GED Test Prep: Reasoning Through Language Arts Multiple Choice Questions

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

Like in all the four test sections of the GED, the multiple-choice question, or item, is the most popular. The basic multiple-choice question looks very similar to what appeared in the print format of previous versions of the GED test. It’s presented in split-screen form, with the source text on the left and the question and answer choices on the right.

You read the question and the source text first and then answer the question. If the source text extends beyond one screen, you use the scroll bar on the right side of the left screen. When you’re ready to answer, use the mouse to click on the appropriate answer, and then click on Next to continue.


If a scroll bar accompanies the source text on the left side of the screen, some of the text isn’t visible unless you scroll down. If that scroll bar is on the answer side, some of the answer choices may not be visible without scrolling. This is important to remember because you may miss some important text when trying to answer the item.

The scroll bar in some items will help you

  • (A)Find scrolls.

  • (B)Move around the screen.

  • (C)Go on to the next question.

  • (D)Recognize that more text is above or below what is currently on the screen.

Choice (D) is correct. The scroll bar is simply a visual reminder that the text is longer than what’s shown on the screen. It doesn’t help you do anything else—not move around the screen, go to the next question, or find scrolls.

Sometimes the source text consists of several screen pages. The tabs at the top of the page are your clue. They actually look like tabs on file folders. Each one opens the next page in the source text when you click on the tab

You must read all the text to be able to answer the question. Notice, too, that the question side of the screen doesn’t change as you go through the tabs. Otherwise, it works the same way: read, decide on an answer, click on the matching choice, and then click on Next to continue.


Tabs are a very important part of any item because

  • (A)They give you something to do while you think about your answer.

  • (B)They allow you to advance to the next page.

  • (C)They allow you to move down the page of text.

  • (D)It’s the trade name for a diet cola from yesteryear.

Choice (B) is the correct answer.

If you have to advance through a passage, the tabs give you the mechanism to do so. If you choose not to use the tabs, you’ll be able to read only one page of the passage. Because the answer to the item is dependent on all the presented material, it puts you at a major disadvantage.

Most of the items on the test will be some form of multiple-choice, presented in a manner as the preceding two examples.