The thought of preparing for and writing a seven-hour series of tests can be scary! The better prepared you are, the calmer you are likely to feel. Here are some strategies to prepare -- the key is to discover what works best for you.

Study techniques


Create a study schedule.

Set aside time each day to study for the GED®, in a comfortable space where you can focus.  

Review, review, review.

Create study notes as you review using note cards, lists, diagrams or flowcharts. Go over these regularly.

Use memorization for critical facts and information.

Some people find that memory tools like rhymes, jingles, acronyms -- even colours and images -- can be helpful strategies for remembering key information.

Take practice tests.

You’ll find sample questions on this site to get you started. Many GED® books and preparatory courses also provide practice tests to help you prepare.

Set the goal of passing the test.

Focus on this image three times daily for three to four days prior to the test.

Before the test

1 Gather all the necessary materials the day/night before.
2 Get a good night’s sleep.
3 Eat something and be well-hydrated.
4 Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
5 Arrive at the testing site early.
6 Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and visualization to manage pre-test jitters.

It’s test time!

1 Believe that you are prepared. Recognize that the test is a way of demonstrating all that you know.
2 Pay attention to how you talk to yourself – replace negative messages with positive, realistic ones.
3 Listen carefully to all directions.
4 Clarify any confusing points immediately.
5 Write your name and other required identifying information on the test right away.
6 Position the test booklet so you do not have to cross your arm over the line of vision to record each answer.
7 Quickly read through the test. Note where you should be in the test when half the allotted time is gone.
8 Throughout the exam use relaxation techniques to ease tension and stress.

Writing the multiple choice tests

1 Answer questions in order as often as possible. Answers to earlier questions often provide clues and memory-joggers to later questions.
2 Read the questions carefully. Re-read for clarification.
3 Leave tougher questions and come back to them. Keep track of the ones skipped on scratch paper so you can find them later.
4 When you have gone through the entire test once, go back and answer the questions you skipped. Eliminate the choices that are probably wrong and make an educated guess of the correct answer.
5 Change an answer only for a very good reason. Usually, your first answer is best.

Writing the essay tests

1 Review the essay topic.
2 Be sure to respond in the manner requested.
3 Map out your response using this framework:
Opening statement (rephrases topic)
Paragraphs (main points with two to four details, examples or supporting statements to support each point)
Summary (a conclusion)
4 Check the following:
Sufficient left margins

Reread the essay one last time before handing it in.