The high school dropout rate continues on a steady rise. This may be due to a wide variety of reasons, and chances are if you asked ten different sociologists you’d receive ten different answers.
Whatever the root cause of this trend, the fact remains that more and more young people are foregoing the traditional educational route. This has, in turn, led to an increase in the number of people pursuing the General Equivalency Diploma, or GED.
Because of the growing number of people pursuing the GED, there is a demand for tips on how to prepare for the test. The following article provides tips on how to prepare for the section of the GED that student seem to fear the most – the language arts writing test, or essay.
How the GED Essay is Graded
Exactly how the GED essay is graded is a source of great confusion for many essay test-takers, and there are many erroneous assumptions concerning this. Once students understand what the GED scorers are actually looking for when grading the essay, higher scores are much easier to obtain.
The GED essay is graded holistically. What this means is that test scorers view the essay as a whole, and they do not weigh any one part of the essay higher than another.
The most important thing to understand about how the GED essay is scored is that they are looking for focus, organization, and development of ideas. They want to see that the student is able to create writing that stays focused on the topic, has an organized structure, and thoroughly develops all ideas that are presented.
Much less emphasis is placed on smaller errors such as grammatical and spelling mistakes. These types of errors will affect the essay score only if they are so widespread that they hinder the essay’s readability. The truth is that a well-developed essay with a few grammatical and spelling errors will score much higher than a poorly developed essay with perfect spelling and grammar.
Tips to Create the Best Possible Essay
- PUT ANY EXTRA TIME TO GOOD USE
In many instances the essay portion of the GED exam follows the multiple-choice section and scoring officials allow students to begin working on the essay once completing the multiple-choice. If you finish early, use that extra time wisely and thoroughly develop your custom written essay.
- BRAINSTORM BEFORE WRITING
While there are a few writers who can simply put pen to paper and watch the ideas flow out effortlessly, most essay writers would be well served to take the time to brainstorm the topic before ever beginning to write. Ask yourself what you know about the subject and think about the subject from a variety of perspectives. Taking the time to think about one subject a variety of different ways will lead to an essay that is developed much more thoroughly.
- CREATE AN ORGANIZATIONAL FRAMEWORK
It is a good idea to map out exactly what ideas you are going to cover in the essay before actually writing it. This will give you the chance to come up with the best possible flow for your essay and will help you to stay on topic throughout the writing. Once you’ve developed a good framework, stick to it throughout your writing.
- DEVELOP ALL IDEAS FULLY
This is the most important thing to remember when writing the GED essay. Each idea that is presented must be followed with some form of development. The best development usually comes in the form of specific details pertaining to the particular idea. Back up each idea with specific details or explanations and it will strengthen your overall essay.