The GED Test: A Thinking Marathon
The GED test is grueling. A timed 7.5-hour test, it's a thinking
marathon, and GED students should prepare for the test just like
a runner would get ready for a challenging athletic event.
For people who are accustomed to working on their feet and
moving around all day, just sitting in one place hour after hour
is a very tough challenge. So it's important that GED test
candidates prepare their bodies and minds for sitting still and
concentrating over a long period of time.
Here are some ways to prepare for the GED thinking marathon:
Train your Brain: Make sure your GED test preparation includes
periodic lengthy study sessions -- six, seven or even eight
hours at a stretch -- to give yourself experience with sitting
and thinking over long time periods. Just as a marathon runner
accustoms the body to long distances, you'll need to practice
and develop concentration techniques to maneuver successfully
through the long-distance GED test.
Pace & Persevere: The competitor who starts a 26-mile race on a
sprint seldom finishes the race. But smart marathoners
understand pacing, energy preservation and perseverance. So
smart GED test candidates need to determine how to pace
themselves over the full test course -- mentally, physically and
energetically. Take some practice tests that approximate the
test time. This will give you real-time experience with timing,
pacing and the obstacles you may encounter, along with the
perseverance techniques it takes to overcome them.
Avoid Brain Drain: It won't be possible to stop the GED test for
a 10-minute power nap. But relaxation techniques can be just as
effective. Using these techniques during the test are a good way
to reduce stress, relax the body, mind and re-energize both.
Just consider the impact that five minutes of stretching and
fresh air have on drivers who are traveling cross-country.
A variety of relaxation techniques can be used, and there are
many one or two-minute methods that work well. Some people
simply relax all their muscles for a few moments, close their
eyes, breathe deeply and visualize a pleasant relaxing scene.
Some people use meditation skills they've learned through
fitness classes, or yoga. Or other people alternate muscular
tightening with muscular relaxing, breathing deeply as they move
through muscle groups from toe to head. And some people even use
Explore a variety of relaxation methods until you identify one
that works for you. It's an excellent skill that will help you
avoid brain drain, persevere through the test and 'go the
Power Up: A critical part of the athlete's preparation is diet,
nutrition and sleep. And research shows that these factors are
just as important to healthy brains as they are to healthy
bodies. Are you nutritionally sound? While fast food is
convenient, it's not a good diet for any marathon. Eat healthy,
especially a few days before the test. Make sure your diet
includes foods designed for physical and mental stamina. Get
plenty of rest, too, so you won't be fatigued at test time.
Ready to run? Make sure you dress for the weather. Wear clothing
that's comfortable, with a healthy snack or two in your pocket.
And when test breaks are given, take a real break. Stretch,
breathe deeply; clear your mind. Drink water ... eat a healthy
And don't forget to visualize your goal. Just like the
marathoner keeps the mind's eye and energetic focus on the
finish line, GED test candidates will want to keep an eye on the
credential. Visualizing success is a motivator -- important
during study time and at test time.
For additional GED study tips, test information and free
resources on the GED test, including financial aid and student
support, visit http://www.passged.com/online_courses.php. The
website also provides links to federal agencies and nonprofits
that serve GED students, instructors and workforce development
programs. For a list of official GED testing sites and
administrative contacts, visit