Becoming Familiar with the GED Format
As you work throughthis book, you will—naturally—become familiar with the format of specific sections of the exam and the types of questions that will be asked of you. Being familiar with anything gives you a tremendous advantage over approaching something "cold" (that is, not knowing anything about it until the first time you see it).
So, as you work through the various chapters in this book, you should also take time to become familiar with not just what the questions are asking, but other important elements of the questions and the specific sections of the exam:
Understand the GED format. One great thing about the GED is that it is presented in the same fashion for everyone who takes it. This is called standardized format and is designed to ensure that all test-takers have an equal opportunity to perform as well as they can. Still, this format can take some getting used to because it can be seen as somewhat rigid (and intimidating?) when you first approach it. For example, you have only a certain amount of time to take each section of the exam; for many people, knowing that "the clock is ticking" can be a bit unsettling. But, this is a prime reason for preparing for the exam, so that you aren’t thrown by the standardized format. You can time yourself as you take the practice tests in this book (indeed, you should definitely do this, in order to simulate the actual testing environment as closely as possible).
Understand the format of each specific section. Imagine that you didn’t take any time to prepare for the GED, and had no idea what to expect on the day of the test. Granted, this is somewhat of an extreme example, but just for fun, imagine this were the case. Now, keeping this setup in mind, also imagine that, on a list of things you absolutely hate to do, you would rank writing an essay just below having a prolonged root canal. How (unpleasantly) surprised you would probably be, then, to find out that writing an essay is a critical part of the GED. Understanding the ins and outs of each section—and the format in which those questions are asked—is very important, not only to increasing your score but to making you feel more comfortable heading into that specific section, as well as the entire exam.
Understand the test directions! Sometimes understanding what is asked of you is just as difficult as sitting down to complete the given task. The GED is no different. By working through this book, you will become intimately familiar with the rules of each section of the exam. This will become especially important on, for example, the mathematics test when you are asked to use a calculator for Part I. What if you weren’t familiar with the use of a scientific calculator, or—worse still—what if you had never used a calculator? You don’t want to waste valuable time and/or be thrown for a loop by having to struggle with understanding directions or the method you need to follow to complete the exam.