The GED Reasoning through Language-Arts (RLA) subtest doesn’t need to be hard if you prepare well for this section of the GED (General Education Development) exam.
Then again, the GED test, and also the Language Arts module, is pretty hard since there is considerable time pressure to complete it. But if you will get all set for the GED RLA test using good resources, the GED Reasoning through Language Arts test may be quite easy.
To do well on the GED® RLA test, you must be able to write clearly, read closely, understand written texts, and be able to edit Standard English correctly in written form.
The GED exam includes four independent subtests that cover the academic subject fields of Math (Mathematical Reasoning), Literacy (Reasoning through Language-Arts), Science, and Social Studies.
The GED Reasoning through Language-Arts subtest measures your grammatical knowledge, and reading and writing comprehension skills and knowledge.
What is on the GED Language Arts test?
The GED RLA subtest covers language use and grammar, identifying ideas and supporting details, creating arguments; and also important is the GED Reading for Meaning concept.
The RLA subtest requires test-takers to identify or correctly use:
- Characters, settings, events, and plots
- A passage’s main idea and identify supporting details
- The author’s purpose and point of view
- Draw conclusions
- Interpret graphs and data
- Assess sentence structure
- The correct use of transition words
- The correct use of punctuation, capitalization, and apostrophes
- Understand the difference between observations and inferences
How long is the GED RLA test?
So the GED Reasoning through Language Arts Test (RLA) assesses your writing and reading skills. You are given 2.5 hours to deal with some 46 questions. There are three main sections that measure your ability to:
- Answer questions that are based on single or paired-together passages to assess your reading and critical thinking skills.
- Review and correct written text and choose phrases and/or words so that the product is written in correct English.
- Produce an essay (extended response) based on a provided text with opposing views on a current topic/event in line with a writing prompt to assess your writing skills.
In the Extended Response (Essay) part, you will have to read a text and respond to a writing assignment, the prompt. You need to develop an argument and support your ideas using evidence from the given text (more below). Check out also this page that has some great tips on how to ace the GED Language Arts test and useful advice for optimal preparation.
What you need to command
To perform well on the GED RLA subtest, you must be able to:
- Identify and/or summarize the key (main) point in a given text
- Extract relevant details from a given text
- Identify on which assumptions and/or premises the arguments are based
- Make inferences that are logical and draw meaning from details presented in a text
- Make distinguishes between faulty and valid arguments
- Answer questions from a number of texts that will vary in complexity
- Analyze a text with two arguments and determine which argument is supported and presented more effectively.
- Identify supporting details and evidence in the arguments and compose an effective, well-written, and well-supported argument.
- Understand Standard English conventions and appropriate vocabulary use
- Write precisely and clearly
- Make corrections to errors in grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and the use of Standard English
- Understand the used GED vocabulary so you’ll be able to answer correctly and timely
It is wise to focus on the RLA basics like what are nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, and so on. And don’t forget to take a number of practice tests like the ones offered for free on this website.
Keep in mind, though, that Grammar can be rather tricky as there are so many rules that hardly anyone ever remembers.
So the fastest way to get all set for the GED RLA module is to go over the topics briefly and take a bunch of practice tests, review the mistakes you made, work on those topics, and you’ll see that you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly! If you’re good at languages, you may even consider earning a degree in American Sign Language, a subject area that enjoys ever-more popularity!
The GED Extended Response
The first part of the GED subtest is 45 minutes long and includes the GED Extended Response, your Essay. After that, there will be a 10-minute break, and then you continue with the second part, which includes only reading and language writing questions.
One of the RLA’s main components is an Extended Response. Here, you need to analyze two arguments and decide which of the arguments is most persuasive. You’ll have to explain why this is in your essay.
For a good analysis of an argument, you’ll have to take these steps:
- First, skim the given text and determine the main topic or idea. What’s the author trying to convey? Is the author trying to persuade his reader to do or think in a certain way?
- Then, closely read the GED passage while keeping in mind the main idea. Try to identify assumptions and/or premises that lead to a conclusion. Write that down.
- What are the claims and premises the author is making that lead to the passage’s main idea, the conclusion? Jot the premises (claims) down.
- With each premise (claim), write down the points of evidence that the author uses to support each of the premises.
- Then, evaluate all the premises in order to determine if they are leading to the conclusion in a logical way.
- Now, you’ll need to evaluate the points of evidence and determine if they are sufficient for proving each premise.
- Try also to determine if there are any possible objections to the author’s argument addressed in the text.
- To what extent did the author address possible objections? Did he do that well?
Many students say that the GED extended response (essay) isn’t that important for your overall RLA score, as it counts for about 25 percent. Some say that if you just take your time and answer all or most of the RLA multiple-choice questions correctly, you should be fine.
GED testing in Canada includes separate Reading and Writing sub-exams. To learn more about the GED test in Canada, check out this article.
GED Passing Score
To earn your state’s high school equivalency (HSE) diploma, you are required to attain at least a score of 145 on each of the four independent GED modules (subtests).
The tests are scored on a 100-200 scale, and the passing score of 145 must be, again, reached on each of the four modules. Averaging is not possible.
So the minimally required overall score on the GED exam is 580, but even if your total score is more than 580, but you scored less than 145 on one of the modules, you haven’t passed the GED exam!
In Canada, the passing score on each of the subtests (five in total in Canada) is 450 out of 800.