To pass the English, or writing, sections of the GED exam, you have to know what you're getting into -- particularly, how your command of the English language will help or hurt you. The English section of the GED exam, at the time of publication, has two parts. The best way to start studying is to know your weaknesses in regard to grammar, spelling, punctuation and writing so you can take the time to strengthen those skills.

Know What to Expect

Before you begin studying for the English sections of the GED test, you should know what the sections cover. The GED Testing Service states that the first section examines your ability to find mechanical writing errors, edit and correct grammar mistakes, and find spelling errors in a given sentence or passage. In the second part of the test, you must write a five-paragraph essay about the topic provided by the testing service. Official test readers grade your essay based on the organization of your paragraphs, the clarity and focus of your main points, and the way that you develop your ideas. The test readers will also grade your essay based on your spelling, word choice, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure.

Take a Practice Test

To learn about the subject areas in which you need improvement, taking an official practice GED test, or locator test, is a good idea. You can take a practice test at an official GED testing center. Centers that offer GED classes may also let you take a practice test, particularly if you enroll in a tutoring program or GED class. When you receive the results of the locator test, you’ll learn how well you did in the English sections. In some cases, the individual who graded the test may be able to tell you about the types of questions that you got wrong the most. If you aren’t able to take a practice test, take the English-related practice quizzes in a GED workbook.


Use the results of your practice test or English-related practice quizzes as a guide to determine where to begin your GED studies. Start studying in the areas that gave you the most difficulty. If necessary, enroll in a GED study program at a community college, high school or community center so you can receive one-on-one assistance and personalized study tips. For example, if you had problems with the essay portion of the test, your tutor may have you write an outline for a sample essay as homework so you can learn to organize your thoughts on paper.

Test Your Progress

As you progress with your GED studies for the English section of the test, regularly test yourself using the quizzes in your workbook or quizzes that a GED tutor provides. Start taking the practice quizzes shortly after you begin studying. If you don’t do well on a quiz, revisit the topics that gave you difficulty before you move on to a new section of material.

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