# Math GED Preparation

by Flora Richards-Gustafson, Demand Media

The GED math test has two separate sections that assess your ability to solve problems, interpret charts, graph equations and read tables. In the first section, you’re allowed to use an approved calculator. In the second section, you trade the calculator for scratch paper. The types of math that you must know to earn a passing score on the GED math exam include high school algebra, geometry and statistics.

## Practice Test

Before you begin studying for the GED exam, take a practice GED test at a center that offers preparatory classes. Community colleges, universities, school districts and community centers with adult education programs often have GED preparation courses. By taking a practice test, you’ll learn about the types of math problems that give you difficulties so you can focus your studies.

## Calculator Use

Since you’re allowed to use a calculator on the first part of the GED test, it’s to your advantage to know how to use the special functions. If you take the GED test on paper, the testing center will provide you with an approved calculator. When you take the GED test on a computer, you’ll have access to an on-screen calculator. The functions on the handheld and on-screen calculators are the same. To calculate an equation that has an expression in parenthesis, you have to tell the calculator the type of operation to perform. For example, if you want to calculate the equation 10(6+9), you must enter the following into the calculator: “10 x (6+9).” When you push the “=” button, the answer is 150. To find a number’s square root, enter the number into the calculator, press the “SHIFT” button, “x²” button and then the “=” button. Use the “+/-" button to make a number negative or positive.

## Studying for the GED Math Exam

When you take the GED math test, the testing service will provide you with a list of algebra and geometry formulas that you’ll need to solve the problems. Even though you have access to these formulas, you need to know how to apply them. In addition to solving algebra and geometry problems, you’ll also have to solve word problems, determine probabilities, know how to read graphs, write algebraic equations, solve graphing equations, and work with coordinate planes. To learn more about the types of problems covered in the GED test, purchase or check out a GED math workbook. If you have a tough time understanding some of the mathematical concepts covered in the GED exam, consider taking a preparatory class or hiring a tutor.

## Computer Use

Many testing centers use computers instead of paper booklets for the GED exam. If you’re not familiar with a virtual testing format, you may waste time trying to figure out how to navigate through the test. Get comfortable with the GED computer test by completing the GED Testing Service’s online tutorial. The GED Testing Service is the official creator of the GED exam. The tutorial teaches you how to navigate through the different screens that appear during the GED math exam, recognize the test’s instructions, answer questions, change your answers and use the “Information” buttons. During the GED math tests, click on the “Formulas” button toward the top of the screen. When you do this, a pop-up window will open with a list of formulas that you can use. Similarly, the “Calculator Directions” button will open a new window with instructions about how to use the on-screen calculator. The computer tutorial also teaches you how to respond to “short answer” questions that require you to type in the answers using the computer’s keyboard.

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#### About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

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