a problem adds a valuable dimension to the program…guiding learners through the process of thinking.
GED Practice Tests
The GED Academy online GED program also comes with a complete online GED practice test set. The math program comes with an initial assessment, and then after taking lessons, the student takes an additional half-length GED practice math test. A third GED math practice test is included, as well. Try out a free online practice test.
The GED® Math Test: Online Study by Roland Dempsey 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.