How to Prep Students for the 2014 GED

The new 2014 GED will have many differences from the test we have seen in previous years, which means preparation activities will need to be revamped. Bill Walker discusses the changes you can expect to see and how you can ensure your students are prepared. 

Hi there! My name is Bill and I’m the director of adult education and workforce development solutions here at Wonderlic. Today I will discuss how the new GED Test will affect prep classes. I foresee three major areas that will need to be addressed in order to successfully prepare your students for the test: computer skills, higher order thinking skills, and writing skills.

Computer Skills

A major concern is the availability of appropriate instructional materials and classroom setup. The new computer-based GED Test will require that students spend considerable time preparing for the test by practicing with computers. So that there are no surprises on test day, candidates will need practice in:

  • Keyboarding and mouse skills
  • Navigating through multiple computer screens and pop-up windows and
  • Answering item types such as drag-and-drop, fill-in-the blank, cloze drop downs, and hot spot.

Critical Thinking

The alignment of the new GED with the Common Core Standards means that classroom instruction will need to focus on critical thinking skills and application of learning in the four content areas.  Some verbs that identify the higher order thinking skills measured on the GED include: specify, predict, synthesize, interpret, summarize, and verify. And proficient candidates will be able to apply their knowledge, skills, and abilities to solve problems for the contexts of everyday life, society, and the workplace.

Writing Skills

Candidates performing successfully on the writing assignments of the new GED will display the ability to read critically, analyze arguments, and use evidence from primary source texts. Successful candidates will weave solid organization, sentence structure, and elaboration of details within their responses. They will also demonstrate mastery of the standard conventions of English grammar.

Classroom Activities

What are some activities you can implement now as you begin to design an instructional program for the content, context, and cognitive demands of the 2014 GED Test? Here are three suggestions:

a)      Move away from reliance on textbooks and incorporate the use of technology in your classrooms.

b)      Adopt online testing for NRS reporting in order to familiarize candidates with computer-delivered testing.

c)       Start a listserv in your state to share best practices and reviews of promising instructional materials.


The GED Testing Service has developed resources to guide you in your quest for information about the 2014 test. Two of the resources they provide are the Item Sampler and the Assessment Guide for Educators.

The Item Sampler is an interactive online tool that presents samples of the new item types in the four content-area tests. I highly recommend you let your students use this tool to improve their comfort level with the testing technology.

The Assessment Guides for Educators provides insight into the Assessment Targets that define the cognitive demands of the test while also detailing information about scoring the new writing assignments.

I thank you for spending a few minutes with me today. I look forward to hearing about how you’re preparing for the new GED test. Be sure to visit our blog for more videos and helpful articles, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news and information on the new GED, workplace and human resource issues, student achievement, and more!


Bill's presentation was very informative about the future of GED Testing.

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