The Language Arts Reading test consists of 40 multiple-choice questions with a 65 minute time limit. The test will have seven passages taken from various literary texts. The seven areas that texts will be drawn from include fiction before 1920, fiction from 1920 to 1960, fiction after 1960, poetry, drama, nonfiction prose, and workplace or community documents. The GED creators pay a great deal of attention to the diversity of GED candidates when selecting passages for this part of the test.
The test will require the candidate to utilize a variety of thinking skills. The test questions will require skills in comprehension (20%), application (15%), analysis (30%), and synthesis (35%).
Comprehension questions will require the candidate to identify main ideas, summarize information, restate information, recognize supporting details, and understand words in a given context. Application questions will ask candidates to read information and then apply the information to a new context or setting. Candidates must also answer questions regarding their understanding of main ideas and supporting details. Analysis questions will ask candidates to make inferences, draw conclusions, interpret figurative language, identify elements of an author’s style, and recognize organizational structure of a passages. Synthesis questions will require candidates to draw inferences from a passage or to combine outside information with information from a passage to reach new understandings. In order to successfully answer synthesis questions candidates must be able to follow passage organization, interpret overall tone and point of view, and link elements of a passage.
(The above applies until 2014, when a brand new GED will be introduced.)