The General Educational Development (GED) credential consists of four tests – Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA), Mathematical Reasoning, Social Studies, and Science. Candidates wishing to obtain their GED must successfully pass all four exams. The GED is an alternative to a high school diploma in that it indicates that the individual possesses the academic skills equal to a graduating high school senior.
This article discusses the Reasoning Through Language Arts exam.
Can I take the GED?
To be eligible to take the GED credentialing examination, you need to be at least 16 years old and not enrolled in high school. Some states may have additional requirements. Check with your state’s GED Program Administrator for other requirements (if any).
How do I register for the GED?
GED test registration takes place on the GED website. If this is the first time you are registering for an exam, create a free account on the GED website. After your account is established, you can register for any, or all, of the GED exams. Account creation and registration are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is a cost associated with the exams, but it varies from state to state, with the fee usually no higher than $45.00 per exam. Some states use a sliding scale based on income, and there may be financial assistance available. Your Program Administrator can guide you through the payment process as needed.
When you register for your exam, you will select your test date and test location. You can register to take all four exams in one appointment, or you can break up the tests to different days.
The RLA test evaluates your reading and writing skills using critical thinking and reasoning skills. Using single passages and paired passages, you will answer questions that require you to think critically about what you know and what assumptions you can make through the reading. The exam also evaluates your ability to proof material and discover meaning from text that is not familiar. Your writing ability is tested in an extended response prompt that is based on one or two passages and a graphic.
Question formats for the language arts exam consist of multiple-choice, fill in the blank, drop down, drag and drop, and extended response (essay). Except for the extended response question, there are four possible answers for each prompt, and one correct answer.
The test is divided into three sections. Two sections contain reading and language arts questions. The third section is your extended response (essay) question. You have 45 minutes to form and write your extended response. There is a ten-minute break between sections two and three.
Content areas include:
- Events, plots, characters, settings, and ideas
- Understanding main ideas and details
- Point of view and purpose
- Tone and figurative language
- Organizing ideas
- Comparing idea presentation
- Using evidence – extended response (essay). You will analyze two passages and determine which argument contains the most convincing evidence. Using the evidence you discover in the readings, your extended response will support your choice and the logic behind it.
- Word usage
- Sentence structure
- Transitional words
- Grammar and punctuation
You are allowed a total of 150 minutes to complete the computer-delivered test. The GED is developed with the non-traditional student in mind. Using real-life examples and daily life-scenarios, the GED allows you the opportunity to apply the knowledge you have gained through life experience.
On the day of your exam
For the RLA exam, scratch paper and pencils are provided. Leave your valuables at home, and make sure you bring the appropriate identification for check-in. At your testing station, take time to become familiar with the keyboard and navigating through the exam.
There are about 46 questions on the exam plus a 45-minute evidence-based essay. Budget your time so you have time to review your work. Each section is completed independently and must be completed before moving on to the next section.
How is my test scored?
Your score is based on the number of points you earn, not on the number of questions you get correct. Questions may have different values, dependent on the number of answers required. For example, fill in the blank with two answers will have more value than a question with one multiple-choice response. The extended response question is evaluated based on three traits – the creation of arguments and the use of evidence; the development of ideas and organizational structure; and the clarity and command of Standard English conventions. Your essay can earn a maximum of six points; each trait can earn two points.
There are three pass levels for the GED RLA. The minimum passing score, indicating high school equivalency, is 145. A college-ready score is between 165 and 175 – you should aim for this score if you intend to go to a college or university. A score of 175 or higher indicates that you have mastered some skills taught in freshman-level classes and may be eligible for college credit.
If you did not pass on your first attempt or did not get the score you were hoping for, you can retest. Your score report identifies areas for improvement and can be used to focus your study efforts. If you take the test three times and do not pass, you have to wait 60 days before retesting.
Your future is in your hands!
By obtaining your GED credential, you can take control of your future. Most employers accept the GED in place of a high school diploma, and 97% of colleges and universities accept the GED for entrance into their academic programs. Use Mometrix’s study guide and flashcards to focus your study efforts on the content you need to understand to receive the highest score possible. The proven, 100% money-back guaranteed study tools are your secret weapon for controlling your future success.