Strategies for GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

Success on standardized tests depends not only on your knowledge of content, but on your test-taking skills. This focuses on some test-taking strategies that can help you succeed on the GED Reasoning through Language Arts test.

A Game Plan for Test Success

No matter what you're trying to do, whether it's completing a work objective, winning a sports championship, or simply finding your way to a new location, it's important to have a game plan. In short, it's great to have a set of strategies that you can use to help you achieve your goal.

Preparing a set of winning strategies is also helpful to succeed on the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test. In this lesson, we will explore some strategies you can employ to help you do your best on the test.

Know the GED RLA Basics

A good place to start when you're preparing for a test is to familiarize yourself with it. The GED RLA test takes 150 minutes to complete; that's two-and-a-half hours but it is broken up across three sections:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Writing
  • Language

The reading comprehension and language sections require students to read passages and answer a series of multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, or other short-answer questions about the passage. The writing section requires an extended response of approximately 300 to 500 words to a question prompt. Although you need to consider the differences among these sections, some common test-taking strategies can help you succeed on all of them.

Manage Your Time

For any standardized, timed test, time management is critically important. On the GED RLA, as with most tests, you don't lose points for incorrect answers; so be sure to find the time to answer each and every question. Of course, you need to keep track of time during the test to ensure you have at least a little time to contemplate the answer to each question. For example, if the test section has 70 questions and you only have 35 minutes to complete the section, that means you need to answer 2 questions every minute on average. It's important to answer questions you know the answer to quickly to give yourself more time to think about the difficult questions.

The same is true for the extended response section of the test. To deliver a complete response, you will want time to proofread your response before submitting. Therefore, you need to finish writing your response leaving adequate time to proofread. If you know you are a slow reader or writer, you may want to speed up the pace of the other activity to have time for both.

Read Questions First

Especially if you feel crunched for time, it can help to read the questions asked about a passage before reading the passage itself. By doing this, the questions you need to answer are front of mind while you are reading the passage. This can also help save time, because once you find all the answers you're looking for, you don't need to read the passage any further.

Make Smart Guesses

No matter how hard you study, there will likely be some questions to which you simply don't know the answer. Instead of simply taking a wild guess, you can help yourself to minimize wrong guesses. For example, after reading a question and all the answer options, while you may not know the correct answer, you likely know one or two answers that are wrong. You have a better chance at choosing the correct answer if you eliminate those choices you know are not correct.

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