General Test Information: GED Math
About GED Math
GED Math has two main goals: first, to prepare you to take the General Educational Development examination (GED®), and second, to help you learn math concepts with an organized, user-friendly guide. The skills covered represent the type and difficulty level of skills tested on the official GED.
The GED Mathematics Exam
The GED Mathematics Exam is a test used to measure your understanding of the mathematical knowledge needed in real 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. Here are some examples of the skills needed for the mathematical portion of the GED:
- 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
The GED Mathematics Exam is divided into two equally weighted parts, each containing 25 questions. 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 that you must complete both sections in one testing session to receive a passing grade. If only one section is completed, the entire test must be retaken.
The GED Mathematics Exam assesses your understanding of math concepts and the application of those concepts to various real-world situations. The following four major areas are tested on the exam:
- Number Operations and Number Sense (20%–30%)
- Measurement and Geometry (20%–30%)
- Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability (20%–30%)
- Algebra, Functions, and Patterns (20%–30%)
The 50 questions on the test fit into three different category types:
- conceptual (15 questions identifying and applying math definitions, facts, and principles)
- procedural (10 questions using math procedures)
- application (25 questions applying math in real-life situations)
The test contains 40 multiple-choice questions and 10 alternative-format questions for a total of 50 questions overall. Each multiple-choice question has five answer choices, a through e. (Alternative-format questions will be discussed in the section "Alternative-Format Questions.")
On Part I of the test, you may use the Casio fx-260SOLAR calculator to compute answers. Because estimation and mental math are critical skills, you are not permitted to use the calculator on Part II of the test.
For both math sections, a formula sheet will be provided to the test taker. You are allowed to use this page when you are taking the test; however, you should become familiar with the formulas and understand when and how to use them prior to the test day. (When tackling the practice tests or questions in this book, you can consult the "Formula Cheat Sheet" on page 167.)
The structure of the GED Mathematics Exam ensures that for no more than two questions is "Not enough information is given" the correct answer choice. Given this fact, it is important for you to pay attention to how many times you select this answer choice. If you find yourself selecting "Not enough information is given" for the third time, be sure to check the other questions for which you have selected this choice, because one of them must be incorrect.
Additionally, the current GED has an increased focus on math in everyday life. This is emphasized by allowing the use of a calculator on Part I as well as by an increased emphasis on data analysis and statistics.
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