Getting Your GED: Tips and Tricks for Success

May 2, 2019 by

An alarming number of high school students never make it to graduation day. More than you may realize. What if you knew that a student drops out of high school every 26 seconds? That equals 7,000 high school dropouts per day, totalling 1.2 million annually. While these numbers are staggering (and sad), not all hope is lost! A large percentage of these students go on to complete a GED program, which is equivalent to a high school diploma. Students struggle in high school for a variety of reasons from social anxiety or bullying to learning disabilities or behavioral problems. Whatever causes a student to give up on their high school diploma, shouldn’t turn into lost hope for their future. Here are a few tips and tricks for successfully obtaining a GED and still living a productive, positive life.

What is a GED?

Before you decide to throw in the towel on high school and opt for a GED, you should understand exactly what it is. GED stands for general education diploma. It’s a set of tests that include math, social studies, language arts, and science. Students are tested on knowledge they should have following high school. Once passed, the GED is proof that the student possesses high school level academic skills. Tests are administered at official GED testing centers. This ensures accuracy and eliminates any suspicions of cheating. Students must find a testing center near them and follow the registration process. The price of a GED test varies, but there is a standard $20 charge per subject. Some testing centers will charge additional fees on top of this. When it comes to studying for the GED, you’ll need to sign up for an online prep course or obtain studying materials and guides from local or online resources.

Tips for Acing the Test

Because the GED is a test and students can’t rely on their charisma or personality to earn them brownie points, understanding how to tackle it could be the difference between success and failure.

Study Smarter, Not Harder

Like with anything in life, harder isn’t always better. In fact, when it comes to studying for your GED, adopting smart study tips will save you time, aggravation, and could salvage your test scores. Don’t force yourself to study after a long day of work, little sleep, or while on vacation. Be smart about when you study. Are you most alert in the morning? Or are you a night owl at heart? Capitalize on your most focused moments and carve out an hour or two to study. But you must also be flexible about your study schedule. You can’t plan for life’s little hiccups or bumps in the road. If a study session gets interrupted, switch things up for that day. Just be sure to make time for it later on and not to skip it all together.  As important as reviewing material is, spend most of your time on the subjects you aren’t comfortable with or don’t know as much about. On test day, you’ll feel comfortable tackling the subjects you are familiar with. When it comes to your weaker categories, nerves and anxiety creep in. This can kill your momentum and cause you to panic. Study-up on all subjects, but spend the most time on those you struggle with. These tips can help you when it comes to writing your GED essay.

Take a Practice Test

All the studying in the world won’t help if you choke on test day. Some people are just naturally nervous about taking tests. Others have no problem retaining information and regurgitating it on command. To avoid staring at those tiny numbered squares like a deer in headlights, try taking a practice test beforehand. Not only will this help sharpen your test taking skills, but it’ll give you a good idea of which types of questions you got wrong. Did the question itself confuse you? Did you compute the math incorrectly? Understanding how to read test questions is half the battle when it comes to passing any type of standardized or promotional test. Often times, there’s irrelevant information placed in questions, put there for the sole purpose of confusing you. (Real nice, right?) Learning how to weed out this information and eliminate answers right off the bat that are incorrect, will get you halfway to the right answer.

Timing is Everything

All GED exams are timed. This usually adds another level of stress to an already stressful situation. But knowing how to manage your time during the test is a key skill for success. Don’t let the time hinder you, instead, make it work to your advantage. Let’s say you have one hour to finish 30 questions. That means you can spend two minutes on each question. But be flexible with your pace as well. Continuously check the clock to see if you’re on track. If you get stuck on a question, don’t dwell on it. Move on and revisit it at the end. Chances are, not every question will take you a full two minutes to complete, leaving extra time for you to reread those doozies. One thing to avoid when taking your GED test is being overly confident. Even if it’s a question you feel sure about, reread and double-check it before answering. This is where careless mistakes happen and those are the most painful slip-ups people make. Not knowing an answer is one thing. But, knowing it and getting it wrong because you didn’t read the question carefully, is not only frustrating, but could mean the difference between a great score and an average score.

Just because you didn’t pass the test of high success, doesn’t mean you’re destined for failure. It simply means it’s time to buckle down and crush your GED exam! This will set you on the path for great success. But before you register and sharpen your #2 pencils, take these tips and tricks into consideration. Finding the right study guide, atmosphere, and positive attitude will guarantee you come out on top.

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