GED Subjects

GED Subjects: Everything You Need to Know

The GED test is a set of four subject-based exams that measure high school-level skills and knowledge. Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science are the four subjects. 

Each exam is taken separately, and the test-taker can take them in any order. The GED test is available in both computer-based and paper-based formats.

Question Types

The GED test features different questions, such as multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, drag-and-drop, and area selection. In multiple-choice, you pick the right option from a list. 

For fill-in-the-blank, you provide the missing word or phrase. Drag-and-drop involves arranging items correctly, while area selection asks you to pinpoint the correct section on a graphic or map.

Mathematical Reasoning

The Mathematical Reasoning test has 46 questions; you have 115 minutes to finish it. It includes simple math, shapes, introductory algebra, charts, and operations.

Reasoning Through Language Arts

The Reasoning Through Language Arts exam consists of 46 questions that must be completed in 150 minutes. The exam covers reading comprehension, writing, and language usage.

Social Studies

The Social Studies exam consists of 35 questions that must be completed in 90 minutes. The exam covers civics and government, U.S. history, economics, and geography.

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Science

The Science exam consists of 40 questions that must be completed in 90 minutes. The exam covers life science, physical science, and earth and space science.

GED Test Subjects

The GED test is made up of four subjects, each of which is broken into separate exams. The subjects are Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. Students do not have to take all four exams simultaneously; they can space them out and go at their own pace.

Mathematical Reasoning

The Mathematical Reasoning exam covers basic math, geometry, algebra, graphs, and functions. Students will be tested on their ability to solve problems using these concepts. The exam consists of 46 questions and lasts 115 minutes.

Reasoning Through Language Arts

The Reasoning Through Language Arts exam measures students’ ability to read, write, and think critically. Students will be tested on their ability to analyze and interpret texts, as well as their ability to write clearly and effectively. The exam consists of 46 questions and lasts 150 minutes.

Social Studies

The Social Studies exam covers history, geography, economics, and civics. Students will be tested on their knowledge of these subjects and ability to analyze and interpret historical documents. The exam consists of 50 questions and lasts 70 minutes.

Science

The Science exam covers physical science, life science, and earth and space science. Students will be tested on their knowledge of these subjects and ability to analyze and interpret scientific data. The exam consists of 50 questions and lasts 90 minutes.

Mathematical Reasoning

Mathematical Reasoning is one of the four subject area tests in the GED. It measures the ability to interpret, analyze, and solve mathematical problems. The test covers basic math, algebra, geometry, graphs and functions, and data analysis.

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Basic Math

The Basic Math section of the GED Mathematical Reasoning test includes questions on arithmetic operations, fractions, decimals, and percentages. It also contains questions on measurement, such as length, area, volume, and weight. 

Candidates are expected to be able to perform basic operations with fractions, decimals, and percentages and to solve problems involving ratios and proportions.

Algebra

The Algebra section of the GED Mathematical Reasoning test includes questions on basic algebraic concepts, such as solving linear equations and inequalities and graphing linear equations. Candidates are expected to be able to solve problems involving basic algebraic concepts and to interpret and analyze algebraic expressions.

Geometry

The Geometry section of the GED Mathematical Reasoning test includes questions on basic geometric concepts, such as lines, angles, triangles, and circles. Candidates are expected to be able to identify and classify geometric figures and to solve problems involving geometric concepts.

Graphs and Functions

The Graphs and Functions section of the GED Mathematical Reasoning test includes questions on basic concepts of graphs and functions. Candidates are expected to be able to interpret and analyze graphs and functions and to solve problems involving graphs and functions.

To prepare for the GED Mathematical Reasoning test, candidates should review basic math concepts, algebraic formulas, and geometric concepts. They should also practice solving problems involving graphs and functions. 

A formula sheet is provided during the test, so candidates do not need to memorize formulas. However, they should be familiar with the basic formulas and be able to apply them to solve problems.

Reasoning Through Language Arts

The Language Arts (RLA) exam is a part of the four GED test subjects. It evaluates a person’s ability to read and write. The RLA segment covers three main areas: Understanding Texts, Making and Recognizing Arguments, and Language and Grammar.

Reading for Meaning

The “Reading for Meaning” section assesses how well a candidate understands and interprets written content. Candidates will answer questions related to individual texts and sets of paired texts. These questions gauge the candidate’s reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Grammar and Language

The Grammar and Language section of the RLA test assesses the candidate’s knowledge of English grammar, sentence structure, capitalization, punctuation, and word choice. The language skills required for the test model real-life editing that ensures correct grammar and sentence structure. 

The candidate must review the written text and select words and phrases to make the final text grammatically accurate and convey the intended meaning.

Writing an Essay

The “Essay Writing” section assesses how well a candidate can craft a structured, clear, and grammatically accurate essay. Given a topic, the candidate must pen an essay in reply. 

This essay must be at least 200 words, adhering to the typical introduction, main content, and conclusion structure. The evaluation focuses on the candidate’s clarity of expression, logical organization of ideas, and proper use of grammar and punctuation.

Science

The GED Science test evaluates the candidate’s ability to understand, interpret, and apply science information. The test consists of 34 questions; candidates have 90 minutes to complete it. The test is based on reading passages, graphics such as diagrams, tables, graphs, maps, or a combination.

Reading for Meaning in Science

The Reading for Meaning in Science sub-section tests the candidate’s ability to understand and interpret scientific information from written texts. The texts may include scientific articles, reports, and other science-related materials. Candidates may encounter scientific vocabulary, complex sentence structures, and technical jargon.

To prepare for this sub-section, candidates should practice reading scientific texts and understanding the main ideas, supporting details, and inferences. Candidates should also learn how to identify and interpret scientific vocabulary and concepts.

Designing and Interpreting Science Experiments

The Designing and Interpreting Science Experiments sub-section tests the candidate’s ability to design and interpret scientific experiments. The experiments may include observations, hypotheses, variables, data collection, and analysis.

To prepare for this sub-section, candidates should learn how to design and interpret scientific experiments. Candidates should also understand the scientific method, data analysis, and scientific Reasoning.

Using Numbers and Graphics in Science

The Using Numbers and Graphics in Science sub-section tests the candidate’s ability to understand and interpret scientific information from graphics such as diagrams, tables, graphs, and maps. Candidates may encounter scientific data, charts, and graphs.

To prepare for this sub-section, candidates should practice interpreting scientific graphics and understanding the relationships between data and variables. Candidates should also learn how to use scientific notation, units of measurement, and basic statistical concepts.

Social Studies

Social Studies covers history, government, geography, and economics. A foundational knowledge of these areas is essential to succeed in the GED Social Studies exam. Here’s a brief rundown of what the GED Social Studies exam entails.

History

The history section of the GED Social Studies test covers topics such as U.S. history, world history, and significant historical events. It is essential to have a basic understanding of the critical historical events that have shaped the world we live in today. The following are some of the topics covered in the history section:

  • American Revolution
  • Civil War
  • World War I and II
  • Cold War
  • Civil Rights Movement

Government

The GED Social Studies exam’s government portion discusses the U.S. Constitution, the three government branches, and citizens’ duties and rights. 

It’s crucial to grasp the basics of the U.S. government’s functioning and the citizens’ part in democracy. The following are some of the topics covered in the government section:

  • The U.S. Constitution
  • The Bill of Rights
  • The three branches of government
  • Elections and voting

Geography

The geography section of the GED Social Studies test covers topics such as the earth’s physical features, the location of countries and continents, and the impact of geography on societies. 

It is essential to have a basic understanding of geography to understand how people interact with their environment. The following are some of the topics covered in the geography section:

  • Physical features of the earth
  • Location of countries and continents
  • Climate and weather patterns
  • Natural resources

Economics

The economics section of the GED Social Studies test covers topics such as supply and demand, inflation, and economic systems. It is essential to have a basic understanding of economics to understand how individuals and societies make decisions about the allocation of resources. The following are some of the topics covered in the economics section:

  • Supply and demand
  • Inflation and deflation
  • Economic systems
  • Budgeting and saving

Analyzing Historical Events and Arguments

The analyzing historical events and arguments section of the GED Social Studies test covers topics such as analyzing primary and secondary sources, evaluating arguments, and identifying bias. 

It is essential to have a basic understanding of analyzing historical events and arguments to develop critical thinking skills. The following are some of the topics covered in this section:

  • Analyzing primary and secondary sources
  • Evaluating arguments
  • Identifying bias
  • Developing critical thinking skills

Using Numbers and Graphs in Social Studies

The use of numbers and graphs in the social studies section of the GED Social Studies test covers topics such as interpreting data, reading tables, and analyzing graphs. Understanding how to use numbers and graphs to understand social studies concepts is essential. The following are some of the topics covered in this section:

  • Interpreting data
  • Reading tables
  • Analyzing graphs
  • Using numbers to understand social studies concepts

Study Guide and Preparation

Preparing for the GED subjects can be daunting, but it can be manageable with the right study guide and preparation. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your GED exam:

Study Guide

A study guide is valuable for anyone preparing for the GED exam. It provides an overview of the material covered on the exam and offers practice questions to help you prepare. Many study guides are available online and in bookstores, so it’s essential to choose one that is up-to-date and covers all the subjects tested on the GED exam.

Study Time

The time you need to study for the GED exam will depend on your current knowledge of the subjects and your study habits. It’s essential to set aside enough time to study each subject thoroughly. A good rule of thumb is to study for at least two hours a day, five days a week.

Classes

If you need more guidance, consider taking GED classes. These classes are offered at many community colleges and adult education centers and provide instruction in all the subjects tested on the GED exam. They also offer the opportunity to interact with other students and ask questions of the instructor.

Schedule

Creating a study plan helps you remain focused and guarantees you review everything before the test. List the topics you must study and set aside specific time daily for each. Try your best to follow this plan to go through all the material.

Knowledge

It’s essential to have a solid understanding of the material covered on the GED exam. This means not only memorizing facts but also understanding the concepts behind them. Take the time to read through your study guide and practice questions to ensure you have a good understanding of the material.

Memorization

While understanding the concepts is essential, memorization will also be required for the exam. Make flashcards or use online tools to help you memorize key facts and formulas. Practice recalling this information regularly to ensure it stays fresh in your mind.

Exam Scoring and Credentials

To pass the GED exam, individuals must score at least 145 in every subject. The scores can vary between 100 and 200. If someone scores below 145 in any subject, they must retake that test. If they don’t pass all the subjects, they must retake each one they failed.

While scoring above 145 on each subject is the minimum requirement to pass the exam, scoring higher can have additional benefits. Scoring above 165 on any test subject means that the test-taker has demonstrated readiness to take college-level courses, and they may qualify for waivers from placement testing or developmental education requirements.

The GED is a certificate equivalent to a high school diploma and is acknowledged by most colleges, universities, and employers in the U.S. If you pass the GED test, you’ll get this certificate. Almost all U.S. colleges and universities accept it. Plus, it can open doors to better job opportunities and higher salaries.

The GED credential has three levels of achievement:

  • GED Passing Score: Scores of 145-164 on any given GED test content module.
  • GED College Ready: Scores of 165-174 on any given GED test content module.
  • GED College Ready+ Credit: Scores of 175 and above on any given GED test content module.

The GED credential can open new opportunities for test-takers who want to continue their education or advance their careers. It is a valuable credential that can help test-takers achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

FAQs and Additional Information

As with any exam, there are bound to be questions that arise before and after taking the GED. Here are some frequently asked questions and additional information to help guide test-takers through the process.

FAQs

  • What is the GED exam? The GED test is a way to measure if someone has the same knowledge and skills as a high school graduate. It covers four main areas: math, science, social studies, and language arts.
  • How much does the GED exam cost? The cost of the GED exam varies by state but typically ranges from $75 to $150.
  • When can I take the GED exam? Test-takers can schedule the GED exam at their local testing center conveniently.
  • Can I retake the GED exam if I don’t pass? Yes, test-takers can retake the GED exam if they do not pass. However, the waiting time may be longer, and there could be some extra charges.
  • Is the GED exam available online? No, the GED exam is not available online. It must be taken in person at an official testing center.

Additional Information

  • Purchase date: Test-takers must usually purchase their GED exam voucher before scheduling their test. The purchase date may affect the expiration date of the voucher.
  • GED test scores: Test-takers will receive a score for each subject area of the GED exam. The passing score for each subject area is 145 out of 200.
  • GED test accommodations: Individuals with disabilities or special needs might qualify for certain adjustments during the GED test. These adjustments can range from extra time in a private room to supportive devices.

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