Birmingham Public Library
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Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Literacy & Outreach
Language Arts, Reading Test

The GED Language Arts, Reading Test contains 40 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 65 minutes. The test measures your ability to comprehend and interpret workplace and academic reading selections and to apply those interpretations in new contexts. The questions ask you to understand, apply, analyze, and synthesize information that you are given in the reading selections.

Literary texts constitute 75% of each test and include at least one selection from each of the following areas:

  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Prose fiction before 1920
  • Prose fiction between 1920 and 1960
  • Prose fiction after 1960

The remaining 25% consists of nonfiction texts of two selections of nonfiction prose from any two of the following areas:

  • Nonfiction prose
  • Critical review of visual and performing arts
  • Workplace and community documents, such as mission and goal statements, rules for employee behavior, legal documents, and communications such as, letters and excerpts from manuals

The reading selections range from 200 to 400 words. Poetry selections contain from 8 to 25 lines. A purpose question appears in bold before each selection. You are not asked to answer the purpose question. It is to help you focus and shows you what you should be thinking about as you read the text. Each text selection is followed by four to eight questions that you are supposed to answer.

GED Sample Test Questions for the Language Arts, Reading Test:

For more information on reading, go to:

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Page Last Modified: 1/23/2014 4:24 PM