The GED (General Education Diploma) is a standardized, comprehensive examination administered to students who are seeking an alternate route for high school completion. The test is recognized by every state in the United States as an equivalency to the high school diploma. It may be used in place of a diploma in order to apply for college and/or join the workforce. Any educational institution not accredited by their state’s education department would most likely administer the test at the end of a student’s 12th grade year. Individuals or groups may also take the test to earn a diploma; however, each state has its own policy regarding eligibility requirements.

The test is comprised of four subject areas: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. It contains various question formats such as multiple choice, drag and drop, fill in the blank, and short answer. There are three different versions of the exam and students are allowed to schedule each section according to their individual needs; thus all four sections are not required on the same test date. General information for the GED may be found on the official GED site.

The Reasoning through Language Arts section assesses a student’s ability to read, write, understand, and edit written passages. There are 45 questions presented on this section of the exam plus one writing question classified as an “extended response”. These passages are gathered from the context of both academic and workplace environments. It is estimated that 75% of all the text in this section is informational, while 25% can be classified as literature. Students should have the ability to understand specific details in written passages and make assumptions based on the information provided. They also should have a range of vocabulary skills with varying levels of complexity and have the ability to determine the correct use in a phrase, sentence, or passage of text. Students have a time limit of 150 minutes to complete this section of the GED test.

The writing portion of this section assesses a student’s ability to analyze a statement, create an effective response, and write the response in a logical way with varying levels of terminology. Students are allowed 45 minutes to complete the writing portion of this section. They are graded on the structure of sentences, use of grammar, and correct punctuation. For further information, pertaining to the Reasoning through Language Arts section of the GED, click here.

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