Today, when the English language has become a lingua franca, not considering English proficiency and a basic understanding of the language is not even an option anymore. This gives birth to the section of Reasoning through Language Arts test in the GED examination. In this test, the test taker is assessed on his/her effective reading skills, understanding the context of the words used, and unambiguous writing ability, keeping the standard language rules entertained.

So, in this article, we will focus upon the understanding of the format of the GED RLA test, what to expect in the test and some common errors that should be avoided for getting an excellent score in this test.

GED RLA section overview, its format, and how to deal with it

The GED RLA seeks you to be comprehensive, persuasive, and pay attention to detail. You are expected to answer approximately 46 questions in 150 exact minutes. The question types include multiple-choice, dropdowns, fill in the blanks, and written essays. It considerably embraces three topics:

1) Reading content (Requires reading for the meaning) 

First of all, the test taker must understand that it is not about being able to read and understand Shakespeare. It is neither about reading adventure stories like the Hardy Boys. A rather 75 percent of the reading content involves the articles you might encounter in your science and social textbook or informational and community documents. This portion requires your constant attention. The preparation for the same can involve reading on the emphasized genres from informational sources to help you with the familiarity of the topic and be able to acknowledge the information faster. The other 25 percent of the reading includes short stories that might be easy to understand and read. Questions related to character traits determination and analysis, setting the chronology of the story, the contextual meaning of phrases used, logical inference based questions, fact check questions, identification of premises and assumptions, questions related to extracting supportive evidence, and determining the tone of the passage or story are frequently asked in this section. Keeping a bigger picture in mind and recalling or rereading, if necessary, the whole paragraph instead of a particular line where the question focuses can help you to give correct answers.

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2) Language Content (Identifying and making arguments)

Rightly said, grammar gives you the ability to question. For this particular section, a basic familiarity with the concepts and rules of grammar can help you a lot. However, it is only practice that can help you remember all the grammar rules. Questions related to simple, complex and compound sentences, identifying grammar errors in the sentence, punctuation, clauses and phrases, paragraph structuring, transitional sentences, sentence fragmentation, Comma splices, and run-on sentences are frequently asked in this section. We would recommend you to make a routine to practice the rules of grammar and sentence formation, it will help you to remember them for a longer time, and they will eventually get imbibed in your writing style.

3) Extended response 

An extended response question is a question format where a mini word processor with extremely basic functions is provided on your screen. This is one question type in which everything from your writing style, grammar, thought process, argument analysis, appropriate knowledge of vocabulary, and word usage are simultaneously tested. A clarity and command over standard English conventions can aid in making this question type easier. The first few minutes play a crucial role. Those are the minutes when you are expected not to start typing hastily but to give time to build your arguments based on certain evidence and create a structure on how you shall go on about it. We call this the planning strategy. You will definitely not want your end product to be your finished product. The first five minutes gone wrong can make you lose on a tremendous amount of time editing and refurbishing the whole answer while simultaneously adjusting it to your line of thoughts. Determining a clear flow of the essay helps you fumble less and write up to the point, wasting no time in between. Later on, draft the essay and try to connect the paragraphs with logical continuation. Examples and factual pieces of evidence make your point interesting, as well as effective. Furthermore, we would recommend that, before you attempt the exam, try to cultivate reading as a habit. It broadens your horizons, provides an exposure to well-crafted sentences, and help you to form a better answer. It can also help you in creating a structured baseline template that can easily fit into most of the questions asked in this test.

Tips and Tricks

Now, let us discuss some tips and tricks to help you to ace this exam with ease.

1.  Tenses 

Forgetting to check the continuity of your tense can create a lot of confusion in your argument. Shipping to present tense from the past tense is a grave mistake most of us do unconsciously. It creates confusion about the chronology of events and steals all the charm from your write up.

Hack: Pick a tense and don’t deviate from it until your argument really demands a tense change.

2.  Misspelled Words

Lack of vocabulary can make your writing gibberish. Misspelled words also brings down the sophistication in your writing.

Hack: Go through the list of commonly misused and misspelled words and note the words you frequently use from this list are. While proofreading, keep these words in your mind and correct them if you still have made the same mistake. This will ultimately reduce errors. So, we will recommend you to take a stronghold of your vocabulary; there is no way out to run away from it.

3.  Maintaining Consistency

Maintaining consistency both in your content as well as the writing style is equally important. Starting on sarcastic notes and ending on emotional sentences complicates the message you are trying to convey.

Hack: Set a premise, and don’t deviate from it. Practice formal writing and avoid using humor, sarcasm, or conversational writing to engage the reader in an attempt to impress him/her.

Common Grievances

Now, let us look at some common grievances related to the GED RLA test.

  • Zoning out during exams

Getting phased out is a common problem when you are unable to concentrate in the pressure and time limit of the exam. Having pre-read on various topics or genres and encountering them later in the exam improves the amount of concentration because of the acquaintance with the subject.

  • Running out of time

Practicing with a timer helps you create the actual environment. Always study with a clock and analyze the amount of time spent on every type of question. While doing this, you will also realize your strengths and weaknesses. Strengthen the strengths and weaken the weakness until you get it right. Keep the track of time during the practice test, and the average time you take to attempt the entire paper. Try attempting the practice test in the least possible time to boost your confidence.

  • The pressure of creating a great answer in limited time

The ability to write great answers comes with practice. Daily practice will enhance your writing skills to a great extent. It shall eventually help in wearing of the fear and anxiety associated with it. There is no way other than reading more and writing a lot. As bad as your write-up may look in the beginning, it only gets better and more structured with time. Just have trust in the process and keep going.

  • Sticking up with scores

Investing double the amount of time invested in giving the test into the analysis of the test can only solve this problem. Knowing where you went wrong and the reason associated with it can help you correct the same. Avoid making the same mistakes by acknowledging how others tackle a similar question and how you can learn to do it likewise.

Some Key Takeaways

Whenever you are subjected to any sort of exam, there is always a little bit of anxiety. But, we feel that the confidence and motivation you are seeking is already within you. Do not hesitate to take help from your mentors whenever you have any doubts about an exam like GED RLA. The expert tutors of Miles Smart Tutoring can help you to prepare for the GED RLA test and provides you with additional support and motivation during your preparation journey. We can guide you better and show you a better perspective to ace this exam.


Contact us to get expert tutoring for GED RLA Test.

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