Updated August 2022
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Buying guide for Best GED prep books

Are you preparing to take the General Educational Development (GED) test? It can be intimidating to sit for any exam, but with the right preparation and study materials, you can be a successful test taker. Choosing the right GED prep book will boost your confidence as you master each section and strategy.

GED prep books cover essential information on the test as it relates to subject areas, dividing each section into smaller, more accessible chunks. They often come with practice questions and explanations to help you understand how to arrive at the correct answers. Many guides also come with test-taking strategies and have online platforms for advanced studying to provide an in-depth approach to the entire exam experience.

Sharpen your pencils and get ready to dive into our buying guide on GED prep books. We’re sure you’ll be more confident when you sit the exam knowing you’ve done everything you can to prepare.

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Develop a study calendar leading up to your exam. Dedicate time daily or weekly to study, and schedule extra sessions on subject areas in which you need the most help.

Key considerations

GED prep book sections

Subject areas: GED prep books cover the subject areas that appear on the exam, including language arts, math, science, and social studies. Each section is divided into smaller portions that focus on major subdivisions of each subject area, like chemistry, world history, or algebra. These sections typically have practice questions at the end as well.

Test-taking strategies: An increasingly important section in GED prep books is strategies for taking the test. In some books, this section is just a couple of pages, while in others it fills entire chapters. It’s an especially important section for those who haven’t taken an exam in a long time because it helps prepare you by revisiting test formats, the importance of time management, and overall decision-making strategies.

Practice tests: For the most part, you’ll find at least one practice test in every GED prep book, though some books contain multiple versions of the exam. Practice tests are modeled after the actual GED test to provide a realistic testing experience. In some books, the practice tests are abridged versions of the exam with only a fraction of the number of questions. Other books include full-length GED exams.

Reasoning: There are two main reasoning sections on the GED test: Reasoning Through Language Arts and Mathematical Reasoning. In GED prep books, these sections are meant to help test takers arrive at the right answer through logic. They include diagrams, graphs, literary excerpts, or passages that require you to employ critical thinking skills to answer questions. Because this is how they appear on the real GED test, test takers are well prepared for this unique format.

Choosing a GED prep book style

Text: GED prep books that are mostly text are ideal if you need to catch up on all subject areas. These books are also preferred by people who work well independently rather than in a GED prep class. As this style of GED book requires the most reading, you’ll need to dedicate a reasonable amount of time to get through the entire book, which could be as long as 400 pages.

Questions: If you’re not sold on the idea of a text-heavy book, consider going the Q & A route. GED prep books that are mostly made up of questions are ideal if you need periodic breaks while you study because it’s easy to resume where you left off. A question-heavy book is also ideal if you’ve completed your study of the main subject areas and are ready to graduate to realistic test preparation.

Choosing a GED prep book format

Flashcards: Flashcard guides are popular alternatives to traditional GED prep books. They stick to the bare essentials as a question-driven study guide. They’re also ideal if you’re interested in studying on the go because they’re much easier to pack into a bag than a large tome. Some people use flashcards toward the end of their studying time as they approach the test date, while other people rely solely on flashcards.

Online platforms: Some GED prep books are interactive online learning platforms. These either come as a bonus feature of a book or as a stand-alone study guide. These platforms offer a variety of study tools, including printable flashcards, forums, and timed online tests.

GED prep book prices

GED prep books cost between $10 and $30. The more you spend, the more preparatory materials you get.


Budget-friendly guides cost $12 or less. These mostly focus on subject area content, though they also include practice questions and a couple practice exams.


These guides, which cost between $12 and $18, tend to have more practice questions and more detailed answers.


The most expensive GED prep books cost between $18 and $30. These include all the bells and whistles of practice questions and exams, test-taking strategy sections, interactive online platforms, and sometimes flashcards.


  • Conduct a personal inventory before buying a prep book. Think of where you stand in terms of your knowledge base and how you feel as a test taker. These details will help you choose a prep book tailored to your study needs.
  • Try a guide with flashcards. If you’re not married to the idea of reading a text-heavy guide, try one that either comes with flashcards or is made up of hundreds of practice questions that can be turned into flashcards.
  • Read the test-taking strategy section. Even if you’re a swift and proficient test taker, there’s always something to be learned in terms of strategy.
  • Photocopy the practice questions. Instead of writing the correct answers in your book, photocopy these sections so you can practice them more than once.
  • Discover which type of learner you are. Knowing how you learn helps you study more effectively. If you’re a visual learner, for example, you may find success in writing out your own flashcards.
  • Study when you’re well rested. You are most productive studying after a good night’s rest, because your mind and body are better prepared to focus on reading and answering questions.
  • Go over each section more than once. Reinforcement is incredibly helpful, especially in subjects that require the most study.
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Schedule your GED exam so you have a goal to work toward. As the date approaches, the reality of the test sets in, which motivates you to continue studying.


Q. Do I really need a GED prep book if I’m comfortable with all the subject areas already?

A. Yes, especially since GED prep books contain far more than just subject-related content. The test-taking strategies, calculator tutorials, and practice exams will help prepare you as well. Reading through the guide could also give you peace of mind when you begin to notice the right answers are easier to find for each question.

Q. I can’t access the online platform that came with my GED prep book. Now what do I do?

A. Some access codes have expiration dates, so contact the publisher for an updated one. You could also encounter the issue if your prep book is outdated and the online platform has since been removed. To minimize potential accessibility issues, select the most current GED prep book available.

Q. Is the GED prep book the only resource I need to prepare for the test?

A. That depends on you. Some people do well with the book alone, while others are more successful if they enroll in GED courses or utilize continuing education resources. There are also some test takers who use the book and work one-on-one with a tutor who can assist with reasoning and detailed explanations.

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