This GED Science Study Guide explains the things you’ll have to learn to pass the GED Science subtest.
You’ll learn what’s on the GED® Science test, including the testing format and content.
Additionally, we offer you free science video lessons, with short practice tests and Science test-taking tips.
Along the way, a tutor provides practice challenges and step-by-step solutions so students can check their knowledge. Let’s get started.
GED Science Lessons
On this website, we publish 24 GED Science lessons. These lessons are provided by Onsego.
These lessons are great to get you all set for the GED Science test. All lessons include video instruction, transcripts, and short practice tests.
If you take several practice tests, you can discover which academic subject fields require the most of your attention.
Below you will find a full list of topics that you appear on the GED Science Test.
What To Study For The GED Science Test?
The topics addressed in the GED Science test are Life Science (Biology), Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry), Earth and Space Science, and Scientific Practices. Questions related to Scientific Practices can be addressed in any subject area.
You best start learning the lessons from the chapters “Life Science” and “Physical Science” because 80% of all questions on the GED Science test are related to these topics.
Life Science (Biology) makes up 40% of the test and includes questions related to
- Cell Structures
- Cell Processes
- Health and Nutrition
- The Human Body
- Organ Systems
- Heredity and Reproduction
- DNA and Genetics
Physical Science covers 40% of the GED Science test, and topics include
- Atoms and Molecules
- Properties and States of Matter
- Chemical Reactions
- Energy and Work
- Motion and Forces
- Waves and Sound
- Electricity and Magnetism
Earth and Space Science
Earth & Space Science covers 20%of the GED Science test, and topics include
- Earth’s Structure
- Plate Tectonics
- Geological Cycles and Processes
- Renewable and Nonrenewable Natural Resources
- Weather and Climate
- The Solar System
- The Universe
GED Science Charts and Graphs
On the GED Science test, there are questions that use visual information such as graphs, diagrams, charts, tables, or maps.
To understand the information presented in visual materials, you should practice a lot with this sort of question. Most students will be more familiar with questions that include textual passages, and understanding visually represented information may be challenging.
You could see diagrams of an atom’s internal structure or a diagram presenting the Milky Way Galaxy. On the GED Science test, these tools are often used to represent specific scientific processes. These questions will assess your knowledge of these processes.
Is The GED Science Test Hard?
Many test-takers find the GED Science test pretty hard. The test measures to what extent you are able to understand, analyze, interpret, and apply the provided GED Scientific Information.
Because there are quite a few questions that include visual elements, understanding how to read this information properly is key. So becoming well-prepared and familiar with this sort of representation is needed for success. This makes the GED Science test pretty hard.
How Long Is The GED Science Test?
On the GED Science Test, you are given 90 minutes to complete 34 questions. You’ll see questions that include reading passages, but there are also, as said before, questions that include graphics such as tables, diagrams, maps, or graphs.
The GED tests are timed tests. Taking multiple practice tests will not only allow you to discover your weak points, but it also lets you get accustomed to the testing format, and if you take timed practice tests, you’ll learn what it is to take tests under time pressure.
How Many Questions Can You Miss On The GED Science Test?
As said earlier, there are 34 questions on the GED Science subtest. To reach a passing score (145), you will have to answer at least between 22 and 24 answers correctly.
Can I Pass The GED Science Test Without Studying?
Yes, you can because 85 to 90 percent of science questions can be answered using only the information and data that are provided in the passages and charts and graphs that appear on the science test.
Only 10 or 15 percent of the questions use what we call outside information. However, it’s important that you have well-developed reading comprehension skills and you are familiar with the scientific vocabulary. Knowing a few active reading strategies will help you too.
10 GED Science Test Tips
1. Read the questions carefully
Before you start reading some long paragraphs, read the questions carefully. This way, you’ll get a good idea of what is being asked. This way, you’ll know what to look for in the passage.
Then read the paragraphs closely until you’ve found the information you’re looking for. In case you’ll end up reading the entire passage, just go over the question one more time. When you reread the question, chances are you’ll recall the relevant information.
In case you need to do some rereading, don’t read the whole passage! Just try to locate the relevant information when you skim through the text.
When you feel you’re spending too long (more than 1 minute) on finding an answer, you may want to just guess and move ahead. Flag that question, so you can and come back later if you have some time left.
2. Use what you’re given
The GED Science questions provide so much information to help you come up with the correct answers. You just need to understand how to use it.
Stimulus – First, the questions provide a stimulus that offers you lots of information. This could be a chart, diagram, graph, illustration, and, of course, the text.
When seeing a graph, some test-takers will immediately get intimidated, but there’s no need for that. Just think of this stimulus as your gift! You are simply given information that can be used to get that question right.
Even when you know absolutely zero about the science topic, you may get a pretty good shot at getting the answer right by reading the stimulus properly!
Calculator – There are also a few questions that require you to produce some mathematical calculations. But even when you think you can do these questions in your head as they seem so simple to you, use your scientific calculator, just to be sure.
There are so many instances where simple errors lead to wrong answers! Please avoid these simple errors by always using the calculator and double-checking your answers.
3. Eliminate obviously wrong answers first
Even when you’re not able to identify the correct answer immediately, try to eliminate those answer choices of which you know they are definitely wrong.
Wrong answers will, for example, contradict the given data or be irrelevant. Once you’ve eliminated the obviously incorrect answers, you will more likely guess or identify the correct answer when you’ve got just two options to choose from instead of four.
4. Concentrate on the big picture
The GED Science subtest assesses your general knowledge of the topics that are listed above. You are required to command the general concepts and understand how it all works.
You are NOT required to know lots of details. Detailed information will be provided in the given stimulus that comes with every question. That’s where you will find the details.
Sure, you need to be familiar with various science concepts on which the questions are based, but there’s no need to memorize lots of details.
There’s no need to get intimidated by the wide range of subject fields that the GED Science test includes. You’re only required to have basic science-level knowledge to be successful, and the details will be provided!
5. Answer every question and pace yourself
The GED Science test is, just like the other subtests, a timed test. You are required to complete the GED Science section in 1.5 hours (90 minutes).
If you don’t know the correct answer immediately, you can leave that question open and return to it later by using the navigator. If a diagram or a paragraph looks too complex, just skip it and come back to it later.
You should practice your time-management skills. Learning to pace yourself is a key part of your GED prep. Bear in mind that there is no penalty for answering a question incorrectly, so it is important you answer all of the questions.
If you really don’t know an answer, the least you can do is guess at that question but make sure you’re left with enough time to do that.
6. Learning counts more than memorizing
The GED Science subtest assesses your skills rather than your knowledge of facts and formulas.
So instead of spending a ton of your study time memorizing lots of facts and terms, focus on enhancing your skills. Practice tests are great to discover what you’ll be asked to command on the GED Science subtest.
Of course, science is anchored in concepts and facts, but memorizing all these things would never be enough. Memorization is different from learning. If you would memorize, for example, the water cycle but not understand the underlying concepts and why it exists, you merely store words in your brain.
The key is to learn and understand the underlying idea, the concept. If you just memorize facts, you store them in your brain’s short-term memory. And it’s easy to forget what you have only memorized.
So understanding instead of memorizing is key. Our free video lessons provide a highly effective visual way of studying concepts, so you’ll get a far better understanding of GED Science concepts.
7. Get to know science formulas
When you study to get all set for the GED Science subtest, you need to get familiar with formulas. Many students are trying to memorize these formulas, but just memorizing will not be enough.
Most science formulas will be provided, but you’ll also have to retain some intimidating physics formulas, so practice that by solving them in practice tests.
If you do that, you will understand the formulas better, and you’ll also get familiar with them, so you’ll be able to recall them easier. Benefit from this website’s free GED Science practice tests so you can improve your knowledge and skills.
8. Identify dependent and independent variables
Usually, you’ll find a few questions on dependent and independent variables on the GED Science subtest. So be sure to understand the difference between these two!
In an experiment, the independent variables are those variables that will be controlled or changed. Dependent variables are the ones that will be measured or tested.
When in an experiment independent variables are changed, the subsequent effects on dependent variables are observed and then recorded.
When you, for example, want to test the effect of a different amount of fertilizer on a plant’s growth rate, the amount of fertilizer is the independent variable, whereas the plant’s growth rate is the dependent variable.
9. Look for trends in given data
Tables and graphs will be providing lots of data. You’ll probably not be needing all of the data to be able to solve the question, but it is key to learn to see and discover the relationship between those numbers.
Try to find both direct and indirect relationships that could exist between all elements in a table. This way, you should be better able to answer questions relating to the provided variables.
10. Be careful with the highlight tool
On the GED Science subtest, you will see a highlighting tool. You can use this tool to highlight passages as you’re reading them.
Often, however, using this highlighting tool is only a time-consuming or time-wasting distraction. It could well be more effective if you would simply use your writing pad for jotting down some notes.
You should not feel compelled at all to use this highlight function, but of course, if you find it to be helpful, then use it.