6 Tips for Success on GED Test Day

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

After all of your studying and preparing, taking practice tests, and quizzing, when the official test day arrives, there are a few more steps you need to take to ensure success. The last thing you need just before this important next step in your life is some disruption, so here are a few pointers:

  • Arrive early. Nothing flusters people like having to rush. When you arrive at the test center, you’ll need to find a place to park, a place to leave your purse, laptop, and other things you’re not allowed to take into the testing room with you. You may want to get a drink and go to the restroom, and so on. So be sure to arrive early — about 15 minutes before the test starts — and leave yourself time to do all of those things.

    Include a few minutes just to do nothing but breathe deeply and think about how well this test is going to go. Giving yourself a few extra minutes before the test starts helps you stay calm, collected, and relaxed for the test.

  • Know what to bring with you and what to leave at home. It’s your job to find out what’s permitted at the test center and where you can safely leave the things that aren’t (either at home, in your car, or in a locker at the test center). The test center is concerned about maintaining testing security. It’s also concerned about disruptions or damage to its computers. No laptops or smartphones are allowed into the testing area.

    If you bring a purse or briefcase, expect to have it inspected. When you enter, you’ll be asked to identify yourself and to prove that you’ve already paid the test fees. Make sure you have the appropriate papers with you. If you have to make a payment or partial payment at the time of test, find out in advance whether you need to bring a check, credit card, or cash.

  • Use the restroom and get refreshments before you go in to take the test. Taking a break to go to the restroom during the test will simply take away valuable time. If you can, deal with this before the test starts. And because liquids likely won’t be allowed near the computers, get a drink before you go in to take the test and take along some mints or chewing gum to have during the test.

  • Make sure you’re comfortable. You’re going to be sitting at a computer for at least an hour at a stretch. When you get to the computer, make every adjustment of the screen, keyboard, and chair that you can. Comfort is king.

  • Be smart about answering questions. Before you try to answer a multiple-choice question, see whether you can eliminate obviously wrong answer choices. Doing so makes finding the correct answer much easier. Or if you don’t have a clue which answer is correct, guess. You don’t lose points for wrong answers.

    Go through and answer those questions that you’re sure of the answers first. You have a limited amount of time for each question, so don’t waste time staring at a question you can’t answer. Leave it. If you have time after answering all the other questions, you can go back and spend a bit more time considering the answers on harder questions. Besides, answering all those questions you do know quickly helps build up your confidence and saves a little time for the tough stuff at the end.

  • Be confident. You studied hard, so don’t let the pressure of the testing area upset you. You know you can do well on the test, so have confidence in that.