GED Test Tips: Use Your Time Wisely

When you start the computerized version of the GED test, you may feel pressed for time and have the urge to rush through the questions. Resist that urge! You have sufficient time to do the test at a reasonable pace.

You have only a certain amount of time for each section in the GED exam, so time management is an important part of succeeding on the test. You need to plan ahead and use your time wisely as you move through the test.

You must complete each section in one sitting, except for the Reasoning Through Language Arts test. There, you get a ten-minute break before the Extended Response (also known as the essay).

During the test, the computer will keep you constantly aware of the time with a clock in the upper right-hand corner. Pay attention to the clock. When the test begins, check that time, and be sure to monitor how much time you have left as you work your way through the test. Table 4-1 shows you how much time you have for each test.

Test Time Limit (in Minutes)
Reasoning Through Language Arts 95
Reasoning Through Language Arts, Extended Response 45
Social Studies 90
Science 90
Mathematical Reasoning 90

As you start, quickly scroll through the test and find out how many questions you have to answer. Quickly divide the time by the number of questions. Doing so can give you a rough idea of how much time to spend on each question. For example, on the Mathematical Reasoning section, suppose that you see you have 50 questions to answer.

You have 90 minutes to complete the test. Divide the time by the number of questions to find out how much time you have for each item: 90/50 = 1.8 minutes per item. As you progress, repeat the calculation to see how you're doing. Remember, too, that you can do questions in any order, except for the Extended Response items.

Do the easiest questions first. If you get stuck on a question, leave it and come back to it later, if you have time. Keeping to that schedule and answering as many questions as possible is essential.

If you don't monitor the time for each question, you won't have time to answer all the questions on the test. Keep in mind the following general time-management tips to help you complete each exam on time:

  • Measure the time you have to answer each question without spending more time on timing than answering. Group questions together; for example, plan to do five questions in seven minutes. Doing so helps you complete all the questions and leaves you several minutes for review.

  • Keep calm and don't panic. The time you spend panicking could be better spent answering questions.

  • Practice using sample tests. The more you practice timed sample test questions, the easier managing a timed test becomes. You can get used to doing something in a limited amount of time if you practice.

When time is up, immediately stop and breathe a sigh of relief. When the test ends, the examiner will give you a log-off procedure. Listen for instructions on what to do or where to go next.

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