GED 2004


This comprehensive self-study guide, based on the most up-to-date information on the GED, has been specially created for individuals who want to prepare for the GED on their own. Kaplan's GED guide features targeted subject review, practice questions with detailed explanations and valuable feedback, and proven score-raising strategies. This guide includes:

• Essential skills and knowledge needed to pass the ...
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This comprehensive self-study guide, based on the most up-to-date information on the GED, has been specially created for individuals who want to prepare for the GED on their own. Kaplan's GED guide features targeted subject review, practice questions with detailed explanations and valuable feedback, and proven score-raising strategies. This guide includes:

• Essential skills and knowledge needed to pass the Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies Tests

• Effective strategies for writing the GED essay

• Clear instructions on how to use the Casio fx-260 Calculator -- the actual calculator you will use on the GED Mathematics Test

• Easy-to-review key ideas and tips throughout the book, featuring test-taking strategies and important information about the GED

• Hundreds of sample questions with answers, detailed explanations, and valuable feedback to help you focus your study

• A full-length GED practice test

Expert advice from Kaplan, the world leader in test preparation.

Kaplan has helped more than 3 million students achieve their educational and career goals. With 185 centers and more than 1,200 classroom locations throughout the United States and abroad, Kaplan provides a full range of services, including test preparation courses, admissions consulting, programs for international students, professional licensing preparation, and more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743241540
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/5/2003
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 704
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Caren Van Slyke is a nationally recognized expert on the GED. She has been involved in GED preparation for more than twenty years as a teacher, editor, and writer. She is the founder and president of Learning Unlimited, which has developed GED materials for the PBS LiteracyLink(c) GED Connection series.

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Read an Excerpt

LESSON 1: Clear and Organized Writing

Ideas and Paragraphs

Effective Paragraphs

A paragraph is a group of sentences that relate to one main idea. If the sentences do not help develop the same main idea, the paragraph seems disorganized, and the writer's meaning is unclear.

Incorrect: Group of sentences that do not relate to the same main idea:

Houseplants make a home more beautiful, but many people find them difficult to take care of. I water my houseplants once a week. There are many different kinds of houseplants. If you are buying a houseplant as a gift, consider how much light the person's home gets.

In the example above, each sentence is about houseplants, but there is no main idea. In the paragraph below, however, each sentence supports one idea: helping houseplants adjust to a new home.

Correct: Paragraph with sentences that relate to one main idea:

Houseplants need help to adjust to a new environment. Your home is probably less bright and humid than a greenhouse or plant store. Therefore, when you get a new houseplant, keep it near a south-facing window at first. Move it away from the light over a period of four weeks. Use a humidifier to make the air in your home more humid. These actions will help avoid the loss of foliage that often occurs when plants change locales.

One paragraph should stop and a new one begin when the main idea shifts. In the example below, the first four sentences describe what road rage is, while the last four sentences tell how to react to road rage. The writer should have started a new paragraph withsentence 5.

Incorrect: One paragraph that should be divided into two paragraphs:

(1) Road rage is an episode of violent behavior that takes place when one driver's actions anger another driver. (2) Young males are the most likely to lose their cool on the road. (3) Most road rage incidents take place during rush hour, when people often get frustrated. (4) Warm weather is another factor in road rage. (5) If you're a victim of an aggressive driver, try to stay calm. (6) Don't react or make eye contact. (7) Try not to brake or swerve in retaliation. (8) These actions will only infuriate the other driver, and you might lose control of your car.

Sometimes the ideas in two paragraphs really belong in one:

Incorrect: Two paragraphs that should be combined:

To make chicken broth, boil a pot of water. Take some chicken, onions, parsnips, carrots, and herbs, and wrap them up in cheesecloth.

Make sure it is real cotton cheesecloth, or you won't be able to eat the broth! Simmer the cheesecloth-wrapped vegetables and chicken in the water for several hours; then remove them. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Clear and Organized Writing • Practice 1.1

A. Directions: Read each group of sentences. If there is a main idea, underline it. If there is no main idea, write "No MI."

____ 1. The pharmacist at the local drugstore is very helpful. She can always get the medicines we need. She arranges deliveries of our prescriptions when we're sick. When we don't have money, she lets us pay the next time. Many people have written to thank her.

____ 2. Keep your toolbox well equipped, and you'll always be able to make home repairs. Common home repairs include replacing lighting fixtures and fixing furniture. The community center offers a class on this subject. You can pay someone to do home repairs.

____ 3. Some people don't vote because they think their vote doesn't count. However, elections have been won by just a few hundred votes. If people don't vote, they are giving up their voice. Every vote counts, so let your voice be heard and vote!

____ 4. When you are traveling, it's a good idea to mark your luggage clearly. Put a luggage tag on every piece you intend to bring, including hand luggage like backpacks. To recognize your luggage quickly, put a brightly colored ribbon on it.

____ 5. Listening to music can benefit you in many ways. When you are feeling stress, music can help soothe and relax you. When you need energy, rock 'n' roll or hip-hop can give you a boost. If you have a baby or small child, soft music can help lull the child to sleep.

B. Questions 6 and 7 refer to the following paragraphs.

The Common Cold


(1) How frequently you get colds depends on your age. (2) The average young adult gets two to four colds a year. (3) Adults over 60 have fewer than one cold a year, while children have six to ten colds annually. (4) Colds are caused by viruses. (5) Contrary to popular belief, being cold will not cause you to get a cold. (6) Vitamin C is thought to prevent colds, but there is no proof.


(7) Because there is no cure for the common cold, prevention is key. (8) Washing your hands is the best way to avoid getting a cold. (9) Encourage others who have colds to sneeze into a tissue and throw it away immediately.


(10) Refrain from touching your eyes and nose, and stay far from people who have colds.

6. Which revision would improve the effectiveness of the article?

Begin a new paragraph with

(1) sentence 2
(2) sentence 3
(3) sentence 4
(4) sentence 5
(5) sentence 6

7. Which revision would improve the effectiveness of the article?

(1) remove paragraph B
(2) remove paragraph C
(3) move paragraph B to follow paragraph C
(4) join paragraphs B and C
(5) no revision is necessary

Clear and Organized Writing • Practice 1.2

A. Directions: Write topic sentences for each of the following paragraphs.

1. _____________________________________________________________________

Weather satellites send us information about weather around the world. Thanks to satellite TV, we have an ever-widening range of programs to choose from. Satellites even play a role in long-distance telephone communication.

2. _____________________________________________________________________

First of all, stock prices are falling. Second, home sales have slowed to a crawl. Finally, many consumers have cut back on big purchases such as cars, home improvements, and vacations.

3. _____________________________________________________________________

According to the new dress code, employees of the library may now wear "semi-casual" clothing. Khakis, blue jeans with no holes, and other slacks are acceptable for men and women. Skirts must be knee-length or longer. Sandals are acceptable in the summer. Employees are requested not to wear gym shoes.

Topic Sentences in Paragraphs

Every paragraph should have a topic sentence that states the main idea. The other sentences in the paragraph are supporting details. These details tell more about the topic sentence. The topic sentence usually appears at the beginning of the paragraph, though it may appear elsewhere.

A topic sentence must do two things:

• Tell the topic, or subject, of the paragraph

• State the central point that the writer wants to make about the topic

In the paragraph below, the topic sentence is underlined. Notice how the topic sentence tells the subject of the paragraph (graffiti in the neighborhood) and states the central point about the topic (graffiti is a serious problem in the neighborhood and should be addressed).


We need to do more to stop the problem of graffiti in our neighborhood. Recently, several bus stops and the exterior walls of many buildings have been defaced with unsightly graffiti. The neighborhood is fast becoming a much less desirable place to live. As a result, prospective renters feel frightened and look elsewhere.

A topic sentence should not be too specific or too general. If it is, readers won't know what the overall point is. A topic sentence like "The market is covered with gang symbols" would be too specific for the paragraph above. "There is graffiti in our neighborhood" would be too general.

Main Idea Statements in Essays

Just as every paragraph should have a topic sentence, so every essay should have a main idea statement. Whereas a topic sentence states the main idea, or "point," of a single paragraph, a main idea statement expresses the central point of all the paragraphs in an essay. In the essay below, the main idea statement is underlined. Notice that while the main idea statement appears in the first paragraph, it is not the first sentence.


While graffiti is indeed a serious problem facing our neighborhood, other issues also need to be addressed. Two of the most pressing neighborhood issues are the crime rate and the lack of decent housing.

In recent months, crime has increased. For example, a number of muggings have occurred. As a result, residents are nervous about going out at night. The number of apartment break-ins has increased as well. We need a stronger police presence to combat the crime problem.

In addition, much of the housing in this neighborhood is in poor condition. Every day, residents are put in danger by peeling paint, broken locks, and rundown fences. We must put pressure on landlords to resolve their tenants' complaints, perhaps by showing them that, in the long run, it is in their financial interest to do so.

If we do not act immediately, our neighborhood will decline even more. Therefore, I recommend that we form a community task force to tackle these issues. We should ask our city councilwoman to be an advocate for us. With full participation of community members, we will be on our way to a safer, more livable neighborhood.

Copyright © 2003 Learning Unlimited

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Table of Contents




Language Arts, Writing
Social Studies
Language Arts, Reading

Pretest Answers and Explanations

Language Arts, Writing
Social Studies
Science Pretest
Language Arts, Reading


About the Test

Clear and Organized Writing

Ideas and Paragraphs
Logical Order and Relevance
Relating Sentences and Paragraphs
Essay Writing Process: Prewriting
Essay Writing Process: Drafting
Practice Questions

Sentence Structure

Complete Simple Sentences
Compound and Complex Sentences
Run-Ons and Comma Splices
Subordinating Ideas
Modifying Ideas
Parallel Structure
Essay Writing Process: Revising Your Sentences
Practice Questions

Grammar and Usage

Nouns and Pronouns
Verb Forms and Tenses
Subject-Verb Agreement
Essay Writing Skills: Editing
Practice Questions


Comma Use
Essay Writing Process: Editing for Correct Mechanics
Practice Questions

The GED Essay

Approaching the Essay Topic
Prewriting Your Essay
Drafting Your Essay
Revising and Editing Your Essay
Your Plan of Attack


About the Test

U.S. History

Exploration, Colonialism, and the American Revolution
Westward Expansion and the Civil War
Industrialization, Immigration, and theProgressive Era
The United States as an Emerging World Power
Facing Enduring Challenges
Practice Questions

World History

Early Civilizations
Feudalism to Nation States
Expansion and the Global Age
The Age of Revolutions
The Twentieth Century
Practice Questions

Civics and Government

Levels and Branches of Government
Constitutional Government
The Electoral System
The Role of the Citizen
Practice Questions


Basic Economics Concepts
The U.S. Economic System
The Economy and the U.S. Government
Labor and Consumer Issues
Practice Questions


Basic Geography Concepts
Humans and the Environment
Using Resources Wisely
Maps and Their Uses
Practice Questions


About the Test

Life Science

Cell Structures and Functions
Cell Processes and Energy
Human Body Systems
Health Issues
Reproduction and Heredity
Modern Genetics
Evolution and Natural Selection
Organization of Ecosystems
Practice Questions

Earth and Space Science

Structure of Earth
Earth's Resources
Weather and Climate
Earth in the Solar System
The Expanding Universe
Practice Questions

Physical Science

Atoms and Molecules
Properties and States of Matter
Chemical Reactions
The Nature of Energy
Motion and Forces
Electricity and Magnetism
Practice Questions


About the Test


Identifying Main Ideas and Supporting Details
Restating and Summarizing
Applying Ideas
Relating Cause and Effect
Comparing and Contrasting
Drawing Conclusions
Determining Tone and Point of View
Practice Questions


Understanding Plot Elements
Making Inferences
Analyzing Character
Interpreting Theme
Interpreting Style and Point of View
Practice Questions


Understanding Rhyme and Rhythm
Interpreting Figurative Language
Analyzing Symbols and Images
Interpreting Theme
Practice Questions


Reading Dialogue and Stage Directions
Understanding Dramatic Action
Analyzing Characters
Drawing Conclusions
Practice Questions


About the Test

Math Basics

Whole Number Review
Operations Review
Distance and Cost Formulas
Calculators on the GED
Filling in the Standard Grid
Problem Solving: Estimation
Problem Solving: Set-Up Problems
Practice Questions

Decimals and Fractions

Decimal Basics
Decimal Operations
Fraction Basics
Fraction Operations
Solving Problems Using a Calculator
Filling in the Answer Grid
Problem Solving: Fraction and Decimal Equivalencies
Practice Questions

Ratio, Proportion, and Percent

Using Ratio and Proportion to Solve Problems
Understanding Percents
Using the Percent Formula
Solving Problems Using a Calculator
Simple Interest
Percent of Change
Problem Solving
Practice Questions

Data Analysis

Tables and Pictographs
Bar and Line Graphs
Circle Graphs
Frequency and Central Tendency
Problem Solving
Practice Questions


The English System of Measurement
The Metric System
Using a Calculator
Problem Solving
Practice Questions


The Number Line and Signed Numbers
Powers and Roots
Scientific Notation
The Order of Operations
Algebraic Expressions
Algebraic Expressions and the Calculator
Common Algebra Word Problems
Patterns and Functions
Function Applications
Quadratic Equations
The Coordinate Plane
Linear Equations
Slope of a Line
Distance Between Points
Special Coordinate Grid Items
Problem Solving
Practice Questions


Points, Lines, and Angles
Parallel Lines and Transversals
Congruent and Similar Triangles
Similar Triangle Applications
Perimeter and Area
Irregular Figures
Pythagorean Relationship
Using the Formulas Page
Using the Calculator
Problem Solving
Practice Questions


Language Arts, Writing
Social Studies
Language Arts, Reading

Post-Test Answers and Explanations

Language Arts, Writing
Social Studies
Language Arts, Reading


Language Arts, Writing
Social Studies
Language Arts, Reading

Formulas Page

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