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GED Language Arts Writing Test - Part 2 (essay)

As you may know, the GED exam is changing, but not until 2014. Follow these guidelines until then.

GED Language Arts Writing Test - Part 2 (essay)

Quick Summary of the GED Language Arts Writing Test
Tests For: Writing
Test Parts: 2 Parts (Part 1 multiple-choice, and Part 2 essay)
Test Length: 120 minutes in total (Part 1 is 75 minutes, and Part 2 is 45 minutes)
Number of Questions: 50 in total plus 1 essay (Part 1 has 50 multiple-choice, and Part 2 has 1 essay)

The GED Language Arts Writing Test is divided into two parts. Part 1 measures the applicant's writing skills by testing for writing organization, structure, and usage. Part 2 tests skill level by instructing the test taker to write an essay informing the reader about a given subject. Essay topics selected by the GED are generally of interest to test takers, and no prior or specialized knowledge of the topic is necessary in order to write the essay during the exam.

GED Language Arts Writing Test - Part 2
Part 2 of the GED Language Arts Writing Test centers focuses on the applicant's ability actually to write about a subject or topic using the fundamentals of writing tested in Part 1. Before the applicant puts pencil to paper during the exam period, exam instructions encourage the applicant to think about their essay as a complete composition. As such, the composition should have a beginning section, a middle section, and an ending or concluding section. This structure may require the test taker to outline the subject quickly and make notes during the 45 minutes of the Part 2 exam period.

GED Language Arts Writing Test - Part 2, The Format
The format for the essay exam is simple. For this part of the test, the applicant receives an exam booklet containing blank pages upon which to write the essay. Applicants are instructed to develop the essay outline and take notes on a separate piece of paper, which is not scored as part of the exam.

GED Language Arts Writing Test - Part 2, The Scoring
Since this portion of the test does not contain multiple-choice answers, the applicant instead must rely on the subjective scoring parameters of the reviewers. For this reason, it is very important that the exam taker is well versed and knowledgeable about writing in a cohesive manner. The student is scored according to how well the essay responds to the subject topic, the essay's organization and development of ideas, correct usage of sentence structure and sentence punctuation, and appropriate word selection. Each of these areas are graded on a scale of 1 to 4, in which 4 signifies the highest or the most effective writing and 1 signifies inadequate writing. Individual scores are added together and averaged to form a composite score. An applicant must receive a composite score of 2 in order to pass the essay portion of the test.

The GED Language Arts Writing Test does not rely on a specific word count. Instead, in order to perform adequately on this part of the test, an applicant must write in such a manner and with enough words to address the topic given in the exam. The GED also scores the essay along the guidelines established by "Edited American English" (EAE) for proper grammar, sentence structure, and word usage.

Last Updated: 05/15/2014

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