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GED Test Prep: Reasoning Through Language Arts Writing Question Types

Most of the questions in the writing section of the Reasoning Through Language Arts section of the GED are multiple-choice items, but you'll also see some fill-in-the-blanks and drag-and-drop items. This section includes one other question type: the drop-down menu. In these questions, you select the correct alternative from a number of choices. Like multiple-choice, the drop-down menu will usually include four options (sometimes you'll see as few as three).

The drop-down menu items consist of a sentence with a box on the line containing a down arrow and the word select. When you click on Select, several alternative word or sentence choices appear. You click on the best choice, and the sentence appears with your selection.

When we got there, we discovered car was missing.

  • (A)their

  • (B)they're

  • (C)there

The correct answer is Choice (A), their. These words are homonyms—words that sound alike but have different meanings. Choice (A), their, shows possession, as in “their book”; Choice (B), they're is a contraction of they are; and Choice (C), there, is a location in space or time.

Dear Mr. Jones

(1) We would like to thank you for you're kind words. (2) As a manufacturer, we try to produce the best possible goods for consumers. (3) The keyboard's we produce do not often receive the recognition your review gives us, and it is much appreciated.

Sentence 1: We would like to thank you for you're kind words.

What changes should be made to Sentence 1?

  • (A)change would to wood

  • (B)capitalize thank you

  • (C)change you're to your

  • (D)all of the above

The correct answer is Choice (C). It refers to the misuse of you're, a contraction of you are, when your, as in ownership or possession, is appropriate. Choice (A) is another example of homonyms, but the correct word, would, is used in the sentence so no change needed there. Choice (C) is wrong in suggesting a capitalization in the middle of the sentence.

Sentence 2: As a manufacturer, we try to produce the best possible goods for consumers.

What corrections need to be made in Sentence 2?

  • (A)change manufacturer to manufactures

  • (B)change produce to produse

  • (C)delete the comma after manufacturer

  • (D)none of the above

In this case, the answer is Choice (D), none of the above. No error occurs in the sentence. Although often the all of the above or none of the above answer choices are thrown in to fool you, don't fall into the trap of ignoring the option. Sometimes it does apply.

Sentence 3: The keyboard's we produce do not often receive the recognition your review gives us, and it is much appreciated.

What changes need to be made in Sentence 3?

  • (A)change keyboard's to keyboards

  • (B)change receive to recieve

  • (C)change appreciated to appreciation

  • (D)capitalize keyboard's

The correct answer is Choice (A). When you present the plural of keyboard, it's keyboards, without the apostrophe. Choice (B) is an attempt to lead you into error: The spelling change suggests that you use recieve, a common spelling error.

The big key for this section is that you can study for this section by checking out lists of commonly misspelled words, reviewing grammar and punctuation rules, and getting familiar with homonyms and their proper use.

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