Top 5 GED® Prep Secrets

Thirty-nine million American adults haven’t earned a high school diploma. This means they are ineligible for many career and educational opportunities. You don’t need to be part of that statistic.

You can earn a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma by passing a high school equivalency test. You’ve probably heard of the GED test. Depending on where you live, you now may have the option of taking the HiSET exam. Find out about the test in your state. Like the GED test, these exams can also award you an official HSE certificate from your state.

You might ask, “How can I get my GED when I did so badly in school?” It’s a fair question. Adults who haven’t earned a high school diploma often lack test-taking skills. They might see that the HiSET or GED test is a path to a better life, but they aren’t sure how to achieve that goal. It’s not always obvious. If you're not prepared, it can seem difficult.

Rest assured though, passing the test doesn’t have to be hard. If you know a few secrets, it can be easy. Here are five tips to get you started:

Step 1: Know What You’re Looking For

Whenever the test gives you a reading or a picture, skip ahead and read the questions first. The questions will tell you what to look for. You'll be able to focus your attention and find the answers quicker.

Step 2: Don’t Look for Tricks or Traps

There are no trick questions on the test. An HSE test is designed to be clear and easy to understand. Don’t spend time looking for a hidden meaning or a loophole. If an answer seems obvious, then it’s probably correct.

Step 3: Try the Question Before Looking at the Answer Choices

When you read a question, think about it without looking at the answer choices. When you come up with an answer, you’ll know for certain that it’s correct if you see it among the choices listed. If your answer isn’t listed, you’ll need to look at the question again.

Step 4: Eliminate Wrong Answers

If you’re unsure about which answer is correct, start by eliminating wrong answers. Narrowing down your choices makes it easier to figure out the correct answer. When you’re choosing between two answers instead of four, you’re more focused.

Step 5: Know How to Guess

Guessing is not just picking an answer at random. Use logic to figure out which answer is likely correct, even if you’re unsure. Focus on keywords and phrases. Estimate. Compare answers to one another. These techniques can improve the quality of your guessing.

You can do this! To get more test-taking secrets, check out Essential Education’s study guide, Smart Skills: Study, Motivate, Apply, Reason, and Test.


Perry Lopez, Educator