What Do They Ask on the GED Test?

by Fitzalan Gorman, Demand Media

The General Educational Development exam tests your knowledge of the core high school subject areas. This test features five sections: mathematics, reading, writing, social studies and science. You are asked about a variety of high school topics on each section. To receive your GED diploma, you must pass all the sections.

Math Section

The math section of the GED test has two parts, each with 25 questions. You have 45 minutes to complete each section. Both multiple-choice and standard grid questions make up this portion of the GED test. Calculators can be used on the first section, but not on the second section. On the math section, you will be asked about number operations and number sense, measurement and geometry, statistics and probability, algebra, patterns and functions.

Language Arts, Reading Section

The reading section has 40 multiple-choice questions. You have 65 minutes to finish this section. On this section, you will be asked to comprehend and interpret a variety of documents. Seventy-five percent of this section focuses on literary texts, such as poetry, drama and prose fiction. The remaining 25 percent focuses on nonfiction text, such as performing arts reviews, work place documents and community documents. The questions test your ability to comprehend, analyze and synthesize text.

Language Arts, Writing Section

The writing section of the GED has two parts: multiple-choice questions and an essay. The multiple-choice section features 50 questions and you have 75 minutes to complete it. On the multiple-choice questions, you are asked to edit and revise three basic types of documents: workplace documents, how-to texts and information texts. You are also asked to correct and revise sentences by reorganizing their structure and selecting proper word choices. On the essay portion, you are asked to write a two-page essay on an assigned topic. You have 45 minutes to complete this section. Your essay needs to be well focused and clearly organized. Essay evaluators pay attention to your punctuation, grammar, spelling, sentence structure and word choice.

Science Section

The science section has 50 multiple-choice questions. You have 80 minutes to complete this section. This section tests your knowledge of basic scientific principles and theories. You will be asked about three high school science disciplines: physical science, life science and earth science. Forty-five percent of the questions are on life science, 35 percent on physical science and 20 percent on earth science. This section features short texts, charts, graphs and pictures. You will be asked to comprehend, evaluate, analyze and apply your science knowledge to this data.

Social Studies Section

The social studies section of the GED has 50 multiple-choice questions. You have 70 minutes to complete this section. This section tests your knowledge of global history, U.S. history, geography, civics and government and economics. You will be asked to read, analyze and evaluate newspapers, historical documents, maps, graphs and photographs.

About the Author

Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.

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