10 Tips for Doing Your Best on the GED Test

By Achim K. Krull, Dale E. Shuttleworth, Murray Shukyn

Part of GED Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You plan to take the GED test because you want to receive your high-school diploma equivalency, right? You’re spending the time and money to take the test, so why not ensure that you do your best? Make sure you’re as prepared as possible for everything the GED test has to throw at you.

The best way to prepare yourself is to take as many practice tests, or pretests, as you can. After taking these pretests, you can check your answers with those provided. For your added benefit, most answers also come with explanations to help you understand why they’re right. If you take these pretests seriously, you’ll get an idea of how well you’ll do on the real test. And if you follow the rules on the practice tests and check all your answers (and understand why you missed the ones you did), you’ll be ready for the real GED test come test day.

In addition, keep the following tips in mind when taking the GED test:

  • Listen to all directions given before the test. The words of the examiner just before the test tell you everything you need to know to answer the questions properly, which is very important when you’re taking a standardized test.

  • Read and follow all the directions given on the test. If you don’t follow all the instructions given on the test, you may not pass it, and, as a result, you may have to take it again if you want to receive your high-school equivalency diploma.

  • Carefully read each question and all the answers offered. If you skip reading one or more of the answer choices for a question, you risk missing the best answer because you didn’t read it (which means you risk getting the question wrong).

  • Always choose the best answer based on the material presented. Everyone brings outside knowledge into the test, but you must remember that the questions aren’t testing your prior knowledge. They’re testing your ability to answer questions based on the material presented.

  • Answer all the questions. Practice guessing logically if you aren’t sure of an answer. You don’t lose any points for guessing wrong — you just don’t gain any.

  • Trust your instinct. Your first answer is usually right. Don’t spend a lot of time changing answers.

  • Mark the answers carefully. You get points only for clearly selected correct answers on the screen.

    Because the computerized GED test has multiple question formats, that means you need to make sure you click on the correct answer bubble in multiple-choice problems, drag the appropriate answer choices (and in the right order) in drag-and-drop questions, select the correct option in drop-down menu items, spell and punctuation correctly in fill-in-the-blanks, and click on the exact point you intend in hot-spot questions.

  • If you want to change an answer (and you’re positive your first answer is wrong), you can do that. But do that only if you have time left over after finishing all the other work in that section of the test.

  • Do the easiest questions first. If you get stuck on a question, leave it. Go on to things you know well and come back later, time permitting.

    You can’t transfer time between the question-and-answer sections and the essays in the Reasoning through Language Arts or Social Studies tests. Each section is marked separately. Use leftover time in these sections to review your work.

  • Watch the time. You have a strict time limit.