GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Study Guide

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GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Practice Test

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GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Review

In almost every field you encounter within the professional world, reading and writing will be one of the most significant skills you can have. Both of these skills are necessary just for everyday life, let alone the academic and professional spheres you’ll choose to enter after obtaining your GED certification.

No matter which particular path you choose, reading and writing will be integral components. Nearly every university insists you take a composition class to improve your writing skills, especially if you choose a major dependent upon skillful writing and, additionally, as part of the general education requirements of almost every possible major. Your ability to write and read well demonstrates not just your literacy, but your ability to express yourself in a logical, effective manner, and think critically about the information you consume.

Like the rest of its fellow subsections, the Language Arts portion of the GED—known officially as the Reasoning Through Language Arts section—is meant to boost your readiness for a college or professional environment. Since Language Arts is a typically multifaceted subject, the Reasoning Through Language Arts section is also composed of several different components.

We at Mometrix Study Preparation care about your success, which is why we have put together this GED Reasoning Through Language Arts study guide. If you’re interested in gaining more study tools, we also have prepared a GED Reasoning Through Language Arts practice test and a set of GED Reasoning Through Language Arts flashcards. This guide exists to guide you through the material featured on the GED Language Arts section—what it is, how it works, and what you will have to know to earn a passing score on the exam.

What Is On the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Section?

The GED Reasoning Through Language Arts exam is meant to assess three specific aspects: your capabilities with comprehending English grammar, writing coherently, and reading efficiently and critically. On this portion of the GED, you’ll find text selections across a broad assortment of genres, reading difficulties, and styles, with nonfiction being the particularly emphasized. You will find nonfictional works on this section at a rate of 25 percent, while fictional works total at 75 percent. Because of the test’s reliance on nonfictional works, we recommend you brush up on the major documents of United States history, such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They may be referenced on the test, and you will not have a passage to refer to during the exam for help. For the passages you will find on the exam, you can expect them to range in length from 450 words to 900 words.

Much like other parts of the GED, the Reasoning Through Language Arts section is composed of multiple components. The writing section of the test features an essay portion and a multiple choice portion, the latter of which averages at 50 multiple choice questions in length. You receive a time limit of 45 minutes to compose your response to the essay prompt provided to you.

The reading portion of the test is 40 questions in length, all of which are multiple choice. With each passage, you’ll find anywhere from four and eight questions corresponding to the text.

Both sections of the test evaluate specific categories of knowledge. On the reading portion, you’ll be expected to demonstrate your knowledge on Synthesis, Comprehension, Analysis, and Application of written information. The multiple choice section of the Writing exam seeks to evaluate Mechanics, Organization, Usage, and Sentence Structure. Usage and Sentence Structure appear at a rate of 30 percent, while Mechanics show up at 25 percent, and Organization shows up at 15 percent.

To further help you know how to prepare for both halves of the Reasoning Through Language Arts section, we will be going into further detail about the knowledge categories and what you will be required to know.


The Reading portion of the exam covers these four topics:


Synthesis-based questions deal with your ability to read a selected passage and decipher the reason it was written, the perspective from which the passage was written, and the mood the selection carries throughout. The elements should be gleaned from the work on a contextual basis.


Comprehension questions tests your capabilities with reading a work, then thinking about why it was written and the intended meaning behind it on a rudimentary level. This is the simplest knowledge area you will find on the exam.


Analysis-based questions seek to assess how efficiently you can use contextual information from a given text to create inferences. You will also be expected to make predictions and other assorted statements based upon what you have read.


Application questions depend on how proficiently you can extend the text beyond its concrete purpose. In other words, these questions look for your capabilities with applying the information within a text to a separate situation and forge your own, independent perspective.


Since the Writing section of the Reasoning Through Language Arts test comes in two halves, we will cover them both. The first half of the Writing test is composed of multiple choice questions, which total to 50. This section of the test will evaluate how well you can scan a text for grammatical flaws. The passages you receive for this section will be short—between 200 and 300 words on average—and cover a wide range of subjects. Each selection will also have been carefully selected to demonstrate a well-written piece upon receiving your edits. You will be graded based upon:


Mechanics questions cover the basic elements of grammar, such as punctuation placement. You will be asked to evaluate errors of this variety and fix them based on your knowledge of grammatical functions.


Organization deals with the logical arrangement of sentences and ideas. Questions under this category will ask you to evaluate whether the sequence of ideas within a passage make sense and, if not, how they can be rearranged.


Usage deals with word choice. This category of questions will test how easily you can gauge which words work better than others based on tone and connotation.

Sentence Structure

Sentence structure questions will cover the arrangement of sentences on an individual basis. You will be asked to evaluate whether a sentence makes sense as-is and, if not, how it can be rewritten so it communicates its point more effectively.

The other half of the Writing section features an essay question. You will receive a prompt about a popular or well-known topic, for which you are allotted 45 minutes to write. The prompt you’ll get will typically be persuasive. For this part of the test, you’ll be expected to show your mastery of grammar and related elements, your ability to formulate ideas and present them within an argument, how well you can flesh out your points, and whether you have arranged your thoughts in a logical and cohesive manner.

We hope this GED Reasoning Through Language Arts study guide will help you put together an effective study plan for this important exam. If you need any extra preparation tools, we again suggest turning to our GED Reasoning Through Language Arts flashcards and GED Reasoning Through Language Arts practice test. Good luck, and happy studying!

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: May 13, 2019