Tips for Taking The GED Test

General Tips

  • The GED® Test include four subject area tests. You do not have to take all four sections of the GED® Test in one day.
  • Before taking the GED® Test, it is helpful to use practice tests to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Each form of the test is different, but there is no such thing as an easy version.
  • Arrive early. You should be at the test site 15-20minutes before the test is scheduled to begin. Testing centers have the right to refuse admission to latecomers.
  • Try to finish a few minutes early so you will not feel rushed at the end, and will have time to review questions you were unsure about.
  • You should answer every question on the test because you will not be penalized for incorrect answers. However, avoid spending too much time on any one question. Skip any questions you are having difficulty with and return to them after you have completed the rest of the test.
  • If you cannot figure out the answer to a question, eliminate as many wrong answers as you can, and guess at the remaining choices.
  • Read questions carefully before attempting to answer a question or solve a problem. Make sure you understand the question being asked. Read each passage carefully and study the charts, diagrams, and graphs before you answer the question.

Math Tips

  • For problems on the math section, read each problem carefully. Be sure you know what the problem is asking before you start your calculations.
  • Often, multiple steps are required. If you only perform one step, that answer will often be on the answer list. HOWEVER, IT WILL NOT BE THE CORRECT ANSWER FOR THE TOTAL PROBLEM. MAKE SURE YOUR SOLUTION ANSWERS THE QUESTION THAT WAS ASKED IN THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM.
  • Use the dry erase board provided to help you think through the problem.
  • Some problems involve geometric figures. If a figure is described, but not pictured, make a quick sketch and label the sketch. If a figure is provided, always read the titles and labels on the graph or figure before using the numerical information to calculate an answer. Remember that diagrams, maps and geometric figures may not be drawn to scale, so you should try to eyeball an answer.
  • For algebra and word problems, read the whole problem before you start to write an equation or inequality. The information you need to solve the problem may not be listed until the end. Do not be distracted by information you do not need. When possible, use the formulas page to set up problems involving simple interest, distance, cost or geometric figures.
  • For problems involving fractions, rounding to the nearest whole number can help you see whether you should add, subtract, multiply or divide to solve a problem.
  • When a calculator is allowed, you should use the calculator to perform time-consuming calculations. This will save you time for other parts of the test.
  • If you cannot figure out the answer to a p0roblem, eliminate wrong answer choices using rounding, estimation and number sense.

Reading Tips

  • As you carefully read the selection, note important words and details that seem critical to the selection’s meaning. Examples include key words, character names, dates and places. Also look for specific details that will help you answer questions about characters, plot, conflicts, settings, mood, point of view, and theme. As you read a question, notice whether it refers to a quotation or a specific line or sentence from the reading passage. If so, the answer will probably be found in the passage in or near that reference.
  • As you read a dramatic excerpt, visualize the setting, characters, and stage directions as if they were happening in front of you. Ask yourself what conflicts and themes a playwright is representing in a particular scene.
  • Read poems carefully. It is helpful to read a poem more than once. Ask yourself what the poem really means.
  • In any reading passage always set main ideas from supporting details. Also, separate facts from opinions. Be sure to select your answers to the questions based on the information given in the passage, not from outside information you may have.
  • Often, more than one answer seems correct. Select the best answer to the question that is being asked. Watch out for answer choices that seem too obvious.

Writing Tips

Multiple Choice Tips

    • On the editing section, be sure to read the entire passage before answering the questions that follow. This is particularly important for organization questions.

Essay Tips

    • Use an outline or thought web to organize your ideas before you begin the essay. It is important to be sure your essay responds to the question that was asked. Try to restate the essay topic and include it in your topic sentence.
    • Be sure to include transition words that show how your ideas are related to each other. Use examples to explain your ideas.


GED® is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education (ACE) and administered exclusively by GED Testing Service LLC under license. This material is not endorsed or approved by ACE or GED Testing Service.

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