GED Science Tips

The revised GED Science test is designed to assess your ability to read, understand, and interpret science-related texts. It also tests your problem-solving abilities in science related situations. The test consists of approximately 35 questions, based on brief science passages as well as data that is presented in graphs, tables, and pictures.

You will have 90 minutes to answer the questions and there is no break. Topics on the test include life science, earth and space science, and physical science. As part of your test prep be sure to review our GED Science Tips:

Look for trends in the data. Graphs and tables provide a lot of data. You will not need everything to solve, just be able to see the relationship between the numbers. Look for direct and indirect relationships between each element in the table. This should allow you to answer questions that relate to the relationship of the variables present.

Identify dependent and independent variables.  There are usually a couple of questions about dependent and independent variables, so make sure you know the difference between these! Independent variables are the variables that are being changed or controlled in an experiment. Dependent variables are the variables that are being tested and measured. As the experimenter changes the independent variable, the effect on the dependent variable is observed and recorded. For example, think about an experiment to test the effects of different amounts of fertilizer on the growth rate of plants. The amount of fertilizer used would be the independent variable. The growth rate of the plants would be the dependent variable.

Read the question prior to reading long paragraphs. Read the question first so you have an idea of what you are looking for in the written material. Read the paragraphs until you find the information you are looking for. If you end up reading the whole passage, read the question again. You may be able to recall the information upon rereading the question. If you need to reread, do not read the entire passage! Locate the important information by skimming through the passage for the info. If you find you are spending more than a minute looking for an answer it is time to guess and move on. Remember to flag the question and come back to review it at the end of the test if you have time.

Be wary of the highlight tool. There is a highlighting tool that you can use to highlight the passages as you read them. However, you may find that using the highlight tool is just a time-consuming distraction. You may find it more effective to use your writing pad to take down notes as needed. Don’t feel compelled to use the highlight function, just use it if you find in to be helpful.

Pace yourself and answer every question. You must finish the science section in 90 minutes, but you can leave a question and come back to it at any time using the navigator. If a certain early paragraph or diagram looks too complex for you, you can skip it and save it for the end. Managing your pacing is an important part of the exam, but it is equally important to make sure you at least guess at every question, since there are no penalties for wrong answers.

Eliminate the “obviously wrong” choices first. Even if you cannot determine what the correct answer is, try to eliminate answer choices that cannot possibly be correct because they are contradicted by the data that is presented. You’ll be more likely to guess the correct answer if you only have to choose between 2 options instead of 4.

Get a good night sleep the night before. One of the best ways to prepare for any test is to get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before. This will help your brain to perform at the highest level on test day. It is also important to eat a healthy breakfast in the morning so your brain has the necessary fuel to help you perform to the best of your ability.

Arrive to the test center early. Give yourself plenty of time to find the test center and to deal with any traffic congestion. You should plan to arrive to the test center at least 30 minutes early so that you are ready to get started right on time.