Posted by Maya Atchan on August 13th, 2018
To successfully earn a GED, students need to pass the Reasoning Through Language Arts portion of the exam. There are important steps to follow to ensure success. Simply attempting a written response on the RLA test subject doesn’t mean students will earn points. Rather, students need to write complete essays that demonstrate clear understanding and execution of the expectations of the essay.
These are the essential rules students need to write a great response and maximize the points they earn on their responses:
- Write a complete essay. Students should aim to write at least 4 – 7 paragraphs, or 300 – 500 words per extended response.
- Give commentary on quotes from source texts. Students need to explain why the evidence they’re quoting supports their argument. Quotes should be used sparingly; most of their response should be in their own words.
- Develop 2 – 3 main ideas. Students should focus on a few main points that they fully develop with evidence and support.
- Proofread. Students should spend the last 4 – 5 minutes proofreading their response, especially checking for these grammar issues:
- Ensure varied sentence structure
- Correct use of transitions
- Eliminate wordiness or awkwardness
- Eliminate run on sentences, sentence fragments
- Ensure correct homophone usage (e.g., your vs. you’re)
- Ensure correct subject-verb agreement
- Proper capitalization
- Proper use of apostrophes
- Correct punctuation
- Ensure proper word order
Following these four rules will help students write a well organized, focused response. Practicing these responses is key to being prepared for the exam. When writing practice responses use the above rules. This will help make them a natural part of the process and prepare students for success.