25 GED Study Habits

These twenty-five GED study habits will be a great help to get you all set for the GED® test efficiently.

When preparing for the GED exam, it is important not only to focus on simply studying hard but also on studying smart and learning about GED test-taking strategies that will help you improve your results.

So, your preparation efforts should not be only about learning the GED subject matter but also about how to take the exam effectively and wisely.

Sure, it is key to command all of the topics covered in the four GED subtests (Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts), and you should take multiple practice tests, but learning how to study effectively is important as well.

BestGEDClasses’ practice tests come with answer explanations to help you understand the subject matter better and faster.

Taking practice tests will help you get an idea of what the questions on the real test are like. The GED subtests are timed so if you take some of this website’s timed practice tests, you’ll learn what it means to deal with time pressure.

But if you want to do really well on the real tests, you also must be able to work in a smart way, so let’s take a closer look at some study and test-taking tips and what study habits will help you attain better results.

We’ll also introduce you to a few generally accepted strategies that will allow you to get better results, not only in things like business and trade but also in taking tests like the GED (General Education Development) exam.

So when you take the GED exam (you can take the four subtests one at a time), keep the following advice at heart and this not only applies to studying for a GED. If, for example, you prefer to enroll in an accredited online high school such as James Madison High School, developing good study habits definitely helps!

GED Study Habits

1. Discover the learning style that suits you best

First of all, find the learning style that fits you best. There are quite a few different learning styles and each student retains information differently. The main learning styles are Visual (through images and pictures), Auditory (for learners who prefer the spoken word, music, or other sounds), and Kinesthetic (for students that learn best through a more physically-orientated learning style with hands, body, sense of touch).

We can distinguish also Verbal (using words in speech and writing), Logical (using systems, reasoning, and logic), Social (prefer to learn in groups or with others), and Solitary learners (who can best learn alone). To learn more, take a learning style quiz.

2. Space your study time out

Successful students space out their studying over a number of short periods of time. They don’t try to cram it all into just a few sessions. To become successful, you need to have shorter study periods on a regular basis.

3. Study at set times

It is key to create a daily study routine. When studying at the same time daily, your learning will become part of your everyday life and your studying will be more productive.

4. Stick to your study schedule

If you schedule specific times to study, be sure to stick with your schedule. Students that study whimsically and sporadically generally don’t perform as well as those that stick to their study schedules.

5. Study with direction and set goals

Studying without any direction will not be effective so for each study block, know what needs to be accomplished. So every time you start learning, know what you want to accomplish during that study session. The GED exam may now also be taken online for students that score “green” on the GED Ready® practice test.

6. Don’t procrastinate planned study sessions

Don’t put off a study session for some excuse. Even if you dislike the subject or when you think you have some other thing that needs to be done, stick to your study session and do not procrastinate. Keep in mind that procrastination often leads to rushing, the number-1 cause of mistakes.

7. Avoid distractions

It’s common to get distracted. Perhaps it’s your family or it could be the TV. It could even be simply too quiet and some background noise might put you at ease. Either way, distraction leads to less focus which will affect your studying. So try to find a place for your studying where you won’t get distracted.

8. Take notes effectively

In a class or while studying online, take notes that you can review later. Be sure you take good notes that you will understand remember so you won’t get confused later when reviewing them. If you take note very well, you’ll see that taking the GED exam doesn’t need to that hard at all. So take notes and review them regularly.

9. Review your notes before you start a new session

Before starting a new study session, and also before starting an assignment, review the notes you took thoroughly. This way, it’s easier to catch up with the subject material and complete an assignment correctly.

10. Use the weekend to review your notes and other study material

To become successful, you should use the weekend to review your notes and what you have learned during the past week. This way, you’ll be prepared to learn concepts that follow up on earlier knowledge and coursework.

11. Create a positive mindset

When you’re studying for your GED, try to think positively about yourself and remind yourself of what you have achieved, and think of your abilities and skills. Try to avoid absolute thinking. Rather than thinking “As always, I’ll mess it up,” look for things that will help you do better.

12. Practice with friends

Well, they say that practice makes perfect, and that’s true. Sure, taking practice tests is a great way to discover your weak and strong points, but practicing with your friends or classmates is also a great way to test your knowledge and skills effectively. You may also benefit from Aztec’s GED Flash program. Not to get prepared, but to check your knowledge on the GED subject matter.

13. Work on the easiest GED subject first

If you learn for the GED subtest first that is easiest for you, your self-esteem will get a boost and your learning may become easier. This works for most students but there are also students that prefer to take the most difficult subject matter first. They feel that if they have managed the most difficult subject, the following topics will feel like a breeze. The choice is yours but preparing for the easiest subject first is a proven method.

14. Call a teacher or another student when the topic is too difficult

We all understand that two heads are better than one. Don’t feel embarrassed when you don’t understand the topic. Your teacher or one of your classmates will be glad to help you.

15. During study breaks, move away from your study desk

When you take a break, step away from your study desk and do something totally different. Both your brain and your body need a break at times. Doing something actively is better than checking your smartphone, turning on the TV, or watching a video. You better go for a short walk since that sort of activity will give your brain a real break.

16. Keep track of your studying with a planner

When it comes to studying, be sure to become well-organized so use a planner for your study tasks. If you don’t, you’ll be wasting precious time as you’ll be confronted with last-minute work that you forgot to learn about or you’ll have to stay up late to deal with subject matter that should already have been completed earlier.

17. Check what you’ve done before you stop

When you’ve completed a study block, don’t stop until you’ve checked your work for some careless mistakes. You should check it for spelling or grammar mistakes, proper presentation, or correct answers to the questions asked. This way, you’ll be on the right track toward earning your high school equivalent credential soon!

18. Stay away from your phone

We talked about distractions before but today, most students are using their phones continuously. S0 the good thing to do is to avoid your phone when you study. Just put it on silent, turn off alerts, and remove it from your study room. Your education should be your number 1 priority during your study blocks.

19. Stay away from social media

Just as with your phone, distractions lead to bad study results. Social media rule many a student’s life and as you’ll probably use your computer or laptop for your studying, make sure you’ll use it just for that! Communicating through social media platforms can wait until you’ve completed your study block and checked your work for mistakes, right?

20. How about joining a study group?
Social learners may want to join a study group to help them retain the study material better. Then, they’ll have the chance to get difficult topics explained, ask questions, or benefit from questions that other students ask. Keep in mind that a study group should be limited to no more than six students.

21. Get enough rest and sleep

Studying while being sleepy is highly ineffective. When your body tells you you’re tired, take that seriously and take a nap or go to sleep. If you sleep well, you’ll understand the information better and remember it easier. A good night’s sleep will take away your stress so your studying will benefit and your test scores will improve!

22. Practice with mock tests

Taking multiple mock tests is a great way to let the study topics sink in and get all set for the big day. Taking practice tests will sharpen up what you’ve learned and will let you discover which topics require your attention most. There can be lots of practice tests found online and this website also offers you numerous mock tests at no cost. Check here for BestGEDClasses’ free Math practice tests.

23. While studying, practice active recall

Try to work deliberately on your active recall skills. When you’re learning something new, try to close your eyes and recall a concept or fact from what you’ve learned from memory. You may even carry around some flashcards and test yourself at free moments at times. Testing yourself regularly will help you retain the information in your long-term memory.

24. Learn more efficiently with the Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro technique lets you study for a limited time frame (10, 15, 20, or 25 minutes) and then take a little break. Then, repeat the same routine several times before you take a longer break. The Pomodoro method is great for getting in the study mood as it is easier to tell yourself to learn for 20 minutes than for an entire hour. The little breaks in between allow for refreshing your brain before moving on to the next topic. Read more below.

25. Pay attention to study-friendly nutrition

Eating healthy nutrition (“brain foods”) is known to improve your energy levels so you’ll be able to focus on your study sessions more effectively.  Examples of “brain foods” include broccoli, leafy greens, and fatty fish, and – perhaps somewhat surprisingly, dark chocolate as well. Please avoid “brain poison” such as junk food or sugary snacks. If you fuel your body appropriately, it will help you attain positive results, also on your GED test!

GED Test-Taking Tips

  • Pay close attention to directions provided before the test

Just before you’ll start your test, the examiner will explain how to answer the questions on the GED test properly. Listening to this advice is key when you take a standardized test like the GED.

  • Please read the directions given closely and follow them

Following the given instructions is crucial if you want to be successful on the GED exam. If you don’t understand the directions, immediately ask the examiner for more explanation.

  • Pay attention to important keywords

When taking a GED subtest, look for words such as “most likely”, “but,” “expect,” and so on. These sorts of words often provide clues and indicate in which direction the answer can be found.

  • First, eliminate obviously incorrect answers

Keep in mind that if any element within the answer options is wrong, the entire answer is definitely wrong. So eliminating obviously wrong answers will make your choice of the remaining options easier.

  • Always select an answer option

On the GED test, there is no penalty for choosing the wrong answer. So always choose an option from the multiple-choice answers. Guessing is perfectly okay on the GED test. Never leave a blank because, as said, guessing wrong is not penalized.

  • Watch out for answers with too many words

On the GED test, answers that are excessively wordy are usually incorrect. Don’t get intimidated by excessive word use. Generally, the correct answer is pretty straightforward though you should be aware of tricky questions.

  • Make sure you answer what’s being asked

It happens so often on the GED test that students don’t answer the question that’s asked. So read the questions carefully and make sure you answer what is asked.

GED test-taking strategies

  • The 80/20 Rule  

Students that studied economics or business are usually familiar with the power of the 80/20 Rule.

The 80-20 rule is also referred to as the “Pareto Principle” that asserts that 80 percent of outcomes (outputs) come from just 20 percent of all causes (inputs).

We can apply this 80/20 concept to any other field as well, whether it relates to personal finance, economics, personal relationships, wealth distribution, spending habits, or studying for your GED diploma.

The man behind the 80/20 concept, an Italian named Pareto, noticed that 80 percent of Italy’s land was owned by merely 20 percent of the population. He also researched various industry sectors and discovered that 80 percent of the entire production came from only 20 percent of the companies.

Now with respect to your studying. If you focus your precious study time on 80 percent of all the information and know that by heart, you should be fine. If you don’t command some little GED concepts, that’s okay. You’ll still pass that subtest so you can move ahead to the next GED subtest.

  • Rule of Three

The so-called “Rule of Three” is saying that when you learn something new, you should be at least exposed to that topic three times before you may be expected to master that topic and know how to apply it.

So when preparing for the GED exam, don’t expect you can recall the provided information from just watching a video lesson once. If you, however, see the information on the topic two more times and watch the video perhaps two more times as well, you may expect to command the subject matter pretty well.

Take also multiple practice tests to identify your weak and strong points. After you’ve taken a practice test, go back to your video lesson and listen closely one more time.

The “Rule of Three” is well-known among sports coaches. Basketball coaches, for example, understand that they can teach players new skills in 20 minutes, that it takes some 20 reps for them to feel comfortable with that, and that it requires some 20 days of repeated practice before the new skills have become deep-rooted. That is the same principle of our “Rule of Three”.

  • The Pomodoro Method

A well-known productivity technique is the “Pomodoro Method.” When following this technique, you’ll study 10, 15, or 25-minute long blocks. After all blocks, you can take a 5-minute break after which you’ll resume your studying with the next 10, 15, or 25-minute block.

The goal of this method is to go build up your self-confidence through a number of small successes. Doing this, you’re using the “Principle of Small Steps.” Most students begin with 10-minute blocks.

Usually, when studying with the Pomodoro method, you take ‘rounds’ of learning. You will do 2, 3, or 4 “pomodoros” in a row, each separated by a 5-minute break. Then, after a round of “pomodoros”, allow yourself a longer break.

To tell yourself to study for “only 10 minutes” is so much easier than thinking “Oh, I need to study for my GED Math test tonight.” When you’re comfortable with the idea of studying for 10-minute blocks, you may increase your time blocks to 15 or 25 minutes. Countless students find the Pomodoro Method to be highly effective.

When using the Pomodoro Method, and a study block is underway, don’t succumb to distractions and don’t answer phone calls. Don’t check your email or Facebook and don’t visit any website, not for one second. If you do that, this technique can be very helpful to earn your GED diploma fast and attain high scores as well!


Last Updated on April 5, 2021.

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