GED Study Tip: For Real Knowledge, Reinforce Learning
Once GED students discover how to activate the learning process,
it's equally important to reinforce learning since real learning
happens when you use knowledge, especially if its fresh. And
since learning is really a lifelong process, lessons on how
people learn -- and continue to learn -- are good ones to
Learning is a Self-Controlled Process
People learn faster and better when they control the speed of
learning. In most classrooms, it's the teacher who controls the
material. So it's important for GED students to determine their
own learning speed, and to devise methods or a study plan that
accommodates that speed.
Self-guided study is a good way to control the speed and pace of
learning. But when self-directing a study program, it's
important to make study a habit, whether short periods for
studying are set aside for each day, or longer periods two to
three times a week.
In classroom situations it's more difficult to control the speed
of learning since instructors follow lesson plans. So talking to
the instructor may help. Some students may learn better by
moving more quickly through material, while others need extra
Regardless, once a student understands that they need to control
their own learning -- and the speed in which it takes place --
learning is easier. They can then identify the most comfortable
speed, and consequently, learn faster and learn more.
Learning Requires Rapid Feedback
Feedback is a critical part of the learning process, one that's
often overlooked. The more immediate and meaningful the feedback
is, the quicker people learn.
Consider how many classroom situations work: Information is
presented over days or weeks -- or sometimes over months. Then
students are tested. Until they see test results, students may
not know whether their learning is effective.
The best learning situation gives the learner immediate feedback
on their progress. A good GED study program should include
continuous opportunities and methods for students to connect
their learning efforts with their outcomes. This way, students
can quickly identify whether they've learned material, need to
learn it better and reinforce the learning process by using
information quickly and frequently.
Real Learning Means Real Knowledge -- Use Knowledge!
Once you learn material and gain new knowledge, use it. Use it
every chance you get. Using new knowledge ensures ownership, and
enhances critical-thinking skills, the most important skills
measured by the GED, or General Education development test.
Here is a good example of how one successful PassGED student
gained real knowledge through the application of it:
Maria, studying for the GED Language Arts reading test,
encountered an unfamiliar word in a literary passage, the word
'superfluous.' Initially, the word just seemed confusing. She
wanted to check the word in a dictionary, but remembered that
she wouldn't be able to access a dictionary at GED test time.
And she had learned in her online GED class how to look for
context clues to find word meanings, especially if the word
seemed key to the passage. She found three words that seemed to
point back to 'superfluous.' One word was 'extra,' another
'over-abundant' and the other 'excessive.' Maria also saw that
superfluous had a root of 'super.' So she was sure that she as
right. Her dictionary confirmed it.
Through the next few weeks, Maria began using new words she was
learning during conversations. After a short time, these words
came to her more naturally -- she developed complete ownership
of her new knowledge. Not only was her vocabulary expanding, she
discovered that it became easier to move through Language Arts
study passages. Her feedback scores were climbing. Also, the
essay portion of the exam seemed much less challenging.
Maria was delighted. She wasn't just pleased at her new ability;
her studies now seemed more of a hobby instead of a chore. And
she wasn't the only one impressed.
Maria's story is an excellent example of all three principles
that speak to the reinforcement of the learning process, which
makes learning real knowledge.
When Maria first encountered a difficulty, she controlled the
speed of her learning. She used a test-taking technique she had
learned to provide immediate feedback. And it wasn't a test that
initially provided the feedback; it was similar words that gave
the feedback and a dictionary that confirmed it.
Then, Maria used her new knowledge. By using it in everyday
situations and conversations, she quickly became the rightful
owner of the knowledge. This new knowledge further helped her in
her GED study program -- reflected in her test scores, improved
critical-thinking skills and in a more willing attitude.
More Resources: For additional GED study tips, test
information and resources for adult GED students and
instructors, visit http://www.passGED.com/. The website features
a short movie, with answers to the most common questions about