Do You need “Outside knowledge”?

Unlike the GED Reading test, the GED® Science test has certain questions that require test-takers to use some Science “outside knowledge” that they should already know from earlier science classes.

Now, what can you do about this “Outside knowledge”?

This differs from the GED Reading test, where you can find every answer within the given reading passages. Some 10 to 15 percent of the GED Science questions will, at least to some extent, rely on understanding some scientific terminology or outside knowledge.

The mere fact that you are not familiar with some Science terminology, or have no knowledge of the outside information, isn’t meaning that you won’t be able to get to the correct answer by just using the things you already know about the subject field.

So we are encouraging you just to use the process of elimination and logical thinking to answer the questions correctly about subject fields that you may be a little unfamiliar with. Let’s look at the following question.

The question says:
When a monarch butterfly uses its stored Lipids, these lipids need to be broken down in order to produce molecules that are energy-rich so its cells can use it readily. Which one of the molecules listed here is produced directly resulting from the breakdown of these lipids?

Well, the answer that’s correct is ATP. And if a student knows what ATP is, then he or she is all set.

There’s not one thing in the given passage, though, that will help students in understanding that ATP is actually produced, resulting directly from the breakdown of the lipid.

However, we may use some logic. Let’s assume that a test-taker has no idea what ATP actually is so they cannot eliminate it. The student will have to put it away (no choice) and ask himself: Okay, could I become lucky here?

Am I able to eliminate any other answer choices? Well, there is the starch, and maybe he remembers that starch and lipids are non-related, different entities.
Things are either a starch or a lipid. Probably, they won’t gel well. I also remember that starch must be broken down.

Starch is not an energy source that’s readily available, so let me eliminate G.
DNA is our genetic material, and I know that amino acids actually have something to do with proteins.

All this has nothing really to do with the production of energy, so we can eliminate J as well. So I use a little logic with those parts of that question that I’m slightly familiar with. ATP is my choice just because all the other answer options don’t work.

So as said before, to sum this all up, only a small number of questions on the GED Science test are relying on so-called outside information which is not being provided in the passage and test-takers must use their logic and common sense in the elimination process to be able to eliminate choices that they’re familiar with in order to come to the correct answer.

Next lesson: How to “Guess” Unknown Science Terms


Last Updated on February 6, 2021.

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