Read an Excerpt
Welcome to REA’s Total Solution for the GED® Test, your key to passing the 2014 GED® test. Choosing REA as your study partner puts you on a path to join the millions of people who have benefited from the educational and career advantages offered by earning one of America’s most recognized credentials.
Since its launch in1942, more than 20 million adults have earned their GED® high school credential. You may have heard of some of them — actors Nicholas Cage, Christina Applegate, and Kelly McGillis, rock musician David Bowie, former professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya, the late ABC News correspondent Peter Jennings, Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, former Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner, and rap artists 50 Cent and Eminem.
The GED® test has changed with the times. The test is no longer meant to be viewed as an end in itself but rather a springboard for adults looking to move on to college, learn a trade, or land a better-paying job. There’s no doubt about it: the GED® high school credential is a major door opener. In fact, more than 98% of colleges and 96% of employers accept the GED® credential in place of a high school diploma.
About This Book + Online Tests
Because the 2014 GED® test is dramatically different from its predecessor (known as the 2002 Series), we built our test prep from the ground up. This means our content thoroughly reflects the 2014 GED® Assessment Targets, which span four test sections: Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. REA even hired an independent team of correlations experts to verify our alignment with the new test.
This book, along with the valuable tools at the online REA Study Center, provides you with everything you need to master the GED® test content. Our GED® test prep package includes:
- Detailed coverage of how the new GED® test works
- 4 online diagnostic tests (1 for each test section)
- Targeted review for all test sections
- 2 full-length practice tests (1 test in the book and another test offered as a downloadable PDF)
We know your time is valuable and you want an efficient study experience. At the online REA Study Center, you’ll get feedback right from the start on what you know and what you don’t know. Armed with this information, you can focus your study time on the topics where you need the most help.
Here’s what you’ll find at the online REA Study Center:
4 Diagnostic Exams (1 for each test section)— Our online diagnostic exams will identify your knowledge gaps in each of the test sections. The diagnostic exams are scored automatically and pinpoint the topics where you need the most review. Detailed answer explanations for each question show you why the correct answer is right, and explain why the other answer choices are incorrect.
Full-Length Practice Exam— Just like our in-book full-length practice test, this full-length exam in PDF format reflects the new question types and is a great way to evaluate what you’ve learned.
To access all these exams and for valuable test information, offers, and updates, visitwww.rea.com/GED.
What’s on the GED® Test?
New Item Types
The new GED® test is entirely computer-based. Because the test is given on computer, test administrators have added new interactive questions, or as they’re known in testing circles, item types. Learning how these seven item types function is central to understanding the GED® test as a whole:
- Hot spot
- Short answer
- Extended response
It’s also important to know that, according to the best information available from test officials, approximately half of the questions on the test will still be in classic multiple-choice format and will have four answers, lettered (A) through (D), from which you will need to choose the best answer.
Not sure what a drag-and-drop question looks like? Don’t worry. We’ve included samples of the new question types to familiarize you with what you can expect to see on test day.
Drag-and-Drop: Drag-and-drop questions allow you to answer questions by moving objects around on the screen. You “drag” the object or icon where you want it and “drop” it into place.
Hot Spot Item: To answer this type of question, you will have to move your computer cursor to a specific “hot spot” on a graphic.
Fill-in-the-blank: This type of question asks you to fill in a single blank space (or in some cases, a few blank spaces). You’ll use the keyboard to type in your answers.
Drop-down Item: Choose your answer from a drop-down menu embedded in the text.
Short Answer & Extended Response Boxes: You will see this screen when you write short-answer items (for the Science section) or for longer extended-response items in the Reasoning Through Language Arts and Social Studies tests.
You can view more examples of the types of questions at www.gedtestingservice.com/educators/itemsampler.
Now that you know the types of questions you’ll see on the GED® test, let’s learn more about each test section.
The Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) Test
The Reasoning Through Language Arts Test focuses on your ability to read closely, write clearly, and edit and understand the use of standard written English in context.
The RLA test is split into two sections covering reading and writing. The reading section includes texts reflecting a variety of subjects and complexity levels. Each text will be approximately 450 to 900 words. You will have 95 minutes to answer the questions on the reading comprehension section. After a 10-minute break, you will take the writing portion of the test.
The writing portion of the RLA test integrates reading and writing skills. You will be given 45 minutes to write a 250-word essay on the topic listed in your test booklet. You are expected to follow all of the rules for sentence structure, usage, and mechanics in writing your essay. Your essay will be graded on several factors, including:
- how well you addressed and answered the question
- how well you organized and developed your essay
- if you provided details and examples to support your main idea
- how well you followed the rules for standard written English
- how varied and appropriate your word choices are
The Mathematical Reasoning Test
The Mathematical Reasoning Test focuses on quantitative problem solving and algebraic problem solving. You will have 90 minutes to answer 50 questions. On the day of the test, you are provided with an on-screen calculator (the Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiView™ scientific calculator) for use on most of the items on the 2014 GED® Mathematics test. For more information about the calculator, visit: www.gedtestingservice.com.
The Science Test
The Science Test focuses on science reasoning and three major domains:
- Life science (45% of questions)
- Physical science (35% of questions)
- Earth and space science (20% of questions)
The test is 90 minutes in length and features charts, figures, graphs, and information from which to answer the questions. Approximately half of the test is composed of problem-solving questions, and the other half presents conceptual-understanding questions.
The Social Studies Test
The Social Studies Test focuses on the fundamentals of social studies reasoning and covers four major domains:
- Civics and government
- United States history
- Geography and the world
The test is made up of two sections and is 90 minutes in length. The first section, which includes most of the questions, is 65 minutes long. The second section, featuring extended-response questions, will last for 25 minutes. There also will be an additional 15 minutes’ worth of field-test items; they won’t affect your score, but then again, you won’t be able to tell the field-test items apart from the scorable questions. So don’t concern yourself with them.
Timing and the GED® Test
The GED® test is given in a computerized, timed format. You will have about seven and one-quarter hours to complete the full exam, but don’t worry, you don’t have to take the entire test in one day. Actually, most GED® test candidates don’t take the whole test in one sitting!
Timing is everything, so it’s crucial that you budget your time wisely. No matter what section of the test you’re taking, you need to answer all the questions before time is up. Better yet, you should try to finish with time to spare so you can return to questions you weren’t sure of or guessed on.
In fact, the GED® test is set up to help you do just that. The test’s review feature allows you to flag questions so you can go back to them later. At the end of the test, the computer will show you which questions you flagged or didn’t answer. Be sure to answer each question — even if you have to guess — because there is no penalty for guessing. If you work slowly or usually run out of time on tests, then you should practice your pacing.
What Score Do I Need to Pass the GED® Test?
The passing standard on each test section (or module) is 150 on a scaled score of 100 to 200. Therefore, you will need to score at least 150 on each section (for a total score of 600 across the battery of four tests) in order to receive your GED® test credential.
You will receive your scores the same day you take your test. Beginning with the 2014 exam, GED® test-takers will receive one of two possible scores:
- GED® Score: tells you whether you scored at or higher than the minimum needed to demonstrate high school equivalency-level skills and abilities
- GED® Score with Honors: tells you whether you scored at or higher than the minimum needed to demonstrate career- and college-readiness.
Your transcript will contain standard scores and percentile ranks. The standard scores let you compare scores across tests and test forms. The percentile rank lets you compare your performance on each one of the tests with the performance of graduating high school seniors. The higher the percentile rank, the better your performance. For more details about scoring on the 2014 GED® test, visit: www.gedtestingservice.com.
When Should the GED® Test Be Taken?
If you’re currently enrolled in an adult education course, your teacher or advisor will give you feedback on when he or she thinks you’re ready to take the test. If you’re studying on your own, one of the best things you can do to get the ball rolling is to take a practice test and go from there (see our suggested study schedule on page xxxi). When you feel confident about your abilities and are ready to take the actual exam, go for it! Given the very nature of the GED® test, there’s really no “best” time to take it.
When and Where is the Test Given?
The GED® test is administered on computer in English and Spanish at approximately 3,400 Official Testing Centers in the United States, Canada, and their territories.
For more information on upcoming administrations of the 2014 GED® test, contact your local high school, adult education center, community college, or the GED Testing Service® at: 1-800-62-MY GED (1-800-626-9433) or visit www.gedtestingservice.com. You can also locate a testing center near you by visiting: www.gedtestingservice.com (search “testing centers”).
How Do I Register for the Test and Is There a Registration Fee?
All registration for the 2014 GED® test is conducted online. You will have to register for the GED® test and pay a registration fee online. At the time of registration you will create an account and schedule your test.
For the most up-to-date information on registration, fees, and to view a tutorial about the registration process, visit www.gedtestingservice.com. You may also call Pearson VUE at 1-877-EXAMGED or 1-877-392-6433, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CST with questions.
Can I Retake the Test?
Absolutely! If you don’t do well on one section of the GED® test, don’t panic! You can take it again, and in fact many candidates do. You don’t have to retake the whole test in one sitting, and once you’ve passed a section of the test, you don’t have to take it again.
Accommodations for Test-Takers with Disabilities
If you have special needs because of a physical or learning disability, accommodations may be available for you. Testing accommodations (such as an audio version of the test, extra testing time, or a separate testing room) will be made for test-takers with documented disabilities. For more information on testing accommodations, visit www.gedtestingservice.com/testers/accommodations-for-disability. If you have questions, email: accommodations@GEDtestingservice.com.
Setting Up Your Study Plan
When Should I Start Studying?
Many people take the GED® test one test section at a time. Which test you take first is entirely up to you. Maybe you want to take the tests you feel more comfortable with first, or you might decide to tackle the “harder” tests to get them out of the way. Whatever you decide, it’s never too early to start studying. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills.
Official GED® Practice Tests
If you want even more practice before test day, the GED Testing Service® provides free sample tests (not full-length) with limited functionality (go to www.gedtestingservice.com to find them). In addition, starting in November 2013, the official GED® practice test, called GED Ready™, will be available for a nominal fee (go to www.gedmarketplace.com, and be sure you get the 2014 version).
The GED Testing Service® also provides a free computer skills tutorial that you can take prior to the actual testing appointment. Go to www.gedtestingservice.com and search for “computer tutorials.”