Reasoning through language arts

In alignment with career- and college-readiness standards, the GED® RLA assessment focuses on three essential groupings of skills:

  1. The ability to read closely
  2. The ability to write clearly
  3. The ability to edit and understand the use of standard written English in context

Because the strongest predictor of career and college readiness is the ability to read and comprehend complex texts, especially nonfiction, the RLA Test includes texts from both academic and workplace contexts. These texts reflect a range of complexity levels, in terms of ideas, syntax and style. The writing tasks, or Extended Response (ER) items, require test-takers to analyze given source texts and use evidence drawn from the text(s) to support their answers.

Given these priorities, the GED® RLA Test adheres to the following parameters:

READING COMPREHENSION ON THE GED® RLA TEST

The reading comprehension component of the GED® RLA Test is intended to measure two overarching reading standards that appear in the Common Core State Standards as Anchor Reading Standards 1 and 10, respectively:

  1. Determine the details of what is explicitly stated and make logical inferences or valid claims that square with textual evidence
  2. Read and respond to questions from a range of texts that are from the upper levels of complexity, including texts at the career- and college-ready level of text complexity.

These two high-level standards broadly govern all aspects of passage selection and item development in the reading comprehension component of the GED® RLA Test. As candidates are asked to determine the main idea, the point of view, the meaning of words and phrases, and other inferences and claims, they are asked to do so based on texts that span a range of complexity, including texts at the career- and college-readiness level.

 

WRITING ON THE GED® RLA TEST

The writing component integrates reading and writing into meaningful tasks that require candidates to support their written analysis with evidence drawn from a given source text(s) of appropriate complexity provided in the test. Also, given the growing demand and use of technology in all levels of postsecondary education and careers, the GED® test is administered by computer. Therefore, as in the reading component of the RLA Test, the following two high-level standards, which correspond with Common Core Anchor Standards 9 and 6 respectively, broadly govern all aspects of the writing tasks. 

  1. Draw relevant and sufficient evidence from a literary or information text to support analysis and reflection.
  2. Use technology to produce writing, demonstrating sufficient command of keyboarding skills.

Candidate responses are scored by a multi-trait rubric that focuses on three elements:

 

LANGUAGE CONVENTIONS AND USAGE ON THE GED® RLA TEST

The language component of the GED® RLA Test measures a candidate’s ability to demonstrate command of a foundational set of conventions of standard English that have been identified as most important for career- and college-readiness by higher education instructors of post-secondary entry-level, credit-bearing composition courses. This core set of skills includes essential components of grammar, usage, capitalization and punctuation.

The GED® RLA Test includes editing items in an authentic context in which highlighted words or phrases appear in dropdown menus offering alternatives, which include a clear best choice alongside common errors or misconceptions.