GED: The Language of the Test, List 4

These words are likely to appear in question stems, answer options, and test directions on the GED Test. Master these important terms to ensure you understand the language of the test.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. evaluate
    estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of
    To evaluate something is to give a subjective assessment of that thing. On the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test, you might need to evaluate the claims in a passage. On the writing portion of the test, you will need to evaluate two passages that discuss an issue and offer your own perspective.
  2. concept
    an abstract or general idea inferred from specific instances
    A concept is a general idea, apart from specific examples. Your particular sandwich may have peanut butter and jelly on it, but the concept of "a sandwich" is food between pieces of bread. Examples are important, but when you are talking concepts, you are talking about what those examples have in common.
  3. determine
    find out or learn with certainty, as by making an inquiry
    To determine something is to figure it out. Determine usually implies something objective, not subjective. In other words, you don't "determine your feelings" about something. It's usually a fact you would determine. For example, you can use a thermometer to determine your temperature, or you can use data to determine which course of action will most effectively achieve a goal.
  4. imply
    express or state indirectly
    To imply something is to hint at it without directly stating it. You may be asked to figure out what a passage implies. In order to answer such a question, you will have to make inferences based on the clues the writer has provided you. Think of yourself as a textual detective!
  5. infer
    conclude by reasoning
    Don't confuse infer and imply. When you are asked to infer, you are interpreting what a writer has implied or hinted at. The idea, conclusion, or meaning that you infer is called an inference.
  6. inference
    a conclusion you can draw based on known evidence
    When you draw a conclusion based on evidence, you are making an inference. If you see your little brother with chocolate all over his mouth and hands, you might make an inference that he polished off the brownies.
  7. discussion
    an extended communication dealing with a particular topic
    A discussion can be a conversation between two people, or it can be an author's treatment of a topic in a book, article, or reading passage. If you see references to "the discussion of" a particular topic in a passage, just find the part of the passage where the author writes about that topic.
  8. identify
    recognize as being
    To identify something is to name it or recognize it. You might need to identify the tone or purpose of a passage, to identify specific evidence an author uses to support a claim, or to identify a specific area of a chart, graph, or map. On the language and grammar portion of the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts, you will need to identify the changes necessary to improve ungrammatical or awkward sentences.
  9. assumption
    a statement that is held to be true
    An assumption is something taken to be true, a belief. Sometimes assumptions are stated by an author and sometimes you have to infer them.
  10. distinct
    not alike; different in nature or quality
    To be distinct is to be separate or different from something else. Your twin cousins might look alike, but their personalities are totally distinct. On a standardized test, you might be asked to identify ways two ideas or things are different — in other words, how they are distinct.
  11. interpret
    make sense of; assign a meaning to
    When you decide what something means, you interpret it. You might interpret a character's actions to reveal something significant about her personality, or you might interpret the data from a scientific experiment to decide whether or not your hypothesis was accurate.
  12. establish
    set up or lay the groundwork for
    When you establish something in writing, you make it clear. A writer can establish tone, perspective, facts, and more. For example, you might notice that a writer uses the word "we" in a passage to establish a sense of community or togetherness.
  13. development
    a process in which something passes to a different stage
    The word development on the GED Test will most likely refer to the development of ideas over the course of a reading passage. Typically, an author can't persuade you of his or her opinion in one sentence. Instead, he or she builds — or develops — an argument through logical reasoning and evidence.
  14. favor
    promote or prefer over another
    The verb favor means to prefer something, to like one thing more than another. A good way to remember this meaning of favor is that it makes up most of the word favorite (think of favoring as choosing your favorite). One author might favor a particular solution to a problem, while another argues in favor of a different solution.
  15. influence
    have and exert an effect
    Influence means "to have an effect on." On a standardized test, you may need to think about how one thing acts upon another. What is the influence of A on B? Does A strengthen the effect of B or does A weaken the effect of B? Since influence is a general word to describe all kinds of interactions, you could see it on many different sections of the GED Test.
  16. accompanying
    occurring at the same time, along with, or as a consequence
    Accompanying means "going along with" or "being a part of." A reading passage might be paired with accompanying graphics (tables, charts, graphs, etc.).
  17. data
    a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn
    Data usually refers to numbers. On standardized tests, you are most likely going to have to interpret data in the form of some type of informational graphic like a table, chart, or graph.
  18. graph
    a visual representation of the relations between quantities
    A graph is a visual aid that organizes data or information. It could be a line graph or a bar graph, or even a pie chart. Regardless of the type of graph you encounter, you will likely be asked to draw conclusions about the data it presents.
  19. table
    a set of data arranged in rows and columns
    A table is a set of facts or numbers displayed in columns and rows. Think of the tables you have to complete when writing a lab report.
  20. function
    what something is used for
    In reading passages on the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test, you may need to identify the function (or purpose) a certain paragraph serves in the passage as a whole. For example, the paragraph may provide support for the main claim of the argument, or it may provide a counterargument to be later refuted. You may also see the word function on the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test.
  21. significant
    important in effect or meaning
    Something significant is important or meaningful. It's a word to cue you to take notice.
  22. stance
    a rationalized mental attitude
    A stance is an attitude or a position on an issue of some kind. Stances can be political or personal. An author's stance on a particular topic is his or her opinion or point of view on the topic.
  23. mention
    make reference to
    To mention is to reference or bring up something. When you mention something, you won't necessarily be going into great detail. Understanding why a certain detail or idea was mentioned can be very helpful when answering questions on the reading passages.
  24. pattern
    a repeated design, structure, or arrangement
    On standardized tests, you will often be asked to find patterns, including patterns in the way an argument develops or in the types of evidence supporting a claim. On the GED Science Test, you may be asked to evaluate patterns in sets of data.
  25. portray
    depict in words
    To portray is to describe using words, in writing or verbally. To portray someone is to describe them in such a way that the reader is left with a general sense based on specific incidents or details. When you are analyzing literary narratives, you might need to evaluate how an author has portrayed a character.
Created on March 25, 2021 (updated March 25, 2021)

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