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 GED Social Studies test assesses a student’s ability to understand concepts related to information acquired in high school history, government, and economics courses. It also assesses a student’s ability to apply those concepts to realistic situations. There are four areas on the Social Studies test: Civics and Government, U.S. History, Economics, and Geography. The materials gathered for this content are based on information taught in high school level science courses.

The various questions on the test assess a student’s ability to analyze and understand information presented as well as to solve problems using knowledge of social studies. Questions on this test are presented in several different formats such as drag and drop, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank. There is also one extended response question assessing the student’s ability to analyze information based on material located within written passages. It is estimated that the GED Social Studies test contains 50% civic and government related material, 20% U.S. history material, 15% economics related material, and 15% geographical content.

The four content areas focus on two main themes throughout the exam:

Development of Modern Liberties and Democracy - this theme highlights the civil rights of humans from ancient times through the present day as well as current ideas concerning democracy. It contains material regarding various policies, issues, significant events, and influential people who have contributed to our society.

Democracy and Dynamic Responses in Societal Systems - the focus of this theme is on systems and structures in relation to environmental conditions and events in history leading to the present day.

Further information about the GED in Social Studies, including practice questions, may be found by visiting the official GED website.

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