GED Reading : Flatland

I came across the strangest book the other day! It made me so confused, but it also really made me think. Here’s the beginning of it.

I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space.
Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows — only hard and with luminous edges — and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen. Alas! a few years ago, I should have said, “my universe;” but now my mind has been opened to higher views of things.
In such a country, you will perceive at once that it is impossible that there should be anything of what you call a “solid” kind; but I dare say you will suppose that we could at least distinguish by sight the Triangles, Squares, and other figures moving about as I have described them. On the contrary, we could see nothing of the kind, not at least so as to distinguish one figure from another. Nothing was visible, nor could be visible, to us, except straight Lines; and the necessity of this I will speedily demonstrate.
Place a penny on the middle of one of your tables in Space; and leaning over it, look down upon it. It will appear a circle.
But now, drawing back to the edge of the table, gradually lower your eye (thus bringing yourself more and more into the condition of the inhabitants of Flatland), and you will find the penny becoming more and more oval to your view; and at last when you have placed your eye exactly on the edge of a table (so that you are, as it were, actually a Flatland citizen) the penny will then have ceased to appear oval at all, and will have become, so far as you can see, a straight line. Continue reading

GED Social Studies: Health Care

Hey there! You’re all workin’ on your GED, and so money’s probably tight. Though when I was working as a truck driver, I was doin’ okay. What happened was, my back went out. Now, there’s no way I can drive a truck, so I gotta work on doing something else. That’s when I found out I needed my GED for any decent job. For options, you know. Because things go wrong. Well, when my back first went out, let me tell you, dealing with the insurance company and doctors and medical bills… it was no easy thing. That’s why I was interested in this article I read… and I feel pretty lucky, because bein’ put outta work and havin’ medical expenses, it could’ve been a lot worse.

Here’s a good GED social studies article… it talks about how according to one stud, 60% of bankruptcies are because of medical bills, even though a lot of the people have medical insurance: Medical bills prompt more than 60% of U.S. bankruptcies (CNN) … now, how bout a GED practice question about it?

The study may overestimate the number of bankruptcies caused by medical bills yet underestimate the financial burden of health care on American families, because most people struggle along but don’t end up declaring bankruptcy, according to Cunningham.

“Bankruptcy is the most extreme or final step for people who are having problems paying medical bills,” he says. “Medical bills and medical costs are an issue that can very easily and in pretty short order overwhelm a lot families who are on otherwise solid financial ground, including those with private insurance.”

Which of the following is the best conclusion based on Cunningham’s viewpoint?

1) Health care financial problems can be solved by more families having private insurance.

2) No bankruptcies are truly caused by medical expenses.

3) Families that incur high medical expenses usually have unstable finances.

4) No study could accurately estimate the contribution of health care expenses to bankruptcy.

5) Private insurance alone is not a complete solution to the financial burden of health care costs.

So, have you thought about the question? What do you think is the right answer? Read more to find out how I approached it… Continue reading

GED Reading Practice Question 9: Point of View

Here’s one of the really important things on the GED test! This isn’t just in the GED reading test, but it’s in the science test and especially the social science test. That’s understanding someone’s “point of view.” What I mean is, understanding where someone’s coming from, what they’re trying to say. Do you remember talking about “inference” on the GED? That’s kind of like reading between the lines… understanding what isn’t really said straight out, but something that’s pretty obvious from what you read. Well, point of view is like that, too. Continue reading