Friday, July 14, 2006

GED Day 1

I have piddled away most of this summer on inconsequential things like earning money and improving my health, but there is still time to accomplish something meaningful. One thing I'd like to do is take the GED exam.

According to the Southern Regional Education Board, GED stands for "General Educational Development." Often, however, people replace "Development" with "Diploma" or "Degree." This is because the "GED" is something you can get in lieu of a high school diploma. Well, it just so happens I never finished high school!

I dropped out. I got a job. I got an apartment. I worked. I traveled. And then when I decided I wanted to go to film school, Ryerson provided a "mature student" option. I met the requirements, and ultimately I earned a Bachelor's degree.

Now that I'm halfway to my Master's degree, I think it might be time to do something about that missing piece of paper. Sure, some friends suggested I could wait until after my doctorate. But since I am not taking a class this summer, this is as good a time as any. Step 1, I figure, is to figure out exactly where I stand. Do I need to study, or can I "wing it"?

To that end, I located some online practice tests. Today, I took my first set. The Southern Regional Education Board breaks this section of the GED down as follows:

Writing Skills, Part I (50 questions, 75 minutes)
15% Organization
30% Sentence Structure
30% Usage
25% Mechanics

I spent about 30 minutes on the four tests. I got 10 out of 10 on Sentence Structure, no surprises there, but I ran into a few problems with the others. One careless mistake in Usage, no big deal because I will pay more attention in the real exam. In Mechanics and Organization, I dropped three more questions on pretty subjective issues, so I spent some quality time rereading the tests and arguing with my computer screen. My final grade in Writing Skills Part I: 91.5%. I think I can safely "wing" this first section of the GED.

If you like, you can follow along with your own attempts on this site:

The Reading tests are next! Oh boy!

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