How Planning & Perseverance Gets You a GED®

Getting ready for a GED or HiSET test can be overwhelming. For adult learners enrolled in a local class, it's often difficult to find the time or motivation to study outside the classroom, engage in the classroom experience, or measure the effectiveness of study sessions. And for adult learners who manage their own study program, test prep may seem even harder.

Planning, perseverance, and motivation are the keys to effective, successful test preparation, and the most important thing a test candidate can do to make passing the test a reality.

Know the Test Subjects

There are two high school equivalency tests: the HiSET exam and the GED test. Which test you'll take depends on your state. The tests have four or five subject tests covering reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.

Get familiar with the test subjects and use them in everyday life. That will help make studying easier. Learn basic math and practice mental math for the math test. Try reading and writing a little every day as part of your reading and writing test preparation. For social studies and science, try reading the news and looking at how social studies and science affect your life every day.

Exploring the subject areas on your own will help motivate you and ready your brain for more difficult material later.

Measure Test Readiness

Use a pencil-and-paper or online practice test as part of your test prep and as a study guide to help you determine skill strengths and weaknesses. Use the scores from your practice test for study planning. Your scores will indicate the skill areas where you'll need the least and most work and will help you outline a study plan.

A practice test also serves another purpose. It will give you familiarity with the test structure and timing. Understanding the way the test asks you to apply knowledge and how the test is paced is a good way to improve your score. Try a starter online GED practice test free.

Develop a Study Plan

Study guides and study plans are available, but it's important to adapt these models to your own needs and get test materials that will help you personalize your study. A study plan that specific to you will go a long way toward helping you reach your goal.

Develop a realistic plan according to your needs and schedule that complements the way you learn. This allows you to stick to your study plan and learn at your own pace.

A good study plan will include frequent short study sessions of 30 minutes to an hour, along with periodic longer sessions of two to four hours to help prepare you for the official test. Be sure to include and track weekly study objectives. Then you'll clearly see what you've accomplished and it will motivate you further. The key is consistency. Make your plan and stick with it. Find out about online courses to make test prep easy.

Enhance Learning with Prep Materials

If you're an adult learner enrolled in a local or online class, your program probably includes prep materials, like a test guide or workbook. You can supplement these with additional materials that may be better designed for the way you learn.

Libraries often have test materials for loan, and local or online bookstores also have a range of offerings. Materials like a study guide, online practice test, and online courses are also available through the Internet. Shop wisely though; be sure that study materials are authentic and will enhance your study program.

What Motivates You?

There are many reasons adult learners work to get a high school equivalency diploma. For some, it's a higher-paying job, a new career, or educational opportunities. For others, it's simply completing an educational milestone or being a role model for their own children. Regardless of your reason, it's reason enough to motivate you. You'll want to clearly identify your motive and visualize the benefits of achievement.

Motivation is essentially based on a single premise: how badly you want something. The question isn't: "How can I get my GED certificate?" The question is: "How badly do I want my GED certificate?" If you really want it to happen, it will. If passing the test is your priority, you will do it. It's that simple.

To make it easier, prepare through small, well-planned steps. Accomplish each step, and build upon what you've done. Then use these accomplishments as additional motivators to move you closer to the final achievement: your diploma.


Olive Dougherty, Educator


Prepare for the GED