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ABOUT THIS BOOK
This book is designed to help you strengthen the reading comprehension skills you will need to take the "Language Arts, Reading" test of the General Educational Development (GED) Examination.
A Pre-Test section in the beginning of this book will help you assess the areas where you need to work the hardest. After you have completed the review areas and answered all of the drill questions, you will be given a Post-Test that will show your improvement in certain areas and show you which areas you still need to study. In the Post-Test section you will answer questions very similar to those you will face on the actual GED. The Pre-Test and Post-Test provide detailed explanations to all of the questions, illustrating not only why the correct answer choice was right, but also why the incorrect answer choices were wrong.
The reviews cover all areas tested on the Interpreting Literature and the Arts test of the GED examination. The four sections of Prose, Poetry, Drama, and Commentary are covered extensively and provide a hands-on approach to understanding the material. These reviews will help you process information, find main ideas, and remember important details. By mastering the skills presented in this book, you will be able to approach any work of literature with confidence.
ABOUT THE GED
The GED is an examination for adults who did not complete high school and would like to earn a high school equivalency diploma. The exam is given by each state, which then issues a GED diploma. The GED is taken by adults who want or need a diploma for work, college, or personal satisfaction. Nearly 800,000 people take the GED each year.
The GED is broken into five tests: Language Arts: Writing; Social Studies; Science; Language Arts: Reading; and Mathematics. You are given a little more than seven hours to complete all five tests. There is a total of 240 multiple-choice questions and one essay question on the GED examination.
The Interpreting Literature and the Arts test on the GED contains 45 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 65 minutes. The questions in this test are based on excerpts from poetry, essays, biographies, plays, critical reviews (of television, film, literature, dance, art, music, sculpture, and theater), and commentary. This test consists of 50 percent popular literature questions, 25 percent classical literature questions, and 25 percent commentary on literature and the arts questions. In this test, 60 percent of the questions will deal with comprehension, which will ask you to restate ideas or information presented in the passage or summarize what you have read. Application questions make up 15 percent of the questions and will ask you to draw your own conclusions, explain the effects or importance of a situation presented in a passage, or to identify the implications involved in a situation presented in a passage. The test also consists of 25 percent analysis questions which will ask you to define stylistic and structural techniques in terms of concept.
The GED examination is administered by the GED Testing Service of the American Council of Education (ACE) and is developed by writers who have secondary and adult education experience. Because the GED test-takers come from such diverse backgrounds, the ACE makes sure the test writers are also diverse. Once the questions have been written, they are standardized according to a certain level of difficulty and content.
The GED comes in several versions to fit the special needs of its examinees. For example, there are Spanish, French, and Braille versions of the exam, as well as large-print and audio versions.
If you would like to obtain more information about the GED, such as when and where it is administered, contact your local high school or adult education center. You can also call or write to the GED Testing Service at:
1-800-62MYGED / (1-800-626-9433)
General Educational Development
GED Testing Service
American Council on Education
One Dupont Circle, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
Before you begin reading the chapter on comprehending what you read, take the Pre-Test at the front of this book. This Pre-Test will assess your current skills and indicate both your strengths and weaknesses.
This book is broken down into four sections, each dealing with a specific genre of literature: prose (general literature), poetry, drama, and commentary. Each section includes several exercises to help you develop your reading skills as well as skill-building practice exercises at the end of each section to reinforce what you have learned.
It is best to move through this book from front to back because the Introduction to Reading Literature section lays the foundation for the rest of the book. In addition, the Fiction subsection of the Reading Prose section discusses elements of literature that will recur throughout the book.
Because reading comprehension is a skill that is developed and not simply a list of facts to learn, it is important to begin developing this skill as soon as possible. Cramming for this test on the GED simply will not help. It is also wise not to try to do too much in one study session. There is a large amount of information presented in this book, and it will take time to digest.
When you are finished with the review sections, take the Post-Test. Compare your Post-Test score with your Pre-Test score and see how much you have improved. You may even want to take the Pre-Test again to re-evaluate your skills.
Before you begin the Pre-Test, you should take inventory of your study skills. Under what circumstances do you study best? Are you most awake in the morning, late afternoon, or evening? Do you study best under bright light, or soft? With music, or in total silence? Answer these questions and then try to optimize your study time by creating the ideal learning conditions (the atmosphere in which you learn most efficiently). Also, you should set a specific schedule for yourself that takes into consideration your other commitments. Can you study one hour each morning? A half hour every night? Two or three hours on weekends? Pick a routine and stick to it so you will be confident when it's time to take the exam.
Although you are encouraged to write in the margins of this book, you should know that you will not be allowed to mark up the texts on the actual GED examination. When you take the Post-Test, use a piece of scrap paper instead of writing in the margins of the book. This will help you be more comfortable with the actual test format.
Please note that the GED won't penalize you for guessing wrong, so if you are stuck on a question, don't leave it blank. Instead, eliminate any answers you know are not correct and choose one of the remaining options. You have a better chance of getting a question right by making an educated guess, and then you can move on to the next question. Remember, the exam is timed, so you do not want to spend too much time on any one question.