Science Exam Overview: GED Test Prep
To prepare effectively for the GED Science Exam, you need to know exactly what the test is like. This article explains the structure of the exam, including the types of questions you will be asked and the topics that will be tested.
What to Expect on the GED Science Exam
The science portion of the GED consists of 50 multiple-choice questions designed to evaluate your understanding of general science concepts. Each question is followed by five answer choices labeled a to e. You will be instructed to select the best answers to the question. There is no penalty for guessing. You will have 80 minutes (one hour 20 minutes) to answer the questions on this part of the exam. There will be some question sets—i.e., more than one question will be asked about a particular graphic or passage.
Types of Questions
On the test, you will encounter conceptual understanding and problem-solving questions that are based either on information provided on the test, or on information learned through life experience.
A question that tests your conceptual understanding requires you to show your understanding of the material presented as a part of the question. In this type of question, you could be asked to:
- read a graphic
- summarize the results of an experiment
- rephrase a fact or an idea described in a passage
- find supporting detail in a passage
- make a generalization about information presented in the question
- understand cause and effect
Problem-solving questions will ask you to apply your understanding of information presented as part of the question. Questions of this type could require you to:
- interpret results
- draw conclusions based on results
- analyze experimental flaws or logical fallacies in arguments
- make a prediction based on information provided in the question
- select the best procedure or method to accomplish a scientific goal
- select a diagram that best illustrates a principle
- apply scientific knowledge to everyday life
- use the work of renowned scientists to explain everyday global issues
Some questions will require you to draw on knowledge you have acquired through your daily life and prior schooling. In other questions, all the necessary information will be included in the passage or graphic provided as part of the question. In either case, reviewing basic science concepts presented in the following chapters, and answering as many practice questions as you can, will improve your performance.
Up to 60% of the problems on the GED Science Exam will require you to understand, interpret, or apply information presented in graphical form. Graphical information includes diagrams, charts, and graphs. Graphics are a concise and organized way of presenting information. Once you realize that all graphics have some common basic elements, it will not matter whether the information presented in them is in the area of biology, chemistry, physics, or Earth science.
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