The GED test serves as a comprehensive exam that measures basic skills students learn in high school, including reading, writing, social studies, science and math. The test has a high passage rate. According to GED Testing Service, 77 percent of people taking the test for the first time passed in 2011. But proper preparation can make passing much easier, particularly if you've been out of school for a while or struggle with some topic areas.
Staying in School
If you're thinking about leaving high school to take the GED test, try staying until the end of the year or semester. Because the GED test measures skills learned in high school, staying in high school longer can help you master some of these skills without having to separately study for the test. Particularly with challenging topics, learning from a teacher can be a lot easier than trying to learn from a test prep book or class.
It's easier to learn material that you interact with daily and that you use in the real world. Making the GED test questions relevant can make them much easier to master. Start regularly reading for pleasure and focusing on comprehension and speed. Watch the news and contemplate how it relates to social studies topics, and consider the science of your backyard and kitchen. Rather than struggling with everyday math challenges -- such as figuring out how much paint to buy -- try using the formulas you learned in high school to get some practice.
A GED test preparation class can help you master test-taking skills as well as the material on the test. In some districts, students are required to take a class before signing up for the test. According to GED Testing Service, of the 10 testing regions of the country with the highest passage rates, six mandated a test preparation course.
Taking practice tests can help you figure out whether you're working quickly enough and give you an idea of how close you are to passing. Take a practice test before you begin studying, and then continue with the tests every few days to get accustomed to the test content and testing environment. Make sure you take these tests in a quiet room with no distractions and that you time yourself. Take note of the questions you're missing, and you might notice a theme. Perhaps you need to practice geometry or bone up on reading comprehension, for example.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.