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Welcome to GED Test Info

Language Arts Writing Test

Basic Facts

  • There are two parts to the test: Part I, Editing and Part II, Essay.
  • Part I has 50 multiple-choice items based on three types of documents.
  • The content areas for the multiple-choice items:
    • Organization 15%
    • Sentence structure 30%
    • Usage 30%
    • Mechanics 15%
  • In Part II, the candidate writes an original essay on a specified topic. The essay is scored holistically.
  • The test is 120 minutes long. Candidates may use the first 75 minutes to answer the 50 multiple-choice questions in Part I, with the remaining 45 minutes to write the essay in Part II. Candidates who finish the multiple-choice section before the 75 minutes are up may use the additional time to work on the essay. Likewise, if a candidate completes the essay in less than 45 minutes and wishes to return to Part I, he or she may do so.
  • Candidates receive a combined score for Parts I and II; however, a candidate must pass the essay with a score of 2 or higher in order to pass the Language Arts Writing Test.

In the Language Arts Writing Test Part I, the multiple-choice items prompt candidates to make revisions and edits like the ones people make in everyday writing. The passages are drawn from informational and how-to texts, as well as workplace and community documents.

There are three question formats in Part I: correction, revision, and construction shift. As you prepare students to take the test, they will need to become familiar with all three formats. You can see more about these formats in the Writing module, Multiple-Choice section.

In the Writing Test Part II, the student writes an expository essay on a general topic. Students are encouraged to support their points by writing about their personal experiences and views. The essay represents about 40 percent of the Language Arts Writing Test score.

Candidates must receive an essay score of at least 2 on a 4-point scale in order to pass the GED Writing Test, no matter how well they do on Part I.