Mathematics Exam Overview: GED Test Prep (page 2)
In this article, you will learn all about the GED Mathematics Exam, including the number and types of questions, the topics and skills that will be tested, and guidelines for the use of calculators.
What to Expect on the GED Mathematics Exam
The GED Mathematics Exam is a test used to measure your understanding of the mathematical knowledge needed in everyday life. The questions are based on information presented in words, diagrams, charts, graphs, and pictures. In addition to testing your math skills, you will also be asked to demonstrate your problem-solving skills. Examples of some of the skills needed for the mathematical portion of the GED are:
- understanding the question
- organizing data and identifying important information
- selecting problem-solving strategies
- knowing when to use appropriate mathematical operations
- setting up problems and estimating
- computing the exact, correct answer
- reflecting on the problem to ensure the answer you choose is reasonable
This section will give you lots of practice in the basic math skills that you use every day, as well as crucial problem solving strategies.
The GED Mathematics Exam is given in two separate sections. The first section permits the use of a calculator; the second does not. The time limit for the GED is 90 minutes, meaning that you have 45 minutes to complete each section. The sections are timed separately but weighted equally. This means you must complete both sections in one testing session to receive a passing grade. If only one section is completed, the entire exam must be retaken.
The test contains 40 multiple-choice questions and 10 gridded-response questions for a total of 50 questions overall. Multiple-choice questions give you several answers to choose from and gridded-response questions ask you to come up with the answer yourself. Each multiple-choice question has five answer choices, a through e. Gridded response questions use a standard grid or a coordinate plane grid. (The guidelines for entering a gridded-response question will be covered later in this section.)
The math section of the GED tests you on the following subjects:
- number relations
- data analysis
Each of these subjects is detailed in this section along with tips and strategies for solving them.
The GED Mathematics Exam is given in two separate booklets; Part I and Part II. The use of calculators is permitted on Part I only. You will not be allowed to use your own. The testing facility will provide a calculator for you. The calculator that will be used is the Casio fx-260 SOLAR. It is important for you to become familiar with this calculator as well as how to use it. Use a calculator only when it will save you time or improve your accuracy.
A page with a list of common formulas is provided with all test forms. You are allowed to use this page when you are taking the exam. It is necessary for you to become familiar with the formula page and to understand when and how to use each formula.
Gridded-Response and Set-Up Questions
There are ten non–multiple choice questions in the math portion of the GED. These questions require you to find an answer and to fill in circles on a grid or on a coordinate axis.
Standard Grid-in Questions
When you are given a question with a grid like the one that follows, keep these guidelines in mind:
- First, write your answer in the blank boxes at the top of the grid. This will help keep you organized as you "grid in" the bubbles and ensure that you fill them out correctly.
- You can start in any column, but leave enough columns for your whole answer.
- You do not have to use all of the columns. If your answer takes up only two or three columns, leave the others blank.
- You can write your answer by using either fractions or decimals. For example, if your answer is , you can enter it as a fraction, 1/4, or as a decimal, .25.
- When your answer is a mixed number, it must be represented on the standard grid in the form of an improper fraction. For example, for the answer 1, grid in 5/4.
- When you are asked to plot a point on a coordinate grid like this one, simply fill in the bubble where the point should appear.
The slash (/) is used to signify the fraction bar of the fraction. The numerator should be bubbled to the left of the fraction bar and the denominator should be bubbled in to the right. See the example that follows.
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