Building your ideas in an essay takes a few lessons for many people. In the past, I noticed while researching GED instruction in the City of New York that there were problems. One program that seemed to miss the point was the GAP program in Jamaica, Queens. In that important center adults could take a short program (one week) to determine if they could take the real test right away. The model was pass the practice test and go take the real test and I applaud that. I accomplished that in my class in the Jamaica Housing Project in the 1990s. What the GAP program could have done to increase success was to provide an important lesson to take home before the candidates even entered the program. Self-study is one of the key reasons that many people succeed. That lesson would have illustrated to the candidates what a good essay looks like or is. Writing one paragraph may be full of very good ideas but it does not lead to success on the practice test or the real test.
Writing a successful paragraph is one of the fundamentals and then writing five paragraphs is suggested. The introduction (1), the body (3), and the conclusion (1). There are the five paragraphs. Knowing this will keep examinees away from failure which means waiting to take the test again and losing the opportunity to either get a job, enter a school or university, or being admitted to the military.
The essay used to be an integral part of taking the Writing test, but now those two are separate. You have to pass the Writing test with a score of 500 and pass the essay with a score of 2 out of 8.