GED Test Tips: Use Your Time Wisely

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

When you start the computerized version of the GED test, you may feel pressed for time and have the urge to rush through the questions. You really shouldn’t.

You have sufficient time to do the test at a reasonable pace. You have only a certain amount of time for each section in the GED exam, so time management is an important part of succeeding on the test. You need to plan ahead and use your time wisely.

You must complete each section in one sitting, except for the Reasoning through Language Arts test. There, you get a ten-minute break after the Extended Response (also known as the essay).

During the test, the computer keeps you constantly aware of the time with a clock in the upper right-hand corner. Pay attention to the clock. When the test begins, check that time, and be sure to monitor how much time you have left as you work your way through the test. The table shows you how much time you have for each test section.

GED_Table_Time

As you start, quickly scroll through the test and find out how many questions you have to answer. Quickly divide the time by the number of questions. Doing so can give you a rough idea of how much time to spend on each question. For example, on the Mathematical Reasoning test, suppose that you see you have 50 questions to answer. You have 115 minutes to complete the test. Divide the time by the number of questions to find out how much time you have for each item: 115/50 = 2.3 minutes or 2 minutes and 18 seconds per item. As you progress, repeat the calculation to see how you’re doing. Remember, too, that you can do questions in any order, except for the RLA Extended Response. Do the easiest questions first. If you get stuck on a question, leave it and come back to it later, if you have time. Keeping to that schedule and answering as many questions as possible are essential.

As you can see from the table, if you don’t monitor the time for each question, you won’t have time to answer all the questions on the test. Keep in mind the following general time-management tips to help you complete each exam on time:

  • Measure the time you have to answer each question without spending more time on timing than answering. Group questions together; for example, use the information in the table to calculate how much time you have for each item on each test. Multiply the answer by 5 to give you a time slot for any five test items. Then try to make sure that you answer each group of five items within the time you’ve calculated. Doing so helps you complete all the questions and leaves you several minutes for review.

  • Keep calm and don’t panic. The time you spend panicking could be better spent answering questions.

  • Practice using sample tests. The more you practice timed sample test questions, the easier managing a timed test becomes. You can get used to doing something in a limited amount of time if you practice.

When time is up, immediately stop and breathe a sigh of relief. When the test ends, the examiner will give you a log-off procedure. Listen for instructions on what to do or where to go next.