10 Ways to Survive GED Test Day

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

Besides all those hours of studying, to succeed on the GED test, you also need to know what to do on the day of the test and how to stay focused through each test section. Here are ten quick and easy ways to help you survive the GED test.

Wear comfortable clothes

Consider the following situation. You’re about to sit in front of a computer screen for at least 90 minutes. You’ll be sitting on what will probably an uncomfortable chair. The room may be too warm or too cold.

Dress comfortably and in layers. All your concentration should be on the test, not your clothes, not on the people around you, and not on the conditions in the room.

Arrive to the test site early

Arrive to the test site early. Even if you’re always late, remember, this is only one day. Also, if you’re late to the test site, you probably won’t be allowed to enter, you’ll likely have to reschedule the test for another time, and you’ll probably have to pay again for the test. Do your research, leave extra time for unforeseen situations, and arrive early and ready for the test.

A couple of weeks before the test, confirm the time your test is supposed to begin and the testing center location in case it changed in the interim.

Keep conversations light and short

A little bit of stress is normal when you walk into a test. So the last thing you want to do is increase your stress level by getting into a conversation with another test-taker and losing your focus.

Although it may seem antisocial, keep conversations to a minimum just before the test. If you want to exchange pleasantries about the weather, go ahead. If you want to get into a serious conversation about how everything you’ve done to this point will only guarantee failure, run away as fast as you can and don’t talk to anyone! If you’ve prepared, you’re ready.

Get comfortable

You’re going to be sitting in front of a computer screen for at least 90 minutes. Before starting the test, be sure to adjust the screen, the keyboard, and the chair to a comfortable position. You want to get rid of any and all distractions, so taking a minute to adjust the computer station to suit you is well worth the effort.

Relax and breathe

Feeling a bit of stress before taking the GED test is normal. Psychologists even say that a little bit of stress can help you function better. But it’s a balancing act; you don’t want to become so stressed that you can’t think.

Here are some techniques that may help you relax before you take the GED test, or anytime you’re feeling a bit stressed:

  • Think positively.

  • Breathe deeply.

  • Count backward from ten (in your head).

  • Clench and unclench your fists.

  • Stare out a window.

  • Reassure yourself silently in the third person.

Stay focused on the task at hand

Put your mind on a leash; don’t let it wander during the test. Letting your mind wander back to the greatest vacation you ever had can be very relaxing, but letting it wander during a test can be a disaster. You want your mind sharp, keen, and focused before and during the test, so concentrate on the task at hand — doing your best and passing the GED test.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep in the nights and weeks before the test. If you’re well rested, you’ll have an easier time focusing on each item and answering it correctly. Also, if you’re planning to take the test in the morning, in the week before the test, set your alarm to awaken you at the same time you’ll need on exam day.

Look at only your test

If there were a Biggest Mistake Award for test-takers, it’d go to someone who looks at his neighbor’s test. This is cheating and is a very serious matter. Not only will you be asked to leave the testing center, but you may have to wait up to a year before you’re allowed to schedule another test. More than likely, your neighbor will have a different test anyway.

Don’t even give the slightest hint that you may be looking at someone else’s work. The test proctor probably will only see you looking in the general direction of another person’s computer, which is considered cheating.

Start with the easy questions

As you begin the test, start with the easy questions — the ones you know you can do. As soon as the test questions come up on the computer screen, scroll through them quickly, identify the easy ones, and do those items first. Then you’ll be ready to tackle the other questions in a relaxed, confident mood. Doing the easy questions first saves you time to use on the difficult questions.

Write clearly and carefully

You’ll have a couple of essays and short-answer questions throughout the different sections of the GED test. Take time to prepare your ideas on the erasable tablet provided. Your essays will be evaluated on clarity as well as accuracy, so organization matters. Also, be sure to save some time to review your spelling and grammar. And, finally, make sure you stay on topic; anything else will count against you.

Do your best, no matter what

Not everyone passes the GED test the first time. If you’ve taken the test before and didn’t pass, don’t automatically think you’re a failure — instead, see the situation as a learning experience. Use your last test as motivation to discover your academic weaknesses. you’re taking the test for the first time or the third, focus on doing your best.

You can retake any test section as required, generally up to three times a year. And you need to retake only the sections that you didn’t pass. You can find more information at GEDtestingservice.com.