7 Do’s of GED Test Preparation
Passing your General Education Development (GED) test will not come easy without the proper preparation. After all, what you are essentially doing is circumventing the typical average educational plan for high school students. There will be a lot of material that requires a deeper understanding to surpass, and the average GED test-taker usually hasn’t had the hands-on training that the classroom provides. That’s why it’s important for one to engage in these 7 Do’s of GED Test Preparation.
Planning to study means more than setting a date and time and then cracking the books for an hour or two. It means becoming aware of all the material—the knowledge and the concepts—that will be on the exam. More than awareness, it means that you have to attain a certain level of expertise, and that will require studying examples, reading passages, performing GED practice tests and perhaps even taking GED preparation courses. Each of these things will command your time, and if you haven’t planned how much time you’re going to devote to each content area, how you’re going to approach the material and when you’re going to do it, then you could be in for a long test day.
2. Use multiple techniques.
In the same manner that algebra is different from English is different from biology, test preparation techniques have varying scope. The world needs algebra for business and engineering. It needs English for effective communication. It needs biology for health and research. Each school subject, though different from the others in many ways, has a purpose and usefulness. So, too, do test prep techniques. Reading on your own, taking notes, working with others who have mastery over the content, group-thinks and gaging where you stand through practice exams are all viable, necessary methods, and you should be open to each.
3. Embrace the Internet.
You live in an age where there is instant access to information of all types. Free GED prep tests online, specialty websites and direct contact information to people who can help are all at your fingertips with top search engines like Google and Bing. It sure beats the olden days when heavy and expensive hardback encyclopedia collections, the Dewey Decimal System and interlibrary loans were the top ways of accessing information. While all these things may still have a place in test preparation and research, they pale in comparison to the amount of information you can find online and the ease with which you can obtain it. And if you can’t afford a computer and Internet connection in your home, then you can head down to the local library and use them for free.
4. Know what you’re getting yourself in to.
While there are reportedly big changes ahead in the future of the GED, there are some things that will remain a constant. It will still be important that you achieve a level of mastery over the five core content areas—reading, writing, science, social studies and mathematics. GED students who are forced out of the traditional path to graduation carry a disadvantage in that they do not have the same amount of class-time as their peers, but they can make up for this by taking GED prep courses, reading test-specific study materials and taking a number of practice exams prior to the real deal. This is your future, and you should spend a lot of time familiarizing yourself with the content areas and the test administration.
5. Come prepared with all the right tools.
There is bad news and good news to what is allowed and what isn’t on test day. The bad news is that standards for testing aids are very strict. So don’t expect to use your phone or calculator during the numbers-heavy parts of the exam. The good news? Everything you need to successfully complete the exam—paper, pencil and testing materials—are provided at the time of the test. So as long as you have a valid photo ID, don’t worry about what you may have forgotten. Instead focus entirely on the exam.
There are three reasons why you should show up ahead of the start-time. Firstly, arriving late could get you disqualified for the exam and your registration fee forfeited. Secondly, in case there are any minor setbacks, you will still have time to “beat the clock,” so to speak. (Most recommend arriving 30 minutes early to provide enough time for photo verification and setup.) Finally, you will more than likely perform better if you don’t feel rushed upon arrival.
7. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.
The most important “do” that you can possess in test preparation is an unwillingness to accept failure. Don’t go in to the test planning to fail, but at the same time, set your mind at ease. Should you not pass the first time, there is always the next. For the sake of your future, this is one time you can’t afford to take “no,” or in this case “fail,” as an answer. Having this realization ahead of time will calm your nerves and prepare you to focus on what you have prepared for—your future.