The GED Test Measures Actual Skills, Real Knowledge

Most adult learners and GED students want to know what knowledge and skills they'll need to know for the GED test, and whether the test is harder than high school exams. There's no question about it -- the GED test is difficult. Still, the General Education Development credential is the best diploma for adults who never finished their high school education. Most PassGED graduates say the test isn't as hard as high school exams since the GED is about essential skills and relevant information. The emphasis of the GED tests is not on memorization, but on thinking skills and the application of practical knowledge. So what's the difference? Consider how standard high school classes and courses work. Over weeks and months, a student covers lots of information and in most cases, must remember it. While quizzes and tests create a grade, and indicate how well a student is progressing through the material, the real test -- or most important grade -- results from mid-term and final exams. Students who have a tough time with memorization may not test or score well, especially if weeks and months have passed since the information was covered. Also, many students find it hard to learn and remember information that doesn't seem important or practical to their lives. For example, a history or social studies test may require that the student remember the date the Declaration of Independence was signed. The correct answer may not seem relevant to everyday life. But the answer could make the difference between passing or failing. The GED test measures knowledge differently, and requires application skills. Like high school, it addresses science, social studies, basic algebra and geometry, reading and writing. But it's not memory of knowledge that the test measures. It's the use and application of it. On the GED, most test questions require candidates to glean information from material that's given -- not material taught weeks or months ago. Questions stress thinking skills and the ability to make conclusions and use reasoning and judgment. For some people -- especially those who have relied on memorization skills in their education, GED testing can seem more difficult than high school because sometimes it's easier to memorize information than know how to use it. For people who haven't had much experience in making inferences, analyzing data, and making judgments, the GED test can seem difficult. Fortunately, there are four strategies test candidates can exercise to make the test easier and net higher test scores. 1. Understand the Test: Get acquainted with the GED test structure: Become more familiar with how test passages and questions are presented and the best way to find the right answer among five multiple-choice options. 2. Practice First: Take some GED practice tests to increase your familiarity and to determine skill weaknesses and strengths. Pre-tests or practice tests can also help you plan a study guide and determine how much time you'll need to prepare for the GED. 3. Back to School: Consider taking a GED class or enrolling in a GED study program or test preparation course. Most communities offer free or low-cost programs and classes through local high schools, community colleges or universities. Or you may opt for an online GED program. Explore online resources carefully: read the fine print. Lots of online companies and schools offer fake diplomas or promise results that they can't deliver. 4. Get Support: Find a community-based support group, study group or GED online forum or learning community of GED students and instructors. You'll find test advice, test-taking tips, and encouragement from people who want you to achieve your educational and career goals. Free resources and information on GED testing, financial aid and student support are available at . The website also provides links to official GED testing sites, since the GED cannot be taken online. The link is: .