Better scores on your GED essay can be achieved with a little patience and a few good practice tips! The same skills you apply to any writing you do (journaling, blogging, creative writing, etc.) are helpful here – you already know how to come up with a Main Idea and organize your thoughts around it! Now you just need to practice using the GED prompts and timing guideline. Let’s look at some GED essay examples!
What is one major goal you would like to reach in the next few years?
In your essay, identify that goal. Explain how you plan to reach it. Use your personal observations, life experience, and knowledge to support yourself.
The only goal I have is to see my girlfriend Alice and I get married and have a healthy baby. It gets hard from time to time but we always manage to get through it. She’s already pregnant, but I do everything I can do that she and the baby are ok. I now it will be hard to do, but I am willing to take all responsibility and take care of her and my child. I think that this is the best goal I have in my life, because her and that little bundle of joy inside mean more to me than anything in the hole world.
Essay #1 Results:
This sample essay scored a 1. The most glaring problem is the length. You cannot write only one paragraph. It’s not enough space to truly develop a topic. The other main issue is the lack of organization – the writer is clearly rambling with not clear organizational plan. It’s obvious the writer did not take 5 minutes to plan out what he wanted to say. Finally, there are some obvious spelling and grammar errors (“hole” instead of “whole,” “now” instead of “know) that further damages the reader’s holistic impression of the writer’s ability.
I have one major goal I would like to accomplish in the next few years: win an NCAA softball championship. I have other, more far-reaching goals, but for the time being I plan to focus on softball.
Upon graduation, I will begin working towards my goal. In addition to playing for my high school team, I will also play for one or more travelling teams in the summer. This will give me the extra experience I will need when I enter as a freshman next fall at Transylvania University. Once I am there, I will work very hard. I plan on working out and practicing every day. I will also work hard in my classes, so that I remain eligible to play sports – this should not be a problem, for I am an excellent student!
Although Transylvania is only an NCAA Division III school, I feel that we have a legitimate shot at the championship title. I believe I will bring a lot to the program, and greatly further this chance. I am a pitcher, and have been clocked in the 62-65 mph range, and I throw many other pitches besides the fastball. If I continue to work hard and practice, which I know I will, I have no doubt that I will reach my goal. It is only a matter of time before my hard work and dedication begin to pay off…when they do, the results will be incredible. If I continue with my current work ethic, I will definitely bring home an NCAA championship.
Essay #2 Results:
This example essay scored a 3. The good: strong paragraphs/good organization, nice specifics with the “NCAA softball championship,” “Transylvania,” 62-65 mph range,” etc. The essay effectively answers the question posed by the prompt. The bad: too much generalization, redundancy, and cliché (“work hard…, “hard work and dedication,” etc.). The sentence structure is generally okay, but this essay could have been a 4 if it had developed its supporting examples more, gotten even more specific and detailed in word choice, and removed weakening self-referential phrases like “I feel,” “I believe,” etc. Using the first-person is acceptable for an essay about personal experience, but make sure you sound confident in your diction.
Final Note: Notice that there is no required minimum number of words for the GED essay. However, the essays with higher scores have several paragraphs, clear organization, and generally correct sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, and spelling (it’s easy to see the difference between the “1” essay and the “3” essay in these regards). For a 3 or a 4 essay, the reader can understand what the writer is saying and can follow the development of ideas. The essays with lower scores are more difficult to understand and do not contain developed ideas supported by specific examples.