The General Educational Development, or GED, test is a high school equivalent exam that can help you get into college or start a career. Some students opt to take GED prep classes to increase their scores and learn new skills. Because the GED exam tests basic skills that most students learn in high school, you'll learn many of the same skills that high school students learn, although class may proceed at a faster pace and may focus less on skills such as literature analysis, debate and discussion.
The social studies section of the test tests on basic history, civics, governmental structure and geography, with a strong focus on government. You'll review historical facts, the structure of U.S. government and rules of civic engagement, and you might need to memorize some basic dates and major historical events. Depending upon your class, your teacher might teach you basic history and social studies, or he might review previous test questions with you.
To prepare for the test, you'll need basic reading comprehension skills in a wide range of areas, including poetry, plays, fiction and non-fiction. Your class will teach you basic comprehension skills and give you tips on how to read more quickly and efficiently. You'll also likely review reading sections and answer questions on them and then discuss why certain answers were better choices than others.
The science section of the GED test contains a broad range of science questions in multiple-choice format. You'll need to know the basics of earth and life science, astronomy, physics and chemistry. Your teacher may provide you with a quick overview of basic topics and then proceed to test-taking skills to help you select right answers when you're unsure of the correct choice.
The math section contains basic arithmetic questions, graphs, algebra, statistics, geometry and data analysis. You'll review formulas in class and learn the basics of how to plug in answers and select the right one when you're unsure. You'll also learn how to pace yourself with math problems and how to read graphs and data.
The writing section of the test contains a multiple-choice section testing you on basic rules of grammar and sentence structure, as well as an essay section. You'll review rules of essay-writing, such as composing a thesis and properly organizing paragraphs, and you will review basic grammar questions. You'll also examine previous essay questions and discuss potentially effective answers. Some teachers encourage students to write essays and then to trade papers and critique one another.
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.