How to Ace the GED

The GED Exam (General Educational Development Exam) tests five major content areas that high school graduates are expected to have mastered: writing, reading, social studies, mathematics, and science. Since the GED program was developed in 1942, more than 10 million Americans have received educational credentials equivalent to a high school diploma.

GED exam scores are accepted by most colleges, and by law, employers must regard it as equal to a high school diploma. Though achieving the minimum passing score will make you eligible for most jobs, you should strive to earn the highest score you can achieve. GED scores can be correlated to class rank, so if your GED scores are in the 95th percent, it's like being in the top 5 percent of your class. Earning a high GED composite score greatly increases your chances of admission to college. If you want to ace the GED, follow these tips to earn a high score.

First, understand that standardized tests, including the GED, are beatable tests. Because the content and format are the same from year to year (except during scheduled revisions), and because there are a multitude of practice GED tests and questions available, you can master GED material with time.

Learn the concepts and facts that will be tested on the GED forward and backward. The American Council on Education, the group that administers the GED, has a website where you can find free practice GED tests and sample exam questions. Your local bookstore and Amazon.com have many GED study guides available.

Create a study schedule that includes time for taking full-length practice tests. If there are reasonably priced Adult Education GED classes in your area, sign up! With so many GED resources available, there is no excuse for being unprepared for the GED. Taking full-length practice tests is one of the most effective ways to improve your timing.

Learn how the GED is scored and the minimum score requirements. Each section is given a score between 200 and 800. You must earn at least 410 on each section, AND earn a total score of at least 2250.

Consider carefully what this means. If you earned only 410 on each section, your composite score would be 5x410 = 2050, which is 200 points lower than 2250. In order to pass, you must actually score higher than 410 on some sections. If you score 450 on each section, your composite score would be 5x450 = 2250. By earning a 450 on each section, you would pass--just barely!

The median and average score for each section is 500. If your score is average on each section, you would receive a total score of 5x500 = 2500. But if you want to ace the GED, or at least do better than average, your total score must be above 2500. Keep this number in mind as a goal when you are studying.

As you study for the GED, set weekly goals for yourself to keep your motivation up. The more time you invest in studying, the higher your GED score will be. Earning a high GED score will offset some of the stigma attached to not having a traditional high school diploma.

© Had2Know 2010

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