GED Language Arts Writing Test

The Language Arts Writing portion of the GED exam will have two parts. One part will require students to use basic grammar and editing skills in a 50-question, multiple-choice format. The questions will be based on three given types of documents. The questions will be divided between organization (15%), sentence structure (30%), usage (30%), and mechanics (15%). The second part will require students to write an original essay on a given topic. Total time for the entire Language Arts test is 120 minutes-75 minutes for multiple-choice questions and 45 minutes for the essay.

Organizational questions will address effective text division, topic sentences, and unity and coherence in writing. Questions on sentence structure will address run-on sentences, fragments, comma splices, improper subordination, modification, and parallelism. Usage questions will address subject-verb agreement, tense errors, verb form, and pronoun references. Mechanics questions will address capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

Questions in the multiple-choice part of the Language Arts test will require candidates to make revisions and edits that are common in everyday writing. Candidates will be given documents such as instructional texts or workplace documents and they must make the appropriate changes to these sample writings. Students should be prepared to answer questions that test skill in correction, revision, and construction shifting.

The Writing portion of the Language Arts test will require candidates to write an expository essay on a given topic. Students should be prepared to use their own experiences, beliefs, and values to create the content of the essay. In order to pass the Language Arts Writing test, candidates must score a minimum of 2 out of 4 possible points. The essay score is determined by the average scores of two trained readers. The readers must follow a four-point scoring guide. The four possible degrees of skill are 4-effective, 3-adequate, 2-marginal, and 1-inadequate. Each of five areas is assigned a degree of skill. The five areas include response to prompt, organization, development and details, conventions of EAE, and word choice.

The Language Arts Writing test is divided into two separate parts because it is important for students to be able to evaluate the work of others as well as their own work. Students should have the ability to judge the quality of another person’s work while utilizing the same criteria to produce their own original work.

GED Language Arts Writing Practice