GED Science Short Answer Tips

The GED Science section includes two Short Answer questions. Each Short Answer question starts with a science passage. You must read the passage and the question prompt thoroughly, and then spend 10 minutes composing a response. Overall, both Short Answers will take 20 minutes to complete. Since these two short answers are distributed throughout the 90 minute Science section, you will have to self-time and be sure you do not spend more than 10 minutes on each response. Each passage may or may not be accompanied by charts and diagrams.

How Do I Score Well on the GED Science Short Answer Questions?

The Short Answer questions on the GED Science section are fairly straightforward. Here are some tips and strategies to help you succeed!

  • Dissect the Prompt. Make sure you understand what the prompt is asking you to do. HOW will you answer it? Not every Short Answer prompt is the same! Be sure you thoroughly comprehend what your task is.
  • Plan Ahead. Select at least 2-3 details from the passage you intend to use in your short answer BEFORE you begin writing. In 10 minutes, you may only have time to discuss 2 details, but an in-depth look at 2 details is much better than a cursory glance at 3-4. It’s fine to take 1-2 minutes to outline your answer before you actually begin to write.
  • Outside Information Is Not Necessary. Don’t feel like you have to include statistics and knowledge beyond what is used in the passage. What is MOST important is how clear your argument is and how you use the details from the passage. You do not have to make up facts and figures. What is included in the passage is sufficient. Simply restate and explain the given information. You don’t even have to fully comprehend it!
  • Use 1-minute to Proofread. Remember to re-read what you wrote before your time is up. Check your spelling and basic grammar. Do the nouns agree with the verbs? Do the sentences “flow” nicely into one another? Are you points clear and succinct? You can do a lot of quick-edits in just one minute!

How the GED Science Short Answer is Scored?

You will receive a score between 0-3 on your GED Science Short Answer. As long as you mention the passage, you will receive at least a 1, 2, or 3. A “3” typically includes 6-8 sentences, citing 2-3 details from the passage to support a main idea. Two paragraphs are usually sufficient to achieve a 3, so the overall length does not have to concern you. A “1” typically does not include any mention of details from the passage. As long as you cite at least ONE piece of evidence from the passage and EXPLAIN how it supports your points, you will likely receive at least a 2.

Now that you have reviewed our GED Science Short Answer tips, it is time to try some sample questions!

Science Short Answer Practice Questions >>