The Extended Response section of the GED can be very intimidating. But as momma used to say, “practice makes perfect.” The more familiar you become with the writing process, the better your chances of passing! Use our practice GED essay topics to help perfect your writing skills!
How to practice for the Extended Response section
- Set a timer for 45 minutes. This is how long you have to write your essay during the actual GED exam. It is best to practice under conditions that mimic the real test.
- Whenever possible, type your practice responses. During the GED, all your essays will be written on the computer.
- Always outline your answer first. Taking a few minutes at the beginning to structure your essay can save you valuable writing time later.
- Vary your response topics. The GED asks test-takers to write on a variety of subject matter. Prepare yourself by finding different prompts that stretch your writing abilities.
- Keep in mind that successful prompts generally contain 4-7 paragraphs with 3-7 sentences each. Whenever you practice, aim for essays that are in the 400-500 word range.
- Use specific evidence from the text when writing. Doing so creates a stronger essay by showing you read and understand the information presented.
For a more in-depth view of extended responses, check out the RLA Guide for Adult Educators. This is a complete overview of how to write a GED essay, as well as how the essay will be scored. Guidelines are given so that you can follow as closely as possible to a real testing situation.
Where to find practice GED Essay topics
When looking for GED essay topics online, keep in mind that not all sites reflect updated GED information. Many sites still list pre-2014 GED requirements for written responses. Writing topics that ask you to respond with a personal opinion are no longer featured on the current GED.
A quality GED essay topic always provides 2 articles written with opposing opinions. Your task is to read both articles, then determine which opinion is best supported throughout the text. Your personal opinion is never asked for or shared in your response.
GED Testing Services
Start here first! GED Testing Service is always a great place to find quality GED essay topics. This site has 5 different reading passages. Covering a range of topics, these passages provide conflicting arguments on issues such as cell phone usage, game-based learning, parenting, internet use and hosting the Olympics. Like many essay prompts, analyze the passages, then develop an essay based on which position is best supported by the text.
GED Practice Questions
In this prompt, two articles highlight differing perspectives on police militarization. In addition to regular essay instructions, a sample response is provided for review. The sample essay is a good example of what GED essays should look like. Compare your essay with the sample to see which areas need improvement.
GED Test for Dummies
Taken directly from their book, Dummies authors present arguments for and against making cyberbullying a criminal defense. After reading both arguments, write your essay explaining which opinion is best supported. Always use specific evidence found in the text to validate your essay.
For tips on how to determine which argument is stronger, Dummies also provides step-by-step guided instruction in essay writing.
How to Pass the GED
The topics here vary from Miranda Rights to Santa Claus. For each GED essay topic, two opposing opinions are shared. You write on the one that is better represented. In addition to the prompts, the site explains the process that goes into writing a 5-paragraph GED essay for the Extended Response section.
Another bonus: essays for BOTH sides of the argument are provided. Each essay is outlined and thoroughly explained according to the site’s guidelines. For a comprehensive view of how to compose an essay, this is a great site to visit.
ACE Leon Evidence-Based Writing Prompts
Although these prompts are not framed in the true GED extended response format, they still offer a great way to practice. There are over 7 different writing topics to choose from. Because this is evidence-based writing, structures are in place to help guide your responses.
Create your own GED essay topics
If you get to a point where you can’t find any more practice writing prompts, consider making up your own. GED essay topics generally reflect current events. Find an article that expresses an opinion on any topic, and write an essay analyzing that information.
Practicing the components of quality essay writing is helpful no matter what topic you focus on. Just make sure you cite evidence from the article in your essay!
We have lots more GED information waiting for you! Check out any of our great Magoosh blogs for loads of GED tips, guides and resources.
About Beth Gonzales
Beth is an educator and freelance creative designer who devises innovative and fun-loving solutions for clients. She works with families, students, teachers and small businesses to create and implement programs, campaigns and experiences that help support and maximize efforts to grow communities who critically think, engage and continue to learn.
Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!
News reports frequently show police wearing helmets and masks, wielding assault rifles, and riding in mine-resistant armored vehicles. These are not isolated incidents — they represent a nationwide trend of police militarization. Federal programs providing surplus military equipment have equipped police officers with firepower that is far beyond what is needed for their jobs as protectors of their communities. Sending a heavily armed team of officers to perform routine police work can dangerously escalate situations that never needed to involve violence in the first place.
Throughout the United States, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. Military-style police raids have increased dramatically in recent years, with one report finding over 80,000 such raids last year. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged. Sometimes children are in the crossfire — often with deadly results.
Our neighborhoods are not warzones, and the police should not be treating us like wartime enemies. And yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to local police departments. The main beneficiaries of this militarization are military contractors who now have another lucrative market in which to sell their products. Companies like Lockheed Martin and Blackhawk Industries are making record profits by selling their equipment to local police departments that have received Department of Homeland Security grants.
Police departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color. According to a recent ACLU report, “of all the incidents studied where the number and race of the people impacted were known, 39 percent were Black, 11 percent were Latino, 20 were white.” The majority of raids that targeted blacks and Latinos were related to drugs — another metric exposing how the “war on drugs” is racist to the core.
(adapted from https://www.aclu.org/feature/war-comes-home)
The Truth about Police Militarization
by David Hagner
Over the last few years the role of police in American society has increasingly drawn harsh criticism. Much is made of the militarization of police, from their acquisition and use of surplus military equipment, their training with and adopting similar tactics to the military, and intrusive search procedures. These criticisms are disproportionate and do not take into account the everyday facts of policing, including:
- The nature of the threat has changed: Terrorist attacks on American soil have risen in frequency. Though none have been as destructive as those of 9/11, many more recent attacks have occurred at the local level and have to be confronted by police. When these incidents occur, officers need the best available equipment in order to neutralize heavily armed opponents before they can inflict serious harm on civilians.
- There is little evidence that new procedures have increased causalities: Statistics of police killings of civilians do not show any significant increase, while deaths of officers in the line of duty are at an all-time low, indicating the newer procedures have helped save lives.
- The vast majority of police-civilian interactions are peaceful: Criticisms about the overuse of SWAT teams and officers decked out in military gear ignore the fact that most officers patrol the streets in standard uniforms and interact peacefully with multiple civilians during a given day. Rates of violent crime are down in most parts of the country. Violent confrontations are the exception, not the rule.
- Taking valuable tools away from police officers endangers lives: The stability of police shootings of civilians, the decline in violent crime, and the decline in police officer fatalities all suggest that current procedures are working. If officers lose the tactics and equipment they have come to rely on, these trends could be adversely affected and officers could be put in harm’s way without adequate protection.
Police exist to serve their communities, and while accusations of over-militarization are exaggerated, officers do still need to focus heavily on community outreach and dialogue. The only way misconceptions can be corrected is through transparency, so civilians can see and understand why certain approaches are warranted.
The articles present arguments from supporters and critics of police militarization.
In your response, analyze both articles to determine which position is best supported. Use relevant and specific evidence from both articles to support your response.
Type your response. You should expect to spend up to 45 minutes planning, drafting, and editing your response.
Write your essay and then review our sample response!
GED Sample Essay >>