When you’re preparing for the GED it’s easy to worry that you’re doing something wrong. It’s a unique exam and a unique situation to be thrown back into studying full on after a prolonged break. You probably already know the dos: understand the test format, know your stuff, familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions, get a good night’s rest. Many people are not aware of the common don’ts and spend their energy in the wrong place. Prepare yourself for the exam writing process by avoiding the following common mistakes.
The GED content changes constantly and covers a wide variety of topics. You can’t commit all of it to memory. It’s important to memorize some things but you’re better off memorizing certain things and use other strategies to answer the other questions.
The essay portion of the GED comprises one half of the Language Arts section on the test. It’s an important section and you’re being graded on your writing’s focus, organization and development with specific examples and explanations. Candidates must score a two or higher in order to pass this section of the test. Understanding this important part of the test is crucial to passing the GED. Make sure you write enough—about 4-6 paragraphs—with an introduction and conclusion. Practice staying focused and on topic. You’re prompted on what to write about, make sure that you read the prompt and fully understand it before you start thinking about your essay. Try to include as many details and examples as possible. You want to prove your point with the most convincing evidence available to you. Don’t panic. You can’t know what your essay prompt will be ahead of time so you won’t be able to prepare. You can practice writing timed essays before though. Practice formulating ideas, doing a quick essay outline. It may help to think about certain things before the test that you can use in your writing such as, goals you want to accomplish, things you’ve worked for, people who are important to you, and experiences you had as a child that were formative. Try working with an outline and you’ll find that ideas flow a lot better.
Make sure you give yourself lots of time to really research and familiarize yourself with the GED content and test format. It’s not a cakewalk. Some people think that they’ll just go into the exam and pass it, easy peasy. Don’t trick yourself into thinking this way! Give yourself months or weeks to prepare so that you don’t feel rushed. Don’t waste the examination fee if you haven’t given yourself a fair amount of time to prepare for what will be asked of you.
Arguably there’s no worse feeling than studying one topic inside out and showing up to the test to find that it’s barely covered. Don’t spend too much time studying one topic in case it isn’t tested! A good way to avoid this problem is to take GED practice tests. It’s more about the way of thinking than the hard data so give yourself the best chance of passing and practice, practice, practice before the exam!