Improving Your Reading Speed and Comprehension for the GED Social Studies Test

By Achim K. Krull, Murray Shukyn

Part of GED Social Studies Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet

On the GED Social Studies test, you’re required to read passages of varying lengths and answer one or more questions about what you read. To improve your ability to read quickly and fully understand what you read, you need to practice. Here are some suggestions on how to improve your reading speed and comprehension:

  • Read more. The more you read, the better you get at it.

  • Read widely. Read books, newspaper and magazine articles, editorials, letters to the editor, and so on related to a wide variety of social studies topics, especially history, civics, government, economics, geography, and current events.

  • Read closely. If you don’t fully understand what you read, read it again.

  • Look up unfamiliar words. If you don’t know a word’s meaning, look it up and jot down the definition. Try to use the word in a sentence.

  • Ask questions as you read. What’s the main point the author is trying to get across? How does each detail support the main point? Is the author omitting anything? Asking questions helps you retain the information while deepening your understanding of the passage.

  • Talk about what you read. Explain what you read with others. Forcing yourself to explain a written passage to someone else really helps your own understanding.

  • Write a summary of what you read. Put it in your own words. Comparing the original to your version clarifies how much you understand. A simple list of key point and supporting evidence will help you focus on sorting out the content.