Read an Excerpt
Kaplan GED 2005-2006
By Caren Van Slyke
KaplanCopyright © 2005 Caren Van Slyke
All right reserved.
Chapter 1: Language Arts, Writing
The GED Language Arts, Writing Test consists of two parts. Part I uses multiple choice questions to assess your knowledge of the conventions of written English. Part II requires you to write an essay. The scores for Parts I and II will be combined and reported to you as a single score. You will have a total of two hours for the test.
Part I: 50 questions, 1 hour 15 minutes
On Part I, you will read 6 to 9 documents that are 12 to 22 sentences long. You will answer multiple choice questions about each document.
Part II: 1 essay, 45 minutes
The test directions tell you to plan, make notes, write, revise, and edit an essay on an assigned topic. It is recommended that you take 45 minutes for your essay. If you have time left, you can go back to work on Part I.
Part I: Content Areas
Organization (15 percent) These questions focus on the clarity with which ideas are presented and organized. Organization items ask about choosing effective topic sentences, paragraphing, moving sentences to improve the order of ideas, removing irrelevant sentences, and using transitions. You can review and practice these skills on pages 66-73 and 80-83.
Sentence Structure (30 percent) These questions will testyour ability to recognize and correct errors in sentence structure. Topics include correcting sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences; combining ideas effectively; correctly placing modifying words or phrases; and making sure that parallel parts of a sentence are consistent. You can review and practice these skills on pages 84-97 and 102-105.
Usage (30 percent) These questions ask about the rules governing our use of the English language. Topics include choosing correct verb forms and tenses, making subjects and verbs agree, and correcting common errors in pronoun use. You can review and practice these skills on pages 106-117 and 120-123.
Mechanics (25 percent) Mechanics questions focus on correcting errors in punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. Most of the punctuation questions concern comma use and misuse. Capitalization items apply rules for capitalizing and for avoiding unnecessary capitalization. Spelling questions focus on possessives, contractions, homonyms, and commonly confused words. You can review and practice these skills on pages 124-133 and 136-139.
Part I: Multiple Choice
Three Types of Documents
You will read and answer questions about three types of documents:
· How-to documents such as instructions and directions · Workplace documents such as business letters and memos · Informational documents such as mailings on tourist destinations or analyses of public transit needs
Read each document before you answer the questions that follow it. As you read, look for errors and other problems, as if you were going to fix them. That way, you will be able to predict many of the questions that follow. You will also be better able to answer questions that ask you to look at the piece as a whole. For example, for some questions you must consider the organization of the piece, such as where you should divide one long paragraph, or the relevance of a detail, such as which sentence could be deleted.
Three Types of Questions
Read the document below. Then choose answers to the questions that follow.
(1) Sooner or later, we all realize that we are not getting any younger. (2) At that point, many of us decide too start an exercise program. (3) For an exercise program to be effective, you need to spend at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week. (4) If you decide to exercise regularly, you should first check with your doctor. (5) Your doctor will tell you what type of exercise is best for you.
These questions require you to identify an error in a sentence and the best way to fix it. But be aware: some sentences will not contain any errors. For these questions, choose option (5) -- no correction is necessary (or no revision is necessary).
Example Sentence 2: At that point, many of us decide too start an exercise program.
Which correction should be made to sentence 2?
(1) remove the comma after point
(2) insert we after us
(3) change decide to decides
(4) replace too with to
(5) no correction is necessary
Answer: (4) replace too with to This spelling correction replaces one word with the correct homonym.
A revision question shows you an underlined portion of a sentence or sentences and asks you to choose the best revision for it. The first option will always be the same as the underlined words. If the sentence is correct as written, you should choose option (1).
Example Sentence 3: For an exercise program to be effective, you need to spend at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week.
Which is the best way to write the underlined portion of this sentence? If the original is the best way, choose option (1).
(1) effective, you
(2) effective you
(3) effective. You
(4) effective, and you
(5) effective, so you
Answer: (1) effective, you The sentence is correct as written. The other options incorrectly punctuate the sentence or add an unnecessary connecting word.
Construction Shift Questions
These items ask you to recognize writing that may not be technically incorrect, but it is wordy or awkward. When you read the sentence or pair of sentences, you need to think about how you could rewrite to improve them.
Example Sentences 4 and 5: If you decide to exercise regularly, you should first check with your doctor. Your doctor will tell you what type of exercise is best for you.
The most effective combination of sentences 4 and 5 would include which group of words?
(1) If you ever do decide whether or not to,
(2) When you are deciding
(3) At the time at which you decide,
(4) doctor, who will tell you
(5) doctor, and then he or she will
Answer: (4) doctor, who will tell you Option (4) smoothly combines the two sentences to eliminate the repeated phrase your doctor. The new sentence would read as follows: If you decide to exercise regularly, you should first check with your doctor, who will tell you what type of exercise is best for you. The other options would not solve the problem of repetition or would create an even more awkward sentence.
Part II: The Essay
You will have 45 minutes to write an essay on an assigned topic. The directions encourage you to plan, make notes, draft, revise, and edit your essay. Once you practice writing on the essay topics in this book, you will see that 45 minutes is enough time to plan, write, and edit a well-developed essay of about 250 words.
You will be given a topic, sometimes called a "prompt," to write about. The topic will be one that you can write about by drawing on your general life experience and observations. Specialized knowledge will not be needed. The essay will ask you to give your opinion or an explanation. Below is a sample GED essay prompt:
Many people vote in every election. Other people don't vote at all. Do you think that it is important to vote? Why or why not?
In your essay, explain the reasons for your opinion.
Two readers will read your essay; each will assign it a score from 1 to 4. The average of the two scores is combined, through a formula, with your score from Part I.
The essay readers won't take out a red pen and mark mistakes. Rather, each will read the essay once, fairly quickly, to get an impression of your work as a whole. This method of evaluating is called "holistic" scoring. The essay readers will ask themselves the following questions about your paper:
· Is there a clearly focused main idea?
· Does the main idea of the essay address the assigned topic?
· Is the essay clear and logically organized?
· Is the word choice appropriate and effective?
· Does the essay basically contain correct sentence structure, grammar, and mechanics?
Your essay score will reflect one of the general categories shown below:
Level 4 -- effective
Level 3 -- adequate
Level 2 -- marginal
Level 1 -- inadequate
If your essay receives an average score of less than 2, you will not receive any score for the Language Arts; Writing Test, even if you performed well on Part I.
Copyright © 2005 by Kaplan, Inc.
Excerpted from Kaplan GED 2005-2006 by Caren Van Slyke Copyright © 2005 by Caren Van Slyke. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.