What’s on the GED® RLA Test?

The GED Reasoning through Language Arts test is primarily a reading comprehension test. If you can understand a range of texts (stories, non-fiction, persuasive essays, and so on), you’ll do very well. You don’t need to know every rule of grammar, and you don’t need to learn a million vocabulary words. You just need to read well!

The best way to prepare for the GED RLA, then, is simply to read. All of our free GED reading tests are here, but you can also improve your skills just by reading anything you enjoy, so long as you do it consistently and with care.

To focus your study, we’ve put together a list of GED RLA reading skills. It’s based on the official GED RLA outline, which divides the test questions into three topic categories: reading for meaning; identifying and creating arguments; and grammar and language. As you read, keep these skills in mind.

Reading for Meaning

  • Events, plots, characters, and settings: What happens? Who is involved? Where does it happen?
  • Main ideas and details: What is the most important idea? What other ideas or details support it? Are there any ideas that weaken it?
  • Point of view and purpose: Who is the writer? Who is telling the story? What is his or her motivation?
  • Tone and figurative language: How do the particular words and ideas create a mood? Is it funny? Angry? Serious? Sad? How can you tell?
  • Organizing ideas: Why is the story told that way? Why are the ideas expressed in that order? Is there a better way to tell this story or present these ideas?

Identifying and Creating Arguments

  • Evidence, main ideas, and details: How does the writer prove his or her point? Is the argument persuasive? Is the evidence convincing?
  • Conclusions and inferences: Does the argument make any suggestions that aren’t directly stated? If the argument is true, what else would be affected?
  • Data, graphs, or pictures: How are these non-text elements used? What is their purpose? Are they effective?
  • Other applications: Could this argument be used in any other situations? Would it have to be changed? How?

Grammar and Language

GED® is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education (ACE) and administered exclusively by GED Testing Service LLC under license. This material is not endorsed or approved by ACE or GED Testing Service.