Applying Ideas of a Text to GED® Questions: Lesson Three

Part One: Example Questions

Here are some examples of what these types of questions might look like on the GED® test.

  • Which of the following situations is most similar to the author’s experience?
  • What might the author have felt about…
  • What is a likely comment the author could have said about his situation?
  • Based on what we know, which of the following statements might the author agree?

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Part Two: Understanding How to Apply Ideas

Applying Ideas to a text is not as complicated as we readers tend to make it. When we are applying ideas to a text, all we are really doing is taking the information that we already know and then putting it in a different situation.

To make better sense of this process, let’s compare the process of reading to the experience of dating. Okay, stay with me here.

Let’s pretend you’ve been talking with someone on an online dating service. You know a handful of things about this person: what they do for a living, where they grew up, some activities they like to do with their friends. And now, after a few weeks of talking, you are ready to go on a date. This person has asked you to plan the date. You really want to impress this person, right? So what do you do? You take everything that you ALREADY know about them and then put all of the information into a new situation (which is the first date). Here, you have applied your ideasinto a new situation.

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””> So, when you’re reading a text be sure to consider everything you know about the text. Be an active reader, don’t just simply skim the passage. Pick out details and important information, look for humor or satire, examine the piece for as much information as you can, just like you would if you were having a conversation with a stranger. Then, when it comes time for a question, take all of that information and use it to find different ideas about the text, just like you would do if you were planning a date.

Makes sense, right?

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Part Three: GED® Practice Questions

When I arrived at the station, I was overcome by the noise. The train exited abruptly behind me, leaving a cloud of smoke to sit beside me in the heavy heat. (3) A family with mocha hair and thrilled smiles embraced one another: arms entangled like the spaghetti they would have for dinner later tonight. A man with a dog read the station time. (5)His dog, panted in short breaths, puff, puff, puff, a locomotive releasing steam to travel. Even animals were keenly aware of the rising temperatures of the season. I felt comforted by his natural instincts.

Despite the heat, people stood closely to one another as they waited for the train. Watching them from my bench, I felt relief that my train travels had ended for now. (10)They were sardines in a can, and I was happy to be admiring distance. I tried to acquaint myself with the culture around me. I had been planning my trip to Rome for three years, and now that I was here, I more than excited by my dream. I pulled my travel book from the front pouch of my hiking bag. I ruffled through some pages, then placed it back in my bag. It was too hot to make a decision, so I stood and began down the street. According to the map I had consulted on the train, my hostel was only three blocks from the station. I read a street sign, named after a historical figure, and walked down the street. My adventure was finally beginning and I was ready for what was to come.

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1. What statements below would the author most like agree?

A. Traveling new places is stressful and not worth the energy to plan.
B. Traveling may be overwhelming, but it is also exciting.
C. The only good thing about traveling is people watching.

Answer: B. Traveling may be overwhelming, but it is also exciting.

2. Based on what we know, what can we conclude about the author?

A. Even though he is excited, he is terribly homesick for his girlfriend.
B. He was regretting his trip.
C. He is experiencing some culture shock, despite his excitement.

Answer: C. He is experiencing some culture shock, despite his excitement.

3. What can we assume about the setting of the passage?

A. It was the middle of a hot, Italian summer.
B. The heater on the train was broken.
C. The author was lost in a train station and didn’t speak Italian.

Answer: A. It was the middle of a hot, Italian summer.

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