Monday, October 06, 2008

GED Multiple Choice Questions

Whether you are a GED student or someone who is mentoring/tutoring a GED student you should know that many of the GED problems are multiple choice.

While it may seen that there are so.... many choices when choosing the answer, it will be much easier if you learn how to rule out answers that are weak.

Remember..... when you answer multiple choice questions..... begin by ruling out any answers that are weak or simply do not make sense.

First, begin by reading the questions and THEN skim over the answers. If you are studying reading, science, or social studies..... read the passages and look at the charts/graphs. Next, rule out any answers that are weak and do not address the question. You should be able to eliminate the answers down to a possible two. Then evaluate the two remaining answers. If necessary, go back into the passage again.

For some students this may go fast.... for others it will require practice.

So....find a good GED book and grab a great GED teacher and do your best!

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Learning New GED Vocabulary

I just got back from a GED meeting where we were discussing ways to learn new vocabulary. We talked about one way.... were you ask a series of questions about the word. Here is how it works.

Let's say you are studying the word "percent". You may ask questions such as the following.

1. Have you ever seen this word?
2. Do you know how to pronounce the word?
3. Can you find a smaller word inside the larger word?
4. Do you know what it means?
5. Can you use it in a sentence?

All of a sudden you now have a whole conversation based on one word. I plan on trying this tomorrow and I will let you know how it goes.

If you decide to try it.......... send me a comment and tell me how it went! Good luck!

Monday, September 22, 2008

GED Social Studies

Recently a reader asked me about preparing for the GED Social Studies test. What is the best way and what can a teacher do to adequately prepare for the GED Social Studies test?

First, it is important to remember that each student is unique and comes with their own background experiences. Each student will need to prepare in their own way and in their own time.

You also need to consider reading ability.

Find some great GED books, daily read the newspaper and have discussions, and surf the web to find GED Social Studies websites.

What is your favorite website? Send me a comment and I will post it here. If we help each other out..... we all win!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Usborne Math Dictionary: Your GED Math Reference Book

Did you know..... is, is equal to, equals, the same MEANS = of, the product, times, multiple, multiplied by MEANS x or ∙ add, more than, plus, sum, increased by, added to, more MEANS + subtract, less than, minus, difference, decreased by, less MEANS - divide, divided by, the quotient MEANS ÷ double, twice, twice as much MEANS 2x or 2 ∙ half, half of, half as much MEANS ½ x or ½ ∙

The GED math test is perhaps the hardest GED test to pass!! I have had success with some students who have used Usborne's Math Dictionary as a reference.

Check it out!

A great math dictionary to use for preparing for the GED test is Usborne Illustrated Math Dictionary. It is a great bargain and less than $15.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

GED Math test: I've taken it twice and failed!

"What do I do? I just can't pass that GED math test! I have taken it twice and failed!" I hear this so often.

If you follow my blog, you know then that I have talked about this before. In my experience, the GED math test IS the HARDEST test for many GED candidates to pass.

A friend of mine recently used the following comparison. Many students address their math weakness like a person who wants to loose weight.

As a person who is overweight myself... I would pay almost anything for a "pill" to magically take my excess pounds off. What I need to do is put in the hard work, exercise, and eat less!

Some students who struggle with math also want that quick fix. They do not want to put in the time, start at the beginning, and build on what they know.

If you are a math student who is struggling, or you are a tutor helping someone learn math..... be patient, keep working, and have your eye on the goal!

Monday, April 07, 2008

GED math student update

One last test.... one last score....another GED issued! How exciting! After 10 years of trying and just not quite getting enough points, this student is now complete! Needing to make up 20 points he retook his science test and made up 20 points plus!!

Congraduations to each of you who continue to pursue your dreamwhether it is a GED or a Bachlor's degree.

Pursue your dream no matter how long it takes.

Monday, March 24, 2008

GED "Blues"

Are you as tired as I am with Winter? It is that time of year when we think of flowers, sun, and patio parties. Not here in the upper mid-west. Winter is never ending!

As a GED teacher, I see the GED 'blues" or depression setting in on some of the students I work with. They are not always showing up, and when they do.... they are not necessary ready to WORK.

Just keep encouraging your students! Let them know that winter is just about over and that it is normal to get the winter blues.

Perhaps take a field trip, or have a "I can't wait until Summer" party.

Now is not the time to slow down.... but to keep pressing forward.

Remind them to keep their eye on the prize!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

GED Update

If you have been reading this blog, you will remember the student who struggled to pass their GED math test. That student then passed the test, but still needed 80 points. Well here is an update.

That student is now just 20 points away from getting his GED! How did he do it? He did it with hard work and perserverance!

If you are struggling to pass the GED, know that you are NOT alone. There are many individuals like you who struggle with one or more of the tests. Keep at it! Don't get discouraged, and remember to ask for help when you need it.

What's your story?

Monday, March 03, 2008

GED and Other Programs

If you are thinking about taking a class or getting into a program while you are taking the GED tests, it is a good idea to contact the school. I realize that it can be tempting to get into the program ASAP, but what happens if you do NOT pass the tests?

This is so devastating for students when this happens. Better to check what the school's policy is ahead of time.

If you find yourself, or your student, in this situation...... step back and determine what it is that you need to do. What test do you need to finish? Can you continue in the program while you complete your GED?

Do you know of anyone in this situation? I would love to hear what they did.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Life Beyond the GED

Many times I will get asked questions regarding attending college after getting a GED. Is a GED enough? Will the institution require another test?

My advice is to simply ask. If you are looking to enter a college, the army, or get a better job.... ask THEM what the requirements are. You will get the advice you need at the right time that you need it.

Getting the GED is a stepping stone into a better part of the students life. It is the first step into something greater and better.

Embrace it!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

GED Anxiety

It is not unusual for a GED student to have a bit of anxiety. For many students, their past educational experience had not been a positive one. Many remember a time when all they experienced was negativity from teachers and "F's". To put themselves in the forefront, go to school/learning center, and take a test/s..... takes a lot of courage and self determination! Remember to continually praise your students and encourage them throughout the GED testing process. Getting positive reinforcement goes along way.... and everyone needs and craves it.... regardless of age.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


When can a person take the GED tests? Some can take them at age 17 while others must wait until they are 18.5 years of age. You need to check with your local GED testing center to see what their requirements are.

In most cases, you will need to attend a GED orientation so that you understand the program, complete the proper paperwork, and take an assessment to determine your reading skills.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

GED Reading

Read, read, and read some more. Encourage your GED students to read on a daily basis. All the GED tests involve reading. Unless you can read and comprehend what you read, you will have difficulty with the tests. Read every day whether it is the local newspaper, a book, or your email. Grab a book and read to your child.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Teaching GED Math Real Life Application

Adult students, just like any other student, must connect to their math lessons to their daily life situations. This will make math real for them.

When I teach students about perimeter, I try to connect it with a remodeling project, applying base board around a livingroom.

When I teach about area, I connect it to painting walls or laying carpet.

If the student can connect their math lesson to a life situation that they can relate to..... they understand the lesson a whole lot better...... and quicker!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

GED Math: adding fractions with common denominator

To add a fraction, express each fraction with a common denominator. Once each fraction has the same denominator, add the numerators and simplify.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pascal's Triangle

An interesting number pattern is Pascal's Triangle. It was named after Blaise Pascal, a famous French Mathenatician and Philosopher.

Pascal's Triangle is included in the GED Math Practice tests and may appear in an "official" GED test. Therefore, it is importatant that GED students understand what the pattern is. I know that for myself, each time I see it, I have to THINK about the pattern.

Once you know what the pattern is, it is easy to continue the pattern.

Each number is just the two numbers above it, added together.

Now that I know the pattern..... I won't forget it!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

GED Student Retention

Remember the student who received a 410 on math, but not enough overall points? This student needs to make up 80 points? Perhaps you have a student like this. Well...still have not heard from him.

How do you retain students, especially students who not only struggle, but also work full time and have a family?

I struggle with this all the time, but I believe the KEY to this is the relationship you develop with your students. This teacher-student trust must begin the first time you meet.

If I have not seen a student for awhile, I will call and sometimes send a card encouraging them to return. Eventually, most of them do.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

GED Orientation

Are you thinking about taking the GED? If you are, you need to contact either your state Department of Public Instruction or your local GED Center. Find out what you must do in order to get into classes and take the tests. I do know that in the state of Wisconsin you must first attend an orientation.

The orientation will explain the GED and the requirements, assess in the areas of reading and math, and have you complete required paperwork.

It is an important first step. It also connects you with someone who is concerned about YOU and your future. I see the GED as a stepping stone into your future. Once your GED is complete, it will open up a whole lot of opportunities for you!

For other GED Help

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

GED Math Help

School is back in session and it is becoming more and more clear to me that the majority of GED students have trouble with the Math portion. It is critical that you understand the basics of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, basic algebra, and basic geometry. It is also important that you understand the formulas that go along with those areas.

Don't get frustrated with the GED Math test! My suggestion is to study math a little at a time. Do this with a good GED math book. It may also help to get a tutor or study mate to help you.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Spanish GED

Regardless of whether you are preparing to take your GED tests in English or Spanish, it seems like the two most difficult tests are math and writing. Of the two, math still seems to win out. Why is that? If you have an answers or suggestions, please comment on this post.

I was at my workplace this morning preparing for next week when my students come back when a Spanish speaking student came to see me. The student is taking his tests in Spanish and is just now beginning to prepare for the math test. They have elected to use the Steck Vaughn Spanish GED Math book. One nice thing about Steck Vaughn is that if you match up the English and Spanish GED books (those that take a look at one GED test at a time), for the most part they follow each other.

That way when my Spanish speaking student comes in with a question and their Steck Vaughn book, I can grab my English version and help them.

Not always a sure thing, but if you are helping someone with limited English and you have limited or no Spanish, it is better than nothing.

If you would like the ISBN numbers of the books I am referencing, please send me an email at I would be happy to forward them to you.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

GED Progress

I found out this afternoon that my student (see previous post) got a 410 on his math test! I was excited, because I knew how hard it was for him. He was not so excited, at least at first. In fact, he was real disapointed and down-heartened. He now has to focus on making up 80 points. Yes, it will be hard... but if he looks at each GED test separately and retakes one test at a time, he should be able to do it. We have a meeting set for this week to set a plan/timetable. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

GED Math Anxiety

If your students are similar to mine, you probably have one or two who have taken the GED math test more than once. I am currently waiting for the score of a student who has taken the math test four times over a period of 3 years. This student needs to score at least a 490 to get the required points for his GED. On the other 4 the average was 440. Part of the challenge is that the student works full time, has a second job, and also has a family. The family is very supportive, but after a long day at work it is obvious that he is tired. This student will admit that math is the last thing he wants to do and doesn't understand it. Between his third and fourth test he met with me five times. In my opinion.... not near enough time. I would have liked to work with him twice a week for at least 2 months. But he did not have the time and like many of my students, just wanted to try it one more time. Well, on Monday I will be back to work and will most likely have his score. Hang tight!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

GED Adult Learners

Soon I will be going back to work and tutoring/teaching adult students, mostly in math and the GED testing areas. As I reflect on my job and my students.... I am reminded that my job is important. Whether you are a tutor, student, or teacher you have gone through tough times where you think that you are not making a difference. Let me remind you that you are! Not only are you making a difference in the world around you, you are making a difference in yourself! You are important and your actions show others the person you are. Believe in that and believe in yourself.

I hope in 2008 to continue to help others get their GED.

Happy New Year!