GED Study Tip: Activate Your Learning
Most GED students are busy adults. Whether they're enrolled in a
local GED prep class, or managing a self-guided study program,
limited time means study time should be as effective as
What makes a study program effective? Successful study is about
learning, and the learning process is critical for any student
-- whether its mastering skills for the GED or the skills for a
Once students understand how to activate the learning process
and understand the learning process itself, it's easier to
learn. Learning is about retaining knowledge and owning it --
not about memorization. And this is what the GED really measures
-- using knowledge that you own.
Learning is an Active Process
For most people, learning doesn't magically occur by reading or
reviewing, or by listening to a lecture. Learning is an active
process, and to learn, students need to be involved or engaged
with the information. Consider this student's story, from
Curtis, a PassGED graduate:
"I failed the GED math test two times. I had passed all the
other tests, but it seemed like every time I saw those numbers,
it was like a foreign language. It didn't matter how much I
studied. I still didn't have a clue. I thought I'd never learn
how to do the math.
"Then I took a different kind of math course. I learned that
lots of the math on the test, well, I already knew it. Like I
could do math in my head and I was good at figuring out money,
quick like, in my mind. Once I figured out how to look at the
numbers on the test the same way I saw them in my mind, it was
easy to learn what I needed to know to pass the math test."
For Curtis, once learning became an active process, his learning
was activated. He discovered a familiar way to be involved and
engaged with mathematical information, so he was able to retain
the information and knowledge he needed.
Real Learning Requires Relevant Information
Curtis's story demonstrates another learning principle. Real
learning requires relevant information. Just consider how many
people claim to be poor math learners, yet these same people are
wizards with personal finances, estimating, or they're the ones
people always turn to solve a workplace problem because they
have good analytical ability. When information is relevant, it's
meaningful and much easier to master since it makes a difference
So a good GED study plan requires relevant information. Even
when the material doesn't seem very relevant, students can make
it meaningful by thinking of ways the information or knowledge
might apply to their own life. Then, information is interesting
or important and it quickly becomes real knowledge, knowledge
Learning is a Style
Learning is a style, and there are plenty of learning styles.
The learning process is more easily activated when information
is presented in a way that parallels an individual's learning
Some people learn best by hearing. Some by seeing, or by
hands-on application. And some people learn through combined
styles. Some students can immediately see the logic of how
material fits together -- or the whole picture, while others
more clearly see the details of the different pieces.
Just consider how some math students are very good with
equations, but have a tough time with word problems. Then other
students master word problems easily but find equations
difficult and mind-boggling. Both types of students use
different learning styles to approach math.
So it's important for students to identify their own learning
style. Do you enjoy lectures? And listening to information? Or
do words always seem to create images and pictures in your mind?
Or, do you know that you learn best with your hands? Or through
Once you understand your learning style, you can use it to your
advantage. When studying, convert the material to the learning
style that makes you comfortable -- especially if the material
seems confusing, meaningless, tedious, boring or difficult.
Translate test problems, knowledge and concepts into pictures,
story form or even create dances, games or models. Whenever
possible, use learning materials designed for your learning
style, or that that you can easily adapt to your own style.
Real Learning Equals Real Application
Once you learn material, use it. Use it every chance you get.
Using new knowledge ensures ownership. Soon, you won't consider
your knowledge as something to whip out at test time; you'll
know it's a whip smart investment.
More Resources: For additional GED study tips, test information
and resources for adult GED students and instructors, visit
http://passged.com/. The website also provides a short movie,
with answers to the most common questions about the GED.