As one of the most-rushed sections of the General Equivalency Diploma test, the Writing section of the GED can be one of the most stressful. With a strict time limit, each candidate will be required to read, analyze, and interpret the information presented to them in a thoughtful and organized manner. There is no way to know what you will be asked to write about on the day of the test, and it may not even be a question that you have to answer. The Extended Response items that comprise the Language Arts section can take many forms.
The things you can count on are the nature of the texts that are on the test. Approximately 75% of the reading material on the GED test is presented in the form of informational texts. These could be work-related documents or other information-heavy blocks of reading. The other 25% is pulled from literature. These blocks of reading will be short stories, poems, or other literary works that deal with emotion, ideas and events. This is mostly important for the Reading section of the GED, but the Writing section will also ask you to respond to these two types of text.
When it comes time to write your responses, there are a few things to keep in mind. The test-scorers are looking for specific qualities in your writing. You must be able to pull the most important information from a text and you must be able to produce your thoughts and ideas in writing with proper usage of grammar. Because of the computerized test format that will be exclusively available in 2014, it is extremely important that test-takers be comfortable and confident using a keyboard to write. Scorers will be looking at your analysis of arguments, use of evidence, development of structure, and clarity of language.
To get the best score possible, you will need to be calm and prepared. Before the day of the test, it helps to take practice tests for writing. Time management is the most important skill to practice in this section. Instead of spending the whole time writing the body of your essay, consider making an outline first. Because scorers will be looking at the structure of your essay, spending at least 5 minutes planning out your idea into paragraphs will improve your score. Ideas should flow logically from one to the other until you’ve made your final point. Outlining your essay is one of the keys to remaining calm and getting the best score possible.
When test-takers rush through this section, they can make tiny mistakes that turn into large deductions from their score. Writing is a nuanced skill and everything from spelling to punctuation can affect the quality and your score. When you have finished your essay, take some extra time to reread and proofread your work. If you can find a single mistake, you have made the extra effort worthwhile. Stay on top of the time and your thoughts; staying calm and organized is the best way to communicate clearly.