GED Social Studies Practice Test 1

Below is our first free GED Social Studies Practice Test, which has now been updated for the new 2014 GED. Topics covered will include Civics, Government, U.S. History, Economics, and Geography. To prepare for your test, be sure to work through as many GED Social Studies practice questions as possible. Our free online test is designed to be very similar to the actual social studies test. Get started with your test prep right now!

Directions: Choose the best answer to each question.

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Question 1
Austrailia Map

According to this map, what is the climate-type in the majority of Australia?

A
equatorial and temperate
B
tropical and grassland
C
desert and temperate
D
grassland and desert
Question 1 Explanation: 
The largest colored area is orange: desert. The second-largest colored area is grassland: yellow. No other combination covers as much of the Australian continent.
Question 2
  • Please use the following to answer question 2.
This excerpt is from a speech given by Ronald Reagan on January 20, 1981.

From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

We hear much of special interest groups. Our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and our factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we are sick—professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truckdrivers. They are, in short, "We the people," this breed called Americans.
 

Based on this primary source excerpt, what can we conclude about Reagan's views on self-rule?

A
Government by an elite group is superior to self-rule.
B
Self-rule can be challenging, but it is the best type of government.
C
Society is too complex to be managed by self-rule.
D
Most people are not capable of governing themselves, so there's no way they could help govern a country.
Question 2 Explanation: 
He states that it is tempting to believe that an "elite group is superior" but then rejects this idea and states that "All of us together...must bear the burden." This indicates that he is in favor of self-rule, but that it can be a burden, or a challenge.
Question 3
  • Please use the following to answer question 3.
This excerpt is from a speech given by Ronald Reagan on January 20, 1981.

From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

We hear much of special interest groups. Our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and our factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we are sick—professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truckdrivers. They are, in short, "We the people," this breed called Americans.
 

Who is Reagan referring to when talks about a "special interest group that has been too long neglected."?

A
Truck Drivers
B
Political Parties
C
Lobbyists
D
The American People
Question 3 Explanation: 
There is a concern that special interest groups have too strong of an influence on politics, and that the results are unfair for the average citizen. Reagan turns this idea around and states that he is most concerned with the special interest group known as "We the people."
Question 4
  • Please use the following to answer question 4.
This excerpt is from a document entitled National Security Strategy of the United States, published on January 17, 2002.

The security environment confronting the United States today is radically different from what we have faced before. Yet the first duty of the United States Government remains what it always has been: to protect the American people and American interests. It is an enduring American principle that this duty obligates the government to anticipate and counter threats, using all elements of national power, before the threats can do grave damage. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction – and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. There are few greater threats than a terrorist attack with WMD.

To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively in exercising our inherent right of self-defense. The United States will not resort to force in all cases to preempt emerging threats. Our preference is that nonmilitary actions succeed. And no country should ever use preemption as a pretext for aggression.
 

What is the main idea presented in this document?

A
The U.S. will declare war on any nation that has weapons of mass destruction.
B
The United States will act preemptively with force against all emerging threats.
C
When faced with serious security threats the U.S. may decide to take preemptive military action.
D
Once the U.S. Government has identified details and timing of a planned attack, the U.S. will attempt to strike first.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The first paragraph talks about growing security threats and the risk of not taking action. The second paragraph states that the U.S. is willing to take preemptive military action when necessary. The document specifically states that the U.S. will not act against all emerging threats and that the U.S. may act even without knowing the place and time of a potential attack.
Question 5
The monetary value of all the finished goods and services that are produced within a country's borders in a specific time period is the:

A
Money Supply
B
Gross Domestic Product
C
Balance of Trade
D
Aggregate Demand
Question 5 Explanation: 
The Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, is the main tool for measuring a country's economy.
Question 6
  • Please use the following to answer question 6.
This excerpt is the 5th Amendment from the Bill of Rights.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
 

This Amendment provides all of these rights EXCEPT:

A
The right against self incrimination.
B
The right of due process.
C
The right against unreasonable search and seizure.
D
The right to be tried only once.
Question 6 Explanation: 
All of these rights are mentioned in the 5th Amendment except unreasonable search and seizure, which is in the 4th Amendment.
Question 7
Earnings Graph

Based on this chart of corporate earnings, in how many quarters did the company's gross earnings change by more than $10 million?

A
0
B
1
C
2
D
4
Question 7 Explanation: 
There are only two quarters where a shift of more than $10 million is clear: the decrease between the 1st quarter of 2008 and 2nd quarter of 2008, and the increase between the 3rd quarter 2008 and 4th quarter 2008.
Question 8
  africa1914v2

Which of the following would be the best title for this map?

A
Imperialism in Africa
B
Major Rivers of Africa
C
Apartheid in Africa
D
African Languages
Question 8 Explanation: 
Between 1881 and 1914, European powers invaded, occupied, colonized, and annexed African territory. This was known as Imperialism. The legend on this map indicates the control of African countries by these European powers. While the map could be used for many purposes, it specifically focuses on African Imperialism, so that would be the best title.
Question 9
  africa1914v2

Which of these African territories was not controlled by a European nation in 1914?

A
Mozambique
B
Libya
C
Nigeria
D
Abyssinia
Question 9 Explanation: 
From the maps legend you can see that countries which are not controlled by a European nation are listed as "Independent" and are shaded dark purple. Mozambique is shaded in dark purple.
Question 10
Which of these powers is reserved for state governments?

A
Conduct elections.
B
Regulate trade between states.
C
Establish post offices.
D
Make treaties.
Question 10 Explanation: 
Under the U.S. system of Federalism, there is a Constitutional division of authority between the federal (national) government and the state governments, with each retaining significant authority. The power to conduct elections is reserved for states. The other powers listed here are delegated to the federal government
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