GED Vocabulary

If you have a strong vocabulary, your chances of being successful on the GED® test will improve significantly.

This not only applies to the GED Language Arts subtest, but it does to all four of the GED subtests.

It’s not only about reading and writing, but also about understanding the questions correctly, fully, and quickly, which is key as the GED test is pretty time-pressured.

Having a well-rounded vocabulary will definitely help you get through difficult literary passages, and also writing your essay will be a breeze!

The GED Social Studies and Science subtests involve also reading some pretty challenging passages so before you can answer the questions in those tests correctly and quickly, mastering GED vocabulary will definitely help you to pass those sections!

In this post, we’ll look at some GED-specific language use and vocabulary. So the more rounded your vocabulary, the quicker and better you’ll do on all four parts of the GED test.

Raise your GED score

We know that probably the easiest way to raise your GED score is improving your vocabulary. Now you may think that the GED test includes only a limited number of vocabulary questions.

Well, that’s right. There is no specific GED vocabulary test though there are several word usage GED questions on the GED RLA (Reasoning through Language Arts) subtest.

But improving your vocabulary is so important to boost your GED score because, again, the more words you understand and know, the better and faster you’ll understand what the questions are asking. For more detailed GED scoring information, check out this post.

Regardless of how good your command is of Social Studies, Math, Science, or Language Arts, it will be pretty hard to get the answers right when you don’t fully and quickly understand what’s being asked.

There’s one great way to get the vocabulary words on the list below into your memory and that is simply achieved through repetition, repetition, and repetition.

Improve your vocabulary

Now, what’s the best way to improve your vocabulary? Just picking up a dictionary won’t do, and how can you know what kind of words are important to memorize to be successful on the GED test?

That’s why we have compiled the GED word list that will help you not only during your studying process, but also with acing the four GED subtests and become a proud GED graduate.

In this post, you’ll find a GED word list that includes some of the words that most commonly show up in the GED test.

It’s not that all words on the list will appear always on the actual subtests, but the included academic language shows up time and again.

So becoming familiar with these typical GED words and taking multiple practice tests will definitely help you to be successful on the entire GED exam.

Take your list to the next level

When you use the GED vocabulary list at the bottom of this page, keep in mind that you can easily read the list over and over again to get familiar with the words and phrases. Sure, memorizing all these expressions can be headache-inducing, but it really doesn’t need to be boring at all.

In addition to memorizing the words in the GED word list, find your own words that you want to include to take your studying experience to the next level. You can also make your own list and add the words on our list.

Just assemble words you didn’t know yet and put them in order so you can learn it all faster and better. But, of course, that requires some reading on your behalf!

The GED word list on this page will help you deal with reading complex passages that are found all across the GED test. You can focus on GED reading passages and include words that you feel you need to remember.

Learn to read GED passages

Reading complex passages will help you to practice your close-reading skills and the passages found on the real GED test are usually around 450 to 900 words in length. Generally, these passages are informative and collegiate meaning they resemble texts that you will find in college course work.

Another great source for finding passages that are typical for the GED Language Arts subtest can be found in your local library. Librarians are usually familiar with what’s on the GED exam and will help select those pieces that are best for your reading practice.

When you come across words that are not so familiar to you while reading texts, or while taking a GED practice test, simply write down those new words and try to find out what they mean by using a dictionary.

Add them to your list so you can get familiar with them and perhaps write down the meaning and/or definitions as well. Make sure you’ll include all those words you’re not sure of.

Memorizing can be fun

For many GED students, making word lists or reading lists over and over again feels like a punishment rather than preparation for an exam, but there are more engaging interactive ways of learning words, phrases, and expressions of our language.

You can make flashcards by writing words and their corresponding definitions/meaning on either side of index cards, a bit of the old-fashioned way. Keep in mind that quizzing (either yourself or your partner) is still the all-time favorite learning method of so many students!

What you can also do is using, for example, the prepared GED vocabulary cards by Quizlet. This allows you to practice the uses and meanings of words and phrases by using games and virtual flashcards.

You can download Quizlet at no cost and create your personal digital flashcards using your own GED word list so you can practice for your GED exam anywhere and any time.

There’s more than just definitions

When you look up an unfamiliar word, try to learn more. Sure, transcribing a word’s definition or meaning from your dictionary is key, but try also to learn about its different usages and multiple meanings, or connotations (different meanings in different contexts, or implied meaning).

Try to jot down the first two meanings or definitions listed in the dictionary and if you can, look up the words in more than just one dictionary. You’ll be surprised by what you can learn. Isn’t that fun?

Additionally, dictionaries usually provide example sentences of how words may be used in specific contexts, so include that as well in your list. If you learn in which part of speech a word is used will definitely help you to memorize it.

Please note that words can have both denotations and connotations. “Denotation” is referring to a word’s literal meaning. “Connotation” is referring to a word’s secondary or implied meaning, usually depending on the context. In college, you’ll have to understand these meanings to be successful.

If you are aware of both meanings of a word, you will be better able to understand how and with what nuances that word is used on your GED test. It will also help you to understand the overall meaning of the given passage.

Practice with new words

If you want to acquire and retain new words, phrases, and expressions, it is key to incorporate those words into your everyday speech. So what you should do is integrating all those new words from your own GED list into your everyday conversations.

You’ll see that the more you’ll use those words, the clearer and more meaningful they will become to you. You will start to understand them faster and better.

And if you have some problem with how to pronounce a certain word, your smartphone will help you out and online dictionaries usually have a pronunciation function as well.

Learning with your GED word list doesn’t need to be monotonous at all! You can find lots of ways to make your GED preparation a bit more exciting. Keep in mind that if you have a great vocabulary, you can easily excel on the real GED test.

Word list abbreviations

You may already know some or all of the words listed below, but chances are there are words that are new or perhaps not entirely clear to you. Even if you know the words, you just may want to double-check you’ve got it right.

Most definitions come from respected dictionaries that use clear and simple definitions. Between word and their definitions, you’ll see a letter or letters in parenthesis. These letters stand for the part of speech of that word.

The following abbreviations are used:

(v) – Verbs (verbs are used for actions)
(n) – Nouns (nouns are used for things, people, or places)
(adj) – Adjectives (adjectives are used for describing nouns)

After the part of speech (v, n, adj) you’ll find the word’s definition. Then there’s also an example of how the word is used in a sentence in the GED vocabulary. Taking multiple language lessons and practice tests is key to master all these words!

GED word list

So here are twenty important words that you will probably see in the four subtests of the GED exam. Here we go:

1. Variable
(n) A math symbol representing 1 or more numbers
(adj) Likely to be changing often

Examples:
The variable in this equation x=2+4 is x
The Midwest weather is rather variable; it can be rating one minute and sunny the next

2. Theory
(n) An idea or a set of ideas intended to explain events or facts

Example:
I do not agree with the theory that when a girl is mean to a boy it’s because she has a crush on him.

3. Significant
(n) Large enough to have an effect or be noticed

Example:
Getting the right amount of sleep will have a significant effect on our mood and energy

4. Principle
(n) A belief or guiding rule

Example:
The most fundamental principle of our democracy is our right to vote

5. Period
(n) 1. A portion or length of time
(n) 2 A punctuation mark that’s used at the end of sentences

Examples:
(1) Usually, high schools have divided school days up into different class periods
(2) You can fix run-on sentences by replacing the commas with periods.

6. Method
(n) A certain way of doing things

Example: 
In the U.S., there are so many different methods of voting to choose from

7. Interpretation
(n) An explanation of a certain meaning of something

Example:
The movie critic came with a more thoughtful interpretation of that film than I did

8. Indicate
(v) To show

Example:
A safe driver will use the turn signal to indicate that s/he plans to change the lane

9. Identify
(v) 1. To say or know what or who something is
(v) 2. To have (strong) ties to something

Examples:
(1) Usually, you can easily identify when milk has turned bad, based on the smell
(2) Children of immigrants generally identify with both the cultures of both the parents’ home country and the country they grew up in

10. Function
(n) 1. The purpose for which something is used or exists
(n) 2. The mathematical relation of input to output in mathematical symbols
(v) To work (function) in the proper way

Examples:
(n-1) The function of my hearing aids is to help me hear
(n-2) The function f(x)= √x gives you the square root of any number you plugin for f(x)
(v) You should take a car for a test drive before you buy it to ensure it will still function

11. Formula
(n) A way or rule doing something, generally expressed in mathematical symbols

Example:
The formula a triangle’s area is ½(length x height)

12. Factor
(n) 1. A thing that affects a situation
(n) 2. In math, a number that another number is divisible by
(v) In math, to find all the factors of any given number

Examples:
(n-1) SAT or ACT scores are not the single factor that colleges and universities look at when deciding which college-bound students they will accept
(v and n-2) When you’re asked to factor 12, you need to write down each factor of 12, which are 1, 2, 6, 3, 4, and 12

13. Evidence
(n) Proof; a sign that’s showing that something is true

Example:
Fossils are pretty good evidence that dinosaurs existed long ago

14. Estimate
(n) A good or best guess
(v) To make a rough judgment based on available information

Examples:
(n) The drive took only 4 hours, so my estimate was not correct
(v) Approximately, it is 400 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco so I estimate it’ll take us about 6 hours

15. Distribution
(n) The way things are spread over an area

Example:
The distribution of structures and buildings is denser in the city than in the countryside

16. Derive
(v) To get from something else

Example:
When you’re asked to solve a math problem, you’ll have to derive an answer from an equation

17. Data
(n) Information, particularly numbers or facts

Example:
A key part of scientific experiments is collecting data about the things you’re studying

18. Consistent
(adj) 1. Unchanging, specifically in a positive way
(adj) 2. Being in agreement (with something)

Examples:
You’ll likely get fired when you’re not consistent about showing up for your work on time
Reality isn’t always consistent with the expectations

19. Concept
(n) A general idea

Example:
Babies have no concept yet of right and wrong

20. Analyze
(v) To carefully examine parts or elements of something to get a better understanding

Example:
When a girl has a crush on a boy, it is normal for her to analyze everything he says for signs that he likes her

 

Last Updated on August 31, 2020.

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