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GED Study Guide

People who take the GED tests are a richly diverse group.  Some have recently left school. Others have been out of school for some time.  While most people take the tests to further their education, enter the military, or get a better job, others hope that passing the GED tests will help them improve their personal development.

Preparing for the GED tests is one of the Adult Education services offered by the Madison Area Career Learning Center.  Instruction is done "one-on-one" or in a classroom setting with a qualified teacher to help those preparing for the GED tests.  

The following test taking strategies are helpful if you are preparing for the GED tests:

  • When you read to find the main idea, if you do not find a directly stated main idea, it is probably implied in the details and examples.   To understand an unstated main idea, ask yourself questions such as What is Happening? Where is it Happening?  Why is it Happening? ( Ask who, what, when, why, and how.)

  • Remember that restating an idea does not mean just repeating it.  Each time a writer adds another detail or example, the central idea of the reading is made clearer.  Each supporting detail adds to the main idea, much as adding another piece to a puzzle makes it easier to identify the picture.
  • Writers often use examples that show how a principle can be applied to everyday life.  As you read each example, think of related examples that you have seen in your life.  Then think about how your examples are related to the information you are reading.
  • When you are attempting to distinguish between opinion and fact, look for supporting details and information that prove a point.   Remember that facts can be proven, but opinions can not.
  • When you are trying to come to a conclusion when you are reading material, you will have to use your reasoning skills as well as your comprehension skills.  Before you come to a conclusion, be sure to identify the main idea and determine the meaning of any unfamiliar terms from the context.
  • As you read a question or other written information, look for what might cause something else to happen.  Sometimes, the order in which events take place gives a hint to what might cause some eventual happening to occur.
  • Remember to look carefully at any diagrams, charts, and graphs in the reading material.  Although charts, graphs, and other diagrams often repeat information that is written as text, they also add extra details.  Notice the terms that are used to label parts of the chart, graph or diagram.  Then look for those same terms in the written material.
  • Before you answer any question, be sure you have information that supports your choice.  Do not rely on things outside the context of the written material.


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