your level of
By the end of the course, my students were as
prepared and confident as they could be and
ready to slay the GED dragon, which many of
online assessment tool.
took the tests and gave my students
feedback. It is difficult to quantify the
value of the smiles and pride that my
students evidenced as they read the
collective e-mail to me from the other
instructor with responses from peers
who congratulated my students on their
tips and questions as well as shared
their fears, anxieties, and tensions.
As the course progressed with two
hours of content study and six hours
devoted to essay writing, the students
shifted test prep sites to suit their individual needs, learning styles, and tasks
for that session. Without my prompting, they compared and contrasted
easily the number of available levels
and content areas for each site:
• Test Prep Review had the most with
multiple Reading Practices (special
ones for main idea, comprehension), Structure, Commas, Basic
and Advanced Grammar
• GEDpractice.com had content
sessions broken into U.S. history,
world history, economics, civics
and government, geography, organization, mechanics, sentence structure, and usage
• ACE had single offerings for
They noted that some sites, such
as Test Prep Review, had no sample
essay prompts and model answers.
Others, such as the ACE GED Sample
Test Questions, had instructions on
a sample essay prompt and answers
that demonstrated not only what an
excellent model essay response to
the prompt would be, but how one
that would receive a low rubric rating
would compare and contrast to a top-rated one.
As the course rounded into its final
six hours, participants were given
many options as befitted their increasing capacity to make meaningful individual judgments about the value of a
particular site for individual practice.
By the time we focused on the science and mathematics strands of the
examination, the participants selected
individually or in teams those sites
they felt would fit their content needs
best based on their previous use.
By the end of the course, my students
were as prepared and confident as they
could be and ready to slay the GED
dragon, which many of them did!
—Dr. Rose Reissman is the director of the Museum in School Program, curriculum writer for
the New York Daily News, President of the New
York City Association of Teachers of English,
and the curriculum author of the Family Technology Driven Literacy Program developed by
Futurekids NYC for Inwood House Social Services Community Center.