GED Math Study Guide

This GED Math Study guide explains what you need to learn to pass the GED Math test.

You get an overview of the GED Math exam, including the format, content, and test-taking strategies.

By getting familiar with the content of the test, you can speedily improve your math skills.

This guide also features free GED Math lessons and practice tests that simulate the real-world GED exam.

Moreover, you learn how to quickly increase your GED Math score by following our lessons on using a scientific calculator.

And finally, the Math test-taking tips show you how to answer the most challenging questions and gain extra points. study guides and lessons are based on Covcel GED prep courses.

Let’s get started.

What should I study for the GED math test?

It helps to review your knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills involving whole numbers. These skills are a prerequisite for success in passing the GED Math test.

Next, you should get familiar with the math topics that are included in the GED Math Test. Below you will find a full overview of these math topics.

Number Sense  

Number sense questions ask for solving math problems related to:

  • Ordering numbers on a number line, that includes positive & negative numbers, fractions, and decimals.
  • Rounding and estimating numbers.
  • Calculating ratios, proportions, and percent.
  • Calculate exponents, convert fractions to decimals, and vice versa.
  • Applying the order of operations rules ( PEMDAS),

These topics are not complex, and you can use a provided scientific calculator to solve the majority of these questions.

We will show you how to do it later on.


Algebra addresses the following topics.

  • Evaluating algebraic expressions and polynomials.
  • Solving equations with one or two variables; systems of equations.
  • Solving quadratic equations.
  • Solving inequalities.
  • Evaluating functions.

Tip: Many Algebra questions can also be solved with the help of a scientific calculator.

Data Analysis

Data Analysis GED Math Test includes topics such as

  • Calculations of mode, range, mean, and median.
  • Finding probability.

Tip: Use provided Math formulas and a scientific calculator to solve these questions.


Geometry questions on the GED Math ask about

  • Area and perimeter of squares, triangles, circles.
  • The volume of a prism, cone, sphere, and pyramid.

Tip: You have access to Math geometric formulas, and you can solve the majority of Geometry questions by referring to these formulas.


Graphing problems include

  • Coordinate plane (points, lines, & shapes) questions
  • Slopes and equations of lines.

Tip: Provided Math formula sheet includes three slope formulas, so you can always refer to it.

Word problems

The GED Math test includes numerous word problem questions. These questions combine many topics, such as solving equations and geometry or probability. Even though they seem to be challenging, they involve rather simple math. You only need to translate words into math.

To master the word problem-solving skills, you should take many practice tests to understand these questions’ format.

GED Math Online Lessons

We publish 44 math lessons that will help you become competent in answering GED Math questions. Every lesson includes a video, text, and a short practice test.

Click here → 44 GED Math Lessons

Can you use a calculator on the GED math test?

You are allowed to use a calculator on the GED Test. But it needs to be a TI-30 XS, scientific calculator.

The TI-30 XS calculator comes in two versions.

You can use it as a handheld device or as a digital, on-screen version. During the GED Math test, you will also have access to a digital, on-screen version of the calculator.

If you are taking the test in a traditional test center, you can bring your own handheld TI-30 XS calculator. However, if you choose to take the Math test online, you must use the digital version of the TI-30 XS.

GED Calculator Lessons

We strongly advise you to familiarize yourself with a TI-30 XS calculator. By knowing how to calculate simple problems and a bit advanced equations, you can score additional points.

How many questions do I need to get right on the GED math?

The GED® Math Test takes 115 minutes and has about 45 to 49 questions divided into 4 main categories.

To pass the GED Math test, you have to answer between 30 and 32 of the questions correctly. The Math questions are divided into these four categories:

  • Solving Equations: 30 percent
  • Graphs & functions: 25 percent
  • Number Sense, Order of Operation, and Probability: 25 percent
  • Geometry: 20 percent

10 GED Math Test Tips

1. Read all the data carefully before solving a problem

On the GED Math test, there’s quite some emphasis on Data Analysis topics. You may come across questions that have tables, charts, or graphs.GED Math Study Guide

Read the question carefully twice! Don’t just jump straight to a question. Take a moment to really understand the question and the data presented before trying to answer the question.

2. Translate word problems cautiously

When taking the GED Math subtest, be sure to understand the mathematical concepts that are underlying the question. Translate a word problem carefully and cautiously, especially because they are very prevalent on the math test.

One or two different words can change the meaning radically. There’s no need to rush these challenging math questions, even when the math seems pretty obvious to you.

3. Don’t see your answer option? Rewrite it

Sometimes, the GED math answer options express correct answers not in their simplest form, or as expressions. You may know the correct answer, even though it doesn’t show in the answer options.

So when you know you’ve got the answer right and don’t see that option, try to rewrite it. If you express it in a different way, it may match one of the answer options. For instance: $50 equals $15 + $35, and 52 equals 25.

4. Practice using a scientific calculator

On the GED math test, you’re not expected to memorize complex formulas or to do complex arithmetic calculations in your head.

In part two of the GED math section, you are allowed to use a calculator. You can bring your own TI-30XS scientific calculator, but there will also be an on-screen calculator provided.

So get familiar with the on-screen GED calculator or the TI-30XS well before taking the actual test. This will help you ace the math test! Learn how to deal with basic functions like exponents and square roots on the calculator and you’ll also get a reference sheet with Math Formulas to help you make it through the exam.

5. Time yourself

The GED subtests are all timed tests. The pressure of taking a test within a limited time frame is for many math test-takers a source of stress and anxiety.

You can very well manage this phenomenon by taking multiple timed practice tests. You can check your results, learn what fields need improvement, and gain self-confidence to complete the GED math test within the given amount of time.

6. Don’t waste time

You shouldn’t waste much time on questions that you don’t know the answer to immediately or that you are not sure about.

If you have no clue about the correct answer option, skip that question and move on to the next problem. Many test-takers feel they wasted too much time dwelling on questions they didn’t know the answer to.

When you feel you’ll need lots of time to figure out an answer, flag that question and move ahead to those questions that’ll take less time. You may always come back later and try to find the right answer.

When you’ve finished the test and have some time left, go over these questions once more and perhaps the other questions may have put you on the right track.

Also, eliminate those answers that you think are definitely wrong and then come up with an educated guess. It’s probably easier to choose from two than from four options, right?

7. Eliminate obviously wrong answer options

As stated in tip #6, eliminating obviously wrong answer choices is a very useful strategy. Oftentimes, one or two of the answer options on the GED math section do not make any sense at all.

They may not refer to the provided data or be totally irrelevant. When you eliminate these obviously wrong answers, you’ll be left with a smaller number of answers which will make an educated guess considerably easier.

8. Simplicity is the best

Oftentimes, there’s more than one way of working around a problem. You may solve a problem, even with a given function, differently.

If you happen to see another way for solving the problem, just use it, but don’t forget to check if your answer is correct. When dealing with combined figures, remember that the rule to solve it is to do it as easily as you possibly can. The answer is always the same, regardless of how you’ll break the figure down.

9. Remember the Exponent Rules

When multiplying two terms with identical bases, you simply add the exponents. When dividing two terms with identical bases, you simply subtract the denominator’s exponent from the numerator’s exponent.

When a parenthesis separates two exponents, you can simply multiply the exponents. You can try to simplify an exponent by rewriting a number in terms of its exponent. For instance, 27 equals 33.

10. Trust your first answer

When you’ve read a question carefully twice, go to the answers options and read these also carefully twice. Then, when possible, choose your best answer option.

If, in the end, you’ll have some time left to review your answers, don’t change your answers unless you’ll come across some obvious error that you’re absolutely sure about. Keep in mind that usually, your first answer is the right answer!

And don’t forget as well that on the GED test, there’s no penalty for guessing and wrong answers. Just be sure to answer all questions, even when you’re not sure or need to guess.

What is the best GED study guide?

Many people choose online lessons as a way to study for the GED Math test such as the lessons published on this website.

However, if you prefer studying from the book, there are a few well-known guides, including Kaplan and McGraw-Hill. We publish a separate article about GED books.

This GED Math Guide is a part of our free Online GED Classes module and is based on the Covcel GED Prep.


GED Math Test is not considered to be an easy test. Many students try to pass it multiple times.

To avoid this kind of setback, get familiar with required math topics, learn how to use a scientific calculator, and take as many practice tests as possible.

Start today by taking one of our GED Math lessons and keep going. It doesn’t matter when you left school. Everyone can pass the GED Math test, so can you.


Last Updated on May 13, 2021.

People Also Read: