Read an Excerpt
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Congratulations. You've taken an important step toward successfully earning your GED. This book is designed to help you take and pass the Language Arts, Writing Test of the GED. Perhaps you've decided to focus your study time on the single subject that's most difficult for you, or you may have already taken the GED and did not pass completely, and you've chosen REA's single-subject guides for targeted review. Whichever applies to your individual situation, you've made a great choice.
You will begin your prep for the GED Language Arts, Writing Test by learning what's expected of you on this exam. You will learn what topics are covered, how many questions to expect, and how much time you'll have to answer them. You will then move on to the subject review, where the subject matter will be discussed in much greater detail. The subject review in this book covers everything you'll need to know to pass the Language Arts, Writing Test. Be sure to complete the drills in each section, since they will be a great help in keeping on top of your progress. If you find that you are struggling with the drill questions in a given section, it may be a good idea to read that section again.
The formula for success on the GED is very simple: the more you study, the more likely you are to pass the exam. Know the material covered here, and you will be calm and confident on exam day.
ABOUT THE GED PROGRAM
For more than 60 years, the GED Examination has been administered by the GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education (ACE). The GED exam offers anyone who did not complete high school the opportunity to earn a High School Equivalency Certificate. With that certificate come many new opportunities for a better career or higher education.
The GED may be a step on your journey to a college degree, since almost one out of every twenty first-year college students has a GED. Or a GED may be your ticket to a better job and into a career with a bright future and room to grow. Whatever your academic or professional goals are, success on the GED is a great place to begin.
The GED exam is available in all 50 states and Canada. There are over 3,400 testing centers in North America, and another 2,800 testing centers worldwide, so you should have no problem finding a GED testing center near you.
For more information on the GED program, to find an administration schedule, or to find a testing center near you, start by contacting your local high school or adult education center. Or, you can contact the American Council on Education, which administers the GED, at:
GED - General Educational Development
American Council on Education
One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20036-1163
To contact the GED administrators by phone, call: (202) 939-9300 or (800) 626-9433 (Toll Free)
Accommodations for Test Takers with Disabilities
If you have special needs because of a physical or learning disability, accommodations are available for you. Some examples of qualifying disabilities are blindness, deafness, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. A complete list of qualifying disabilities is available from the GED test administrators. The proper accommodations can make a great deal of difference for those entitled to them, so be sure that you are taking the GED exam that's right for you.
If you believe that you have a qualifying disability but you do not have complete documentation, contact the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) at (800) 346-2742.
ABOUT THE GED EXAM
The GED exam consists of five separate subject tests. The breakdown is outlined in the chart below.
The entire exam is 7 hours and 30 minutes long. That sounds like a lot to cover! But don't worry. Each topic is treated individually. If you pass all five topics in one sitting, you've earned your GED. If you don't, you only have to take the section or sections that you did not pass.
ABOUT THE LANGUAGE ARTS, WRITING TEST
This book will focus on the GED Language Arts, Writing Test.
The first you should know is that the test is divided into two parts. Part I presents multiple-choice items, while Part II requires you to write a brief essay. Now, the details.
There are 50 multiple-choice questions on the Language Arts, Writing Test, Part I. These questions ask you to revise and edit workplace, how-to, and informational documents. Scores are combined with those of Part II and reported as one score. You'll encounter three question types: correction, revision, and construction shift. These questions fall into these content areas.
Organization (15%): Restructure paragraphs or ideas within paragraphs, identify topic sentences, create unity and coherence in the document.
Sentence Structure (30%): Correct sentence fragments, run-on sentences, comma splices, improper coordination and subordination, misplaced modifiers, and lack of parallel structure.
Usage (30%): Correct errors in subject-verb agreement, verb tense, and pronoun reference.
Mechanics (25%): Correct errors in capitalization, punctuation, and spelling (restricted to errors related to possessives, contractions, and homonyms).
The second part of the Language Arts, Writing Test calls on you to write an essay about an issue or subject of general interest-a topic that should be familiar to you. You'll need to state an opinion and back it up, being sure to stick to the assigned topic.
You will have 45 minutes in which to plan, write, and revise your essay. You will be given scratch paper on which you may jot notes, make an outline (a capital idea to focus your efforts!), and even prepare a draft. When it comes time to write your final essay, you'll have two pages of lined paper on which to present your work. Be sure to write legibly.
WHEN SHOULD I START STUDYING?
If you're wondering when to start studying, the short answer is now. You may have a few days, a few weeks, or a few months to prepare for the particular administration of the GED that you're going to take. But in any case, the more time you spend studying for the GED, the better.
BEFORE THE TEST
At some point, you've studied all you can and test day is only one good night's sleep away. Be sure to go to bed early on the night before test day, and get as much rest as you can. Eat a good breakfast. Dress in layers that can be added or removed so you'll be comfortable if the testing center is warmer or cooler than you like. Plan to arrive at the test center at least 20 minutes early so that traffic or other transportation issues don't prevent you from getting to the test center on time. If you're not sure where the test center is, be sure to make the trip at least once before test day. On the morning of test day, your only job is to let nothing-not hunger, not temperature, not traffic-distract you from your main goal: success on the GED. Use the test-day checklist at the back of this book to make sure you've covered all the bases.
What to Bring with You
o Your admission ticket, if you need one
o An official photo ID
o Some sharpened No. 2 pencils (with erasers) and a blue or black ink pen o A watch, if you have one.
The following items will not be allowed in the testing area, so if you choose to bring them, know that you will have to store them during the test:
o Purses and tote bags
o Electronic devices, including MP3 players, video games, pagers, cell phones, CD players, etc.
o Books and notebooks
o Other non-essential items
Remember that by the time you reach test day, you will have put in your study time, taken your practice exams, and learned the test format. You will be calm and confident, knowing that you're ready for the GED.
TOP TEST TIPS WHEN TAKING THE GED
While you're taking the GED, here are some important test strategies:
o Read all the directions carefully so that you understand what's expected of you. If you have questions, ask the GED examiner.
o Answer every question. There's no wrong-answer penalty on the GED, so if you don't know, guess. If you leave a question blank, you're guaranteed to get zero points. If you have to guess, you have a 20% chance of getting the question right.
o Smart guesses are better than random guesses. If you have five possible answers, and you have no idea which is correct, that's a random guess. If you have five possible answers and you've eliminated three that are definitely wrong, that's a Smart Guess. You now have a 50% chance of getting the question right.
o Keep an eye on your time. Don't spend too much time on any one question. Choose your best answer, and move on. Come back to troublesome questions later, if there's time.
AFTER THE TEST
Go home, relax, and take a well-deserved rest. You've earned it.