The General Educational Development or GED test is the only high school equivalency program recognized by all 50 U.S. states and Canada. Passing the battery of tests not only enables students to pursue better jobs, but 95 percent of colleges and universities accept the GED test credential as part of the admissions process. Tips on how to pass the GED test include familiarity, a study plan and practice.
The GED tests consist of five tests, including social studies, science, mathematics, reading and writing. The tests measure the skills and knowledge similar to a high school course of study. Except for the writing sample, which requires you to write an essay on a familiar subject, the test questions are multiple choice. The math sections do have some questions requiring answers placed on a grid or chart. The total battery of tests takes just over 7 hours to complete and must be administered at a certified testing center.
Becoming familiar with each test and the format for taking the tests can help ease the anxiety some people experience when placed in a testing environment. The GED Testing Service provides an overview of each section. It not only tells you how many questions are on the test and the time allotment for the exam, but it shows the percentage of questions for each content area. For example, the social studies test is 25 percent history and government questions, 20 percent economic questions and 15 percent geography questions. The test has 50 multiple choice questions and takes 70 minutes. Sample questions are also available for each section.
Setting up a study plan by first evaluating your strengths and weaknesses will keep you focused and help you use your time more efficiently. Practice material is available online and through your local adult education center. The GED Testing Service can provide you with official GED practice material, for a fee. Once you have tried some practice tests, you will know the areas you need to spend more time studying and reviewing.
Practice tests can help you build confidence and assist you in understanding the material better. By answering the questions and then reading the explanations for the correct answers, you can learn what areas you need to research more. The explanations for correct answers can improve your reasoning skills and show you how to eliminate wrong answers. Once you have practiced answering questions, timing yourself on each test can benefit concentration and help you adjust to testing under time restraints.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.