GED Test Tips: Use Intelligent Guessing

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

The multiple-choice questions on the GED provide you with four possible answers. You get between one and three points for every correct answer. Nothing is subtracted for incorrect answers. That means you can guess on the items you don’t know for sure without fear that you’ll lose points. Make educated guesses by eliminating as many obviously wrong choices as possible and choosing from just one or two remaining choices.

When the question gives you four possible answers and you randomly choose one, you have a 25 percent chance of guessing the correct answer without even reading the question. Of course, using this method during the test is not recommended.

If you know that one of the answers is definitely wrong, you now have just three answers to choose from and have a 33 percent chance (1 in 3) of choosing the correct answer. If you know that two of the answers are wrong, you leave yourself two possible answers to choose from, giving you a 50 percent (1 in 2) chance of guessing right — much better than 25 percent!

Removing two or three choices you know are wrong makes choosing the correct answer much easier.

If you don’t know the answer to a particular question, try to spot the wrong choices by following these tips:

  • Make sure your answer really answers the question at hand. Wrong choices usually don’t answer the question — that is, they may sound good, but they answer a different question than the one the test asks.

  • When two answers seem very close, consider both answers carefully because they both can’t be right — but they both can be wrong. Some answer choices may be very close, and all seem correct, but there’s a fine line between completely correct and nearly correct. Be careful. These answer choices are sometimes given to see whether you really understand the material.

  • Look for opposite answers in the hopes that you can eliminate one. If two answers contradict each other, both can’t be right, but both can be wrong.

  • Trust your instincts. Some wrong choices may just strike you as wrong when you first read them. If you spend time preparing for these exams, you probably know more than you think.