GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Overview

The GED Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA) test evaluates your reading and writing proficiency. Comprising reading comprehension (literacy), writing, and grammar, the RLA (Reasoning Through Language Arts) section is pivotal for effective communication throughout life. You are allotted 150 minutes, or 2.5 hours, to complete this longest segment of the 4-test GED exam. The GED RLA subtest consists of two parts with a total of 46 questions. These questions gauge your abilities in writing, reading, and analytical reasoning through the examination of provided texts.

The Structure of the The GED RLA Test 

On the GED RLA subtest, there are three sections that you’ll have to complete in 150 minutes (2.5 hours). Between parts 2 and 3, there’ll be a short, 10-minute break. You’ll also have to write your GED Essay (extended response), for which you’ll be given 45 minutes. The Language Arts subtest comes with a variety of question types such as multiple-choice, short answer, draggable, select an area, hot spot, and more. First, you’ll receive two stimulus passages, after which you’ll get a prompt with instructions. The passages are each 4–5 short paragraphs in length with opposing views on a current issue. One passage opposes the other. Carefully read and analyze both passages and determine which position is best supported. You must use evidence from the passages to support your choice. You have 45 minutes to plan, draft, and edit your response.

Review written texts and select words and phrases to make sentences and expressions correct regarding grammar and language use. You’ll also have to produce your GED essay based on a prompt. You’ll have to read one or two passages about some contemporary issue or read a passage that has a visual element (e.g., a graphic), and write your 5-paragraph to measure your writing skills. After a 10-minute break, the second part of the RLA exam starts. This section includes only questions about correct language use and reading comprehension.

How to Write a Good GED Essay

In composing your GED essay, often referred to as the “Extended Response,” the conventional method involves adopting a 5-paragraph structure for crafting an essay ranging from 300 to 500 words. After reviewing the provided stimulus containing two distinct arguments on a subject, your task is to elucidate why one argument holds more strength than the other. It’s crucial to note that this analysis is not based on personal opinions but requires a thorough assessment of the two positions presented by the author. Generating your examples is unnecessary, as the arguments are already provided in the stimulus.

Whether in test centers or online, you will receive the stimulus material for your essay along with a prompt. The stimulus presents opposing opinions on a subject, while the prompt provides specific instructions on how to approach the task. Machine scoring is employed for the GED Extended Response, emphasizing the importance of accuracy over creativity. Thus, focus on using proper sentence structure and grammar to achieve a favorable score.

Your GED Essay structure should include an introduction, a body, and a concluding paragraph. The introduction serves to present the topic and state your thesis statement or claim, where you assert your position. In the body of the essay, allocate space for presenting arguments and evidence supporting your claim, spanning at least 2 or 3 paragraphs. Conclude the essay by summarizing your main arguments and points, reiterating your claim in the concluding paragraph.

How long is the GED Language Arts Test?

The GED Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA) subtest has a duration of 2.5 hours, consisting of two parts with a brief 10-minute break in between. The initial part spans 45 minutes, during which you are required to write your essay. In total, the GED RLA test comprises approximately 46 to 53 questions. These questions assess your reading and analytical thinking skills, covering both single passages and paired passages. Additionally, you must review written passages and choose phrases and words to ensure grammatical and textual correctness in English. For online GED Language Arts support, consider asking expert help. offers online GED Language Arts support for you.

How is the GED Language Arts Scored?

As previously mentioned, the GED Language Arts Test comprises approximately 46 to 53 questions, spanning three main categories: Reading, Writing, and Grammar. The number of questions you need to answer correctly for a passing score (145) is influenced by your essay score. A higher essay score corresponds to a lower requirement for correct answers, while a lower essay score necessitates a higher number of correct answers. Generally, you should aim for between 32 and 42 correct answers to pass the GED RLA test. To obtain your GED credential, achieving a passing score for each subject is crucial, with a minimum requirement of 145 points. Any score of 144 or lower in a subject indicates a non-passing result. However, it’s essential to stay optimistic, as you are allowed multiple retakes for any subject.

Read more: How is the GED Scored?

Is the GED Language Arts Test Hard?

Is the GED English the hard? Similar to the other three GED subject tests, passing the GED Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA) test doesn’t have to be challenging, but thorough preparation is the key. The GED Language Arts subtest evaluates your proficiency and capabilities in three primary areas. The three primary areas are: close reading, clear writing, and comprehension and application of standard written English. Taking practice tests is essential for excellence. Familiarize yourself with reading prompts and crafting essays by extensively practicing with sample tests.

Consider the prompt’s requirements and gather evidence from the text to support your argument or ideas. Some prompts may ask for specific evidence or a quote in your response, while others may require you to compare or analyze passages. If you need help with the online GED English test, hire our expert GED test takers are prepared to take it on your behalf. Rely on the proficiency of our GED English experts to secure your GED without undergoing the test personally.