The Extended Response section of the GED can be very intimidating. But as momma used to say, “practice makes perfect.” The more familiar you become with the writing process, the better your chances of passing! Use our practice GED essay topics to help perfect your writing skills!
How to practice for the Extended Response section
- Set a timer for 45 minutes. This is how long you have to write your essay during the actual GED exam. It is best to practice under conditions that mimic the real test.
- Whenever possible, type your practice responses. During the GED, all your essays will be written on the computer.
- Always outline your answer first. Taking a few minutes at the beginning to structure your essay can save you valuable writing time later.
- Vary your response topics. The GED asks test-takers to write on a variety of subject matter. Prepare yourself by finding different prompts that stretch your writing abilities.
- Keep in mind that successful prompts generally contain 4-7 paragraphs with 3-7 sentences each. Whenever you practice, aim for essays that are in the 400-500 word range.
- Use specific evidence from the text when writing. Doing so creates a stronger essay by showing you read and understand the information presented.
For a more in-depth view of extended responses, check out the RLA Guide for Adult Educators. This is a complete overview of how to write a GED essay, as well as how the essay will be scored. Guidelines are given so that you can follow as closely as possible to a real testing situation.
Where to find practice GED Essay topics
When looking for GED essay topics online, keep in mind that not all sites reflect updated GED information. Many sites still list pre-2014 GED requirements for written responses. Writing topics that ask you to respond with a personal opinion are no longer featured on the current GED.
A quality GED essay topic always provides 2 articles written with opposing opinions. Your task is to read both articles, then determine which opinion is best supported throughout the text. Your personal opinion is never asked for or shared in your response.
GED Testing Services
Start here first! GED Testing Service is always a great place to find quality GED essay topics. This site has 5 different reading passages. Covering a range of topics, these passages provide conflicting arguments on issues such as cell phone usage, game-based learning, parenting, internet use and hosting the Olympics. Like many essay prompts, analyze the passages, then develop an essay based on which position is best supported by the text.
GED Practice Questions
In this prompt, two articles highlight differing perspectives on police militarization. In addition to regular essay instructions, a sample response is provided for review. The sample essay is a good example of what GED essays should look like. Compare your essay with the sample to see which areas need improvement.
GED Test for Dummies
Taken directly from their book, Dummies authors present arguments for and against making cyberbullying a criminal defense. After reading both arguments, write your essay explaining which opinion is best supported. Always use specific evidence found in the text to validate your essay.
For tips on how to determine which argument is stronger, Dummies also provides step-by-step guided instruction in essay writing.
How to Pass the GED
The topics here vary from Miranda Rights to Santa Claus. For each GED essay topic, two opposing opinions are shared. You write on the one that is better represented. In addition to the prompts, the site explains the process that goes into writing a 5-paragraph GED essay for the Extended Response section.
Another bonus: essays for BOTH sides of the argument are provided. Each essay is outlined and thoroughly explained according to the site’s guidelines. For a comprehensive view of how to compose an essay, this is a great site to visit.
ACE Leon Evidence-Based Writing Prompts
Although these prompts are not framed in the true GED extended response format, they still offer a great way to practice. There are over 7 different writing topics to choose from. Because this is evidence-based writing, structures are in place to help guide your responses.
Create your own GED essay topics
If you get to a point where you can’t find any more practice writing prompts, consider making up your own. GED essay topics generally reflect current events. Find an article that expresses an opinion on any topic, and write an essay analyzing that information.
Practicing the components of quality essay writing is helpful no matter what topic you focus on. Just make sure you cite evidence from the article in your essay!
We have lots more GED information waiting for you! Check out any of our great Magoosh blogs for loads of GED tips, guides and resources.
About Beth Gonzales
Beth is an educator and freelance creative designer who devises innovative and fun-loving solutions for clients. She works with families, students, teachers and small businesses to create and implement programs, campaigns and experiences that help support and maximize efforts to grow communities who critically think, engage and continue to learn.
Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!
|GED Essay Topics|
Below are the instructions as you will see them on the actual GED test. To give yourself some experience with the testing situation, find a quiet place that you can write for 45 minutes. Read the directions, then randomly choose a topic. Do not look through the topics before you choose. This will help you with the testing situation because you are assigned a topic at the test; there is no choice.
Use the Plan for Success below to ensure a good essay. When it's complete, turn it in to me either handwritten or via email. I'll give you feedback and a score according to the GED scoring rubric.
45 minute Plan for Success
Read directions and topic: 3 minutes
Prewriting (freewriting, brainstorming, clustering or mapping, etc.): 5 minutes
Organize (write a thesis statement or controlling idea and outline main ideas): 3 minutes
Draft (write the essay): 20 minutes
Revise (read through the essay and make changes to ideas): 8 minutes
Edit (check for correctness in grammar and spelling): 6 minutes
GED Essay Testing Simulation
Essay Directions and Topic
Look at the box on the following page. In the box are your assigned topic and the letter of that topic. (For this assignment, choose one of the links below.)
You must write on the assigned topic ONLY.
*Mark the letter of your assigned topic in the appropriate space on your answer sheet booklet. Be certain that all other requested information is properly recorded in your answer sheer booklet.
You will have 45 minutes to write on your assigned essay topic. *If you have time remaining in this test period after you complete your essay, you may return to the multiple-choice section. Do not return the Language Arts, Writing Test booklet until you finish both Parts I and II of the Language Arts, Writing Test.
Two evaluators will score your essay according to its overall effectiveness. Their evaluation will be based on the following features:
· Well-focused main points
· Clear organization
· Specific development of your ideas
· Control of sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, word choice and spelling
*REMEMBER, YOU MUST COMPLETE BOTH THE MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS (PART I) AND THE ESSAY (PART II) TO RECEIVE A SCORE ON THE LANGUAGE ARTS, WRITING TEST. To avoid having to repeat both parts of the test, be sure to do the following:
· Do not leave pages blank.
· Write legibly in ink so that the evaluators will be able to read your writing.
· Write on the assigned topic. If you write on a topic other than the one assigned, you will not receive a score for the Language Arts, Writing Test.
· Write your essay on the lined pages of the separate answer sheet booklet. Only the writing on these pages will be scored.
You may return to the multiple-choice section after you complete your essay if you have time remaining in this test period. Do not return the Language Arts, Writing booklet until you finish both Parts I and II of the Language Arts, Writing Test.
*Indicates instructions included in actual testing situation and not necessarily used for simulation.
Source: Official GED Practice Test: Language Arts, Writing; American Council on Education
Choose ONE topic below and do not change your choice.