The GED (General Education Diploma) is a standardized, comprehensive examination administered to students who are seeking an alternate route for high school completion. The test is recognized by every state in the United States as an equivalency to the high school diploma. It may be used in place of a diploma in order to apply for college and/or join the workforce. Any educational institution not accredited by their state’s education department would most likely administer the test at the end of a student’s 12th grade year. Individuals or groups may also take the test to earn a diploma; however, each state has its own policy regarding eligibility requirements.
The test is comprised of four subject areas: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. It contains various question formats such as multiple choice, drag and drop, fill in the blank, and short answer. There are three different versions of the exam and students are allowed to schedule each section according to their individual needs; thus all four sections are not required on the same test date. General information for the GED may be found on the official GED site.
The focus of the GED Science Test is to assess a student’s knowledge of the foundational skills and theories acquired in high school science courses. Students should also have an understanding of how the theories and principles of science relate to realistic scenarios. These skills are assessed by using quantitative and textual methods pertaining to questions.
There are three areas of focus included on the GED Science Test: Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science. Questions are presented in several formats, including drag and drop, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank. It is estimated that 40% of the test is comprised of questions related to life science, while 40% are related to physical science, and 20% relate to Earth and space science. Approximately half of the problems on the test are related to scientific situations and many of these are based on graphs, charts, or word problems.
Two themes are used to classify all questions on the test:
Human Health and Living Systems – this includes any content crucial to the general well-being of all living organisms. Examples would include diseases, heredity, physical traits, and evolution. Earth science and space science topics would include examples relating the interaction between humans and our surrounding environment.
Energy and Related Systems – this theme focuses on energy as it relates to humans and the general environment. Examples would include sources of energy, uses of energy, and how energy is transferred between cells.
There are approximately 50 questions on the test and a student is allowed 90 minutes to complete the entire test. For further information on the GED Science Test and to access practice questions, click here.