Page 1 Reasoning Through Language Arts Study Guide for the GED® test

How to prepare for the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test

General Information

In current edition of the GED test (last revision, 2014), the assessment of Reading and Writing skills are combined in one test section. Your ability to do the following will be tested within this section:

  • Read carefully (Reading Comprehension questions)
  • Write clearly (Extended Response/Essay)
  • Use, and edit for, standard written English (Language and Usage questions)

The 150 minutes of testing time will be structured like this:

  • Section 1: 35 minutes to answer questions on Reading Comprehension and Language/Usage
  • Section 2: 45 minutes for writing the Extended Response (essay)
  • Break: 10 minutes
  • Section 3: 60 minutes to answer questions on Reading Comprehension and Language/Usage

Note that the times for Sections 1 and 3 may vary a bit, but the total time will always be 150 minutes.

When taking the test, you will use your reading skills for all tasks, because the Writing portion requires you to read and respond to a lengthy prompt. You will use your knowledge of standard English in both the Writing and for some of the questions about Language/Usage.

Types of Questions

While over 50% of the questions on the GED test are multiple choice, there are other types of questions, as well.

These are the types you will encounter in the RLA sections 1 and 3:

  • Multiple Choice: You choose among four given answers.

  • Fill-in-the-blank: You must type in a word or words to answer the question. No answer choices are given. Sometimes this type of question will require you to write a short explanation of several sentences or more, but the response should not take over 10 minutes to complete.

  • Drag-and-drop: You will click on an item on the screen and move it to the correct place. This type of question might be used when you are asked to put things in a certain order, dividing items into certain classifications, or perform other graphic tasks to answer a question.

  • Drop-down: This type of item allows you to choose the correct version of a sentence or phrase. Once you have chosen your answer, the answer will appear as part of the text on the screen.

Section 2 of the RLA test is composed of one extended response question. For this section, you will be given 45 minutes to craft a response to a prompt. The prompt will include 2 passages to read. Then you will be directed to respond to what you have read.