GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
Cheat Sheet

GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From GED RLA For Dummies

By Achim K. Krull, Murray Shukyn

To perform well on the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test, you need to be able to read closely, write clearly, and understand and edit Standard English in written form. This Cheat Sheet provides a more detailed list of what you need to know to perform well on the GED RLA test and provides tips and tricks to help you answer questions faster and with greater accuracy.

Recognizing Skills Required to Pass the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test

Uncertainty can generate significant test anxiety. To help lessen your anxiety and boost your performance on the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test, here is a general outline of what’s covered on the test. To do well on the test, you need to be able to do the following:

  • Extract details from written passages.

  • Identify and summarize the main points in a written passage.

  • Identify the premises and assumptions on which an argument is based.

  • Make logical inferences (draw meaning from) details presented in a written passage.

  • Distinguish between valid and faulty arguments and reasoning.

  • Read and respond to questions from a range of passages that vary in complexity, including college- and career-level passages.

  • Analyze two arguments side-by-side and determine which is presented and supported more effectively.

  • Extract supporting evidence from two arguments and use it to compose a well-supported, well-written, and effective argument.

  • Understand appropriate vocabulary and Standard English conventions.

  • Write clearly and precisely.

  • Correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and Standard English usage.

Analyzing an Argument on the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test

The GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test may present you with questions that challenge your ability to analyze an argument. In addition, one of the main components of the test is an Extended Response, in which you must analyze two arguments, choose the one that’s most persuasive, and explain why by writing your own essay. To analyze an argument, take the following steps:

  1. Skim the passage and write down the main idea.

    What is the author trying to persuade the reader to think or do?

  2. Read the passage closely with the main idea in mind to identify premises leading to a conclusion.

    What premises (claims) does the author make that lead to the conclusion, the main idea? Write down the premises.

  3. Following each premise, jot down a list of evidence the author presents to support each premise.

    Note any claims the passage makes without supporting them.

  4. Evaluate the premises to determine whether they lead logically to the conclusion.

  5. Evaluate the evidence to determine whether it’s sufficient to prove each premise.

  6. Ask yourself whether the passage addressed possible objections to the argument.

    Did the author do a good job of addressing possible objections?

GED RLA: Recognizing the Signs of a Weak Argument

On the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test, you need to be able to compare two persuasive passages and determine which of the two is presented more logically and has more and better supporting evidence. As you read the two passages, look for the following signs of a weak argument:

  • Statements of opinion presented as facts

  • Statements presented as truths with little or no evidence to support them

  • Correlated events in which the cause-and-effect relationship is claimed but not proven

  • Words such as all, every, none, and nobody, which commonly indicate an overgeneralization

  • Comparisons implying that two things are similar when they’re really not

  • Attacks on a person instead of the idea or information the person presents; for example, pointing out that so-and-so is not to be trusted

  • Misrepresentations of the opposing view to make the opposing view appear weaker than it really is

  • Statements in which the conclusion of the argument is presented as evidence to support it

  • Either/or fallacies, where the passage claims that a situation must be either this way or that when other options are available

  • Omission of important facts

  • Statements that indicate a personal bias or lack of objectivity

Fixing Common Grammar Errors on the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test

Several questions on the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test present sentences that contain grammar errors and instruct you to choose the correction. Here are some of the more common grammar errors to watch out for:

Error Example Correction
Sentence fragment Left office before accomplishing what he had set out to
do.
The governor left office before accomplishing what he had set
out to do.
Comma splice Sally enjoys the beach, she spends two weeks in Miami every
year.
Sally enjoys the beach, so she spends two weeks in Miami every
year.
Subject-verb disagreement The pens and the paper is in the cabinet. The pens and the paper are in the cabinet.
Pronoun-antecedent disagreement The entire bag of apples were rotten. The entire bag of apples was rotten.
All the apples in the bag were rotten
Faulty parallelism Either you must register for the race in advance or pay a late
registration fee.
You must either register for the race in advance or pay a late
registration fee.
Passive voice It was decided by the elders to allocate additional funds for a
new bus.
The elders decided to allocate additional funds for a new
bus.
Misplaced modifier Having just completed the test, the proctor told the students
they could go home.
The proctor told the students, who had just completed the test,
they could go home.