14 Tips to Master the GED Test the Next Time You Take It
Your ability to master the GED test hinges on attaining the difficult score of 800. There are four sections to the exam, and each one is worth up to 200 points. Scoring a 145 on each exam is considered “passing.”
No matter how well you’d like to do on the exam, it helps to have a rock-solid study plan in place. This isn’t a “give-me” test where you pass just for showing up. You have to do your very best, and it’s certainly no easy path to a high school diploma. But if you employ the following 14 steps, you’ll be much closer to perfection than you would be otherwise. Let’s begin!
1. Take Lots of Practice Exams
This is an essential step to doing your very best on the GED. You have to be prepared for the questions, the formatting, the pacing. It all matters. Practice examinations can be found in study guides, from the GED Testing Service themselves, or right here at 4Tests.
We encourage you not to limit yourself to one type of practice exam. Getting as many different viewpoints and test questions under your belt as possible is the ticket to being ready for anything on exam day. Repetition will make you comfortable with whatever they throw at you.
2. Access a Study Guide
Aside from practice exams, investing in a study guide is not a bad idea. Remember the key here is to get as many “reps” in as possible. Exam guides can run anywhere from $30-$50, but they’ll give you as much exposure to the test as possible, and they usually come with several practice exams based on the actual test. Take all of those in addition to whatever you find here and from other sources.
3. Read Each Question
The GED Test will sometimes try to purposefully mislead you in what it’s going to ask. If you assume too much about the question coming, it’s easy to choose the wrong answer and feel perfectly confident in doing so.
Read each word carefully so you don’t get lulled into a false sense of security about what is being asked. Read the questions twice if you have to. Doing so will make it much easier to sift through the options and look for keywords that immediately disqualify certain options over others.
4. Play to Your Strengths Early
Every GED exam will have its share of “easy questions.” These change depending on what your strengths in that particular content area are. Move through the test quickly the first time, looking for any questions that jump out as “easy” for you. Answer those first. It’ll give you more time on the harder questions later if you do.
5. Be Aware of Time As a Factor
Each section of the GED test is timed with a different length. The mathematical reasoning, for instance, provides two 45-minute sections to complete. Language arts is broken down into reading (65 minutes) and writing (120 minutes). Science portion is 80 minutes, and social studies is 70.
You have to know what you’re up against both time and questions-wise to budget your session effectively. Getting the easiest questions answered first allows you to re-calibrate throughout the exam to know how much time you can work on each of the most difficult questions. One thing that will help is for you to prioritize questions from easiest to toughest as you move along.
6. Be Careful About Jumping the Gun
It’s easy to jump the gun when answering a question that you know is right. Don’t do it. Take time to read through the answers because there may be one or two tweaks in the wording that lead to you answering a question you actually know in an incorrect manner. Pace yourself.
7. Use the Process of Elimination
As you delve into the process of picking an answer on the GED test, make sure you are using the process of elimination, particularly for those questions you’ve prioritized as more challenging. You can usually narrow down the options to one or two based on word selection.
Pay close attention to word order when reading an answer. It’s possible the test writer could be trying to fool you by changing one or two details. The longer the answer, the more likely this is the case. Also, double-check numeric values for mathematical answer selections. The smallest detail can make the biggest difference.
8. Do Not Stop With a Single Source
We’ve already touched on this some, but it cannot be emphasized enough. Do not stop with a single source. Cast your net for materials and information as broadly as you can when attempting to take the GED test. While some practice materials will be built better than others, they all offer the gift of repetition, and that can be invaluable when it comes to actual test day.
9. Take a Class
GED booklets, study guides, and practice tests (free or paid), may be a great way to prepare for test day, but few things will ready you like hands-on, face-to-face interaction with an instructor trained in the intricacies of the exam itself.
GED classes may be available for free from a local adult education center, or there may be some paid options that you wish to explore. Private tutors can be well worth the investment, too, since a high school diploma or equivalency will open up a host of higher-paying opportunities in a relatively short amount of time.
10. Organize Your Life
Not sure where to begin when preparing for the GED test? Maybe you should start by getting your lifestyle in order. Clutter can make us feel foggy about what to do next. The simple act of cleaning our room or organizing a workspace works well in getting you into the proper frame of mind for studying and making improvements.
Start by making piles of things you wish to keep and things that can be easily tossed in the garbage or shredded. You also might consider moving items to a recycling container. Once you’re starting to see a clean desk, momentum will build and you can turn your attention to a study routine and plan based on what you will need to accomplish.
11. Focus on Weak Spots
As you hone in on your study routines, you’re going to start noticing the areas where your knowledge is soft versus where you are very solid. Devote more of your time to the gaps in your education. Make time to see a counselor or adult education instructor. Also, explore online resources (videos, podcasts, blogs) to see what other options are out there in easily digestible form.
12. See What Others Are Saying
Talk to others you know who’ve taken the test. See what their experiences were like. If you don’t have any in your circle of friends with GED test experience, try expanding to online sources. The 4Tests Facebook page is a decent place to start.
Connect with our followers who have taken the test to get a sense for what their experiences were like. If you don’t have any luck there, sites like Quora or GED-specific message boards are great places to hang out.
13. Get Familiar With the Testing Terrain
You’ve done almost everything you can to prepare for mastering the GED test. Now’s the time to move your attention to the physical location. All GED tests are given at certified testing sites. You’ll have the location information well ahead of exam day.
If you haven’t yet been to the physical places yet, though, make sure you correct that as soon as you can. Nothing’s worse than getting where you’re supposed to be right on time but not leaving enough wiggle room to find the appropriate room. You also can’t be certain of traffic on test day. So, the night before, drive to the physical location if you can. Get familiar with parking and walking paths. It’ll be a huge relief on test day if you already know what you’re doing.
14. Prep the Night Before
Last but not least, it helps to take one last look at the materials you’ll need to bring with you before test day begins. You may wish to bring your own writing utensils, though in all likelihood, the testing site will have something that you’ll need on-hand.
Without a doubt, you’ll need a valid form of photo ID. These most commonly include a valid driver’s license or permit, but you also might consider bringing a state-issued ID, military ID, or passport.
Have these materials ready to go at an easy-access point within the home. That way, you can spend as little time as possible gathering your things on the morning or day of the test.
To Master the GED Test, Know Your Options
The ability to master the GED Test hinges on how well prepared you are in the weeks leading up to test day. That’s why you should get started prepping and planning as soon as possible. For more information on what the test entails, check out some of our additional posts. Best of luck as you prepare!
[Featured Image by Best GED Classes]