The GED is a long, grueling test that requires one to apply a number of different skills in order to succeed. Each of the test's four sections - science, social studies, mathematical reasoning, and reasoning through language arts - requires an entirely different approach, so it's only natural that one's studying techniques would reflect that. Since much of the test relies heavily upon reading comprehension and memory, there is only so much you can do to prepare for them apart from simply studying as you would for any other test. Math and the Extended Response questions of the social studies and reasoning through language arts sections, however, require you to call upon more specific techniques. Below is a breakdown of appropriate methods for preparing for these sections.
Reading: The SQ3R Method
The most effective method for preparing for the Language Arts portion of the GED is called the SQ3R Method: Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review.
Survey - Scan through the entire chapter. Take special notes of outlines and other figures.
Question - Turn headings and subheadings into questions that must be answered when you read.
Read - After reading the section, go back and underline the answer to the question you formulated in the second step. If you could not find the answer, try again.
Recite - Summarize the main idea in just one sentence. Sometimes it helps to recite it out loud.
Review - Once finished, review all headings. Consider re-reading the first and last sentence of each paragraph.
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A number of resources recommend preparing for the extended response portion of the exam by reading and outlining magazine and newspaper articles. Read the entire article, determine the main idea and look for all supporting ideas. Some study groups recommend underlining the transitional words to see how these ideas fit together. Hint: The last sentence in the article often summarizes the main point.
After reading through the article, write your own essay. Begin with a draft outlining your main idea and at least three supporting ideas connected to it. Then, begin writing the introductory paragraph, linking supporting ideas with transitional phrases and summarize in the final paragraph.
Because the Math section tests you on a number of different types of problems and functions, it helps to establish one method for tackling all of them. Our advice? Use the 5 R's: Recopy, Rework, Recite, Recheck and verify Reasonableness.
Recopy - Recopy examples done in class or in your study text.
Rework - Rework model problems until they become easy for you.
Recite - Recite each step of the process out loud to be certain you understand the process.
Recheck - Recheck your work. Sometimes simple errors go unnoticed the first time around.
Reasonableness - Ensure that your logic reflects sound reason. Ask yourself whether or not the answer you came to truly makes sense.