GED Writing Test-How to get Maximum Points

There are four GED® subtests, but no separate GED writing test. Your writing skills are measured through your 5-paragraph essay during the GED Language Arts Test. So let’s see how you can get the maximum points on this part of the GED exam.

Your writing capabilities are also assessed through the other subtests of the GED exam. The four GED subtests are in Reasoning through Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematical Reasoning.

Your GED Language Arts Essay is also referred to as the Extended Response. In 45 minutes, you need to write an argumentative essay based on a given prompt and stimulus.

Stimulus and Prompt

The GED essay stimulus is a passage that provides two opposing views or opinions on a current subject or event. The prompt will tell you what to do.

Keep in mind that in your essay, you are not supposed to express your opinion. You will have to decide which opinion is stronger and you’ll have to demonstrate that with arguments from the passage.

When you have read the provided stimulus with the two different points of view or arguments on the topic, you will need to explain why which argument is better.

Bear in mind that you’re writing about the two positions the author gives you and that you need to explain why one of these arguments presented in the stimulus is better or stronger. You are not asked to present your own arguments or examples.

High Impact Indicators

To attain the highest possible score on your GED Essay or Extended Response, you need to understand how your essay is graded. Then, your GED Language Arts test doesn’t need to be that hard to pass.

Your essay is worth 20 percent of the entire score for the GED Reasoning through Language Arts subtest.

There are several so-called High Impact Indicators that are key for getting the maximum score so let’s take a closer look at some of these important elements.

Literary texts

  • Make sure you understand what the text is about (the meaning), and that you can order events given in the text in the correct sequence.
  • You must be able to re-ordered non-chronological events in the passage into chronological order.
  • If you understand the passage, you must be able to describe how one event leads to the next in the passage (e.g. cause-and-effect, and so on). See also this post with GED Essay-Topics, Samples, and Tips.

Word Meaning

You must be able to determine and identify the meaning of phrases and words provided in the text, including connotative and figurative meanings related to the context of both literary and informative texts.

  • You must be able to distinguish between figurative, denotative, and connotative meanings of phrases or words.
  • It is important that you understand how the context can shape or lend different meanings to phrases and words.
  • Learn also all about typical GED vocabulary so check out this interesting article.

Analyze transitional language and signal words

There are several words that indicate a structural relationship and refine the meaning of words, reinforce the purpose of the author, or emphasize specific ideas in both literary and informational texts. This refers to words such as, for example, “otherwise”, “nevertheless”, and “consequently”.

  • You must be able to identify transitional phrases and words in the given passage and understand the function.
  • It is key that you understand why and how the transitional language was used to convey the meaning of the words or phrases in the passage.
  • You need to understand how structural cues in the passage serve to express the purpose of the author.

Evaluation of offered evidence

It is important that you demonstrate your understanding of the presented evidence and supporting details related to the presented claims.

  • You must be able to explain in what way the presented evidence is relevant to the author’s viewpoint or argument, and if it is sufficient to justify the author’s overall message or singular point.
  • you must show proof that you can distinguish between relevant and irrelevant evidence, and between ideas that have sufficient supporting evidence and those that don’t.
  • It is key that you understand to distinguish between reasoning and explanation, and provided evidence. This will help you to base your judgment on relevant and sufficient evidence. Keep in mind that taking multiple practice tests will definitely boost your scores!

Identifying underlying assumptions and premises

You need to be able to determine premises and/or assumptions in the viewpoints or arguments. It is key you are able to identify and evaluate the presented evidence and logical support. Check out this page as well about the new option to take the GED exam online. Such a great development!

  • You must be able to identify explicit and/or implicit assumptions and premises related to an argument in the passage.
  • You must demonstrate an understanding of the author’s assumptions and biases based on details in the passage.
  • You must show proof that you indicate if the author made any judgments based on implicit assumptions and/or premises, and if they are supported or justified (partly or fully) by explicitly provided evidence in the passage.

It’s NOT about your opinion

Again, your essay should not be about your opinion on the given subject! Just analyze the presented arguments and demonstrate which of the opinions is best supported in the passage.

You should not express your opinion or tell which of the arguments you agree with. So don’t give your personal opinion.

This means you should stay away from words and expressions such as “In my opinion”, “I think that”, “I disagree because”, or even “I”.

To get maximum results on your GED Essay (Extended Response), you need to be able to analyze which of the in the stimulus presented arguments or points of view is better and you’re also required to explain why that argument or viewpoint is better based on evidence provided in the passage

Make sure that your reasoning is based on the provided passage! You should refrain from coming up with your own evidence, point of view, or examples. Be sure to stick with what’s presented in the passage.


Last Updated on October 16, 2020.