GED Science Test Tips

In this post, you can find a number of useful tips to take the GED Science test successfully. But before we’ll give you these tips, let’s take a look at what you will find on the Science test.

The GED exam has four subtests, and just like the other three subject tests, you need to reach a score of at least 145. All GED subtests are scored on a scale that runs from 100 to 200.

What’s on the GED Science test?

The GED Science test includes three main subject fields: Life Science (Biology), Physical Science (including Physics and Chemistry), and Earth & Space Science.

Life Science (Biology) covers:

  • The organization, structure, & functions of life
  • The human body & health
  • Genetics & heredity
  • Evolution
  • The relationship life functions-energy

Physical Science covers:

  • Work, motion, & forces
  • Energy: transformation, flow, & conservation
  • Chemical reactions & properties in relation to living systems

Earth & Space Science covers:

  • The relation between Earth systems & living things
  • Earth system components & interactions
  • Organization & structures in Space

Try to think like a scientist

To be successful on the GED Science subtest, you should learn to think a bit like a scientist. The science subtest assesses your analytical, reading, and scientific reasoning skills.

So you’ll need to have a fundamental understanding of the way scientists think, how they design and conduct studies, and how they report their experimental findings. In the GED Science subtest, you’ll have to be able to:

  • Analyze data & draw conclusions
  • Interpret various information from diagrams, charts, or text
  • Analyze experiments to define variables, identify hypotheses, determine error sources, & assess the reasonableness of possible conclusions
  • Apply mathematical principles and data to scientific studies & situations

So you’ll have to make sure you understand the “Scientific Method”. That’s part of what is on the GED test. That forms the basis for the way scientists conduct research and the way you should approach the questions in the GED Science test.

Structure of the GED Science test

The GED Science test is 90 minutes long without breaks. You will find the various types of questions such as multiple-choice; draggable, fill-in-the-blank; hot spot; and short answer questions.

In total, there are 40 raw points available on the GED Science test. Six raw points can be scored with two short answer questions while the remaining 34 raw points can be scored by answering the other questions.

The GED Science subtest assesses to what extent you are able to read, comprehend, and interpret a number of science-related questions and passages.

Additionally, the test measures your analytical and problem-solving skills in various science-related situations. College is pretty hard so it is key to develop these skills well.

The GED Science subtest includes around 35 questions that are based on short science passages and datasets that are presented in tables, pictures, and graphs. Now, let’s take a look at some tips to help you ace the GED Science test,

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, contradicted 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. The 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 on 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 not 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 get also 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 & 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 better be 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.


Last Updated on April 6, 2021.

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