The GED Language Arts Reading Test: Just the Facts
Each reading passage is a self-contained unit that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The passages range in length from 200 to 400 words. Excerpts from poetry are 8 to 25 lines in length. Each passage is followed by 4 to 8 multiple-choice questions.
A purpose question provides information that orients the examinee to the text. The purpose question helps set the stage for the passage and provides a purpose for reading the text
Thinking Skills on the Language Arts Reading Test
The GED Language Arts Reading Test requires students to demonstrate a wide range of skills:
- Comprehension skills (20%) assess the student’s ability to understand the basic meaning and intent of a passage.
- Application skills (15%) assess the student’s ability to use information in a new context or situation.
- Analysis skills (30-35%) assess the student’s ability to break down information into its parts. On the Reading Test, this requires understanding the writer’s craft—for example, why a writer chose certain words or created a specific mood.
- Synthesis skills (30-35%) assess the student’s ability to make connections among various parts of the text or to integrate information from outside the passage with information from within the passage.
Because the purpose question is set above the passage, it may look like a title. Have your students read the purpose question and the passage. Then ask them to answer the purpose question. This will help them learn to use the purpose question as intended.