What Kind of Science is on the GED Test?

In this post, we take a closer look at what kind of Science is on the GED® test.

The GED Science portion is one of the four modules, or independent exams, that make up the GED exam.

The Science exam assesses your ability of understanding, interpreting, and applying science information.

You are given 90 minutes (1.5 hours) to answer around 35 questions that are based on text passages that you’ll have to read and understand, or on graphics such as tables, diagrams, or maps.

Just like on the other modules, you’ll have to reach at least a score of 145 (out of 200) to pass the GED Science module. If you’ve taken and passed all of the four GED modules, you will receive your state’s high school equivalency diploma.

GED Science Content Fields

The GED Science module includes questions relating predominantly to three subject fields: Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth & Space Science. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Life Science – GED Life Science covers around 40 percent and includes topics related to human body systems, cell structures & processes, heredity & reproduction, genetics & DNA, evolution & natural selection, organization of ecosystems, and health & nutrition.
  • Physical Science – GED Physical Science covers some 40 percent of the exam and includes topics such as atoms & molecules, energy & work, chemical reactions, properties of matter, states of matter, motion & forces, electricity, waves, and magnetism.
  • Earth & Space Science – GED Earth & Space Science covers around 20 percent of the exam. Topics include renewable & non-renewable energy sources, Earth’s structure, plate tectonics, weather & climate, solar system, geological processes & cycles, and the universe.

Additionally, you’ll have to understand how scientific studies are performed and investigation processes work. So you’ll have to develop your Science Practices skills. Learn here all about the other subject fields covered in the GED exam.

Science Practices

Science practices include the understanding of:

  • Using the Scientific Method for investigations and analyzing and interpreting data
  • Comprehending scientific data and presentations to interpret graphics and passages
  • Reasoning with scientific data and use evidence to evaluate conclusions
  • Applying formulas and concepts for interpreting scientific information and applying scientific theories
  • Using statistics and probabilities in a scientific context

GED Science Topics

So to be successful on the GED Science module, you’ll have to draw from your understanding of the above-listed topics and answer questions related to those subject fields. You don’t need to deal with an extended response section anymore on the GED Science module.

The questions relate to components of our human bodies and other living things and organisms, how organisms have an impact on their environments, and how these environments are affecting them.

Then, there are questions relating to various energy sources and how they are used, to the geochemical systems of Earth, and how energy is used by and within living organisms such as our human body.

You’ll also find questions related to Earth science and Space science. This section includes questions about renewable and nonrenewable energy, Earth’s climates and weather, and our solar system.

Science Skills

The questions on the GED Science module are also designed to assess your ability to understand scientific writing and apply scientific concepts. Additionally, your ability to interpret statistical data and apply mathematical concepts will be assessed as well. Check out also the Science Test-Taking Tips.

Reading & writing in Science

The GED Science module includes questions that measure to what extent you are able to read and write scientific writing. You must be able to read a text and identify evidence to validate the author’s findings. There are also questions that measure your understanding of the scientific vocabulary used in a passage.

Scientific Concepts

You’ll also find questions that ask you to apply your knowledge of scientific processes and experiments. You must be able to evaluate hypotheses and distinguish between different sorts of variables in experiments. You may also be asked to come up with conclusions based on the evidence presented in tables, graphs, or charts.

Mathematics in Science

You will also find questions that measure how well you understand and are able to utilize scientific formulas, statistics, and probability principles. You can bring your own scientific calculator or use the on-screen embedded version as long as it is the TI-30 XS Multiview calculator from Texas Instruments.

Math Problems

In many science investigations, mathematical principles and concepts are used. This means that to be successful on the GED Science module, you’ll have to demonstrate a thorough understanding of math.

As said earlier, you can use either your own hand-held version of the TI-30 XS MultiView scientific calculator or the on-screen displayed version.

There’s also an on-screen Calculator Reference Sheet (indicated by a calculator icon at the top of your screen) that explains how to work with the calculator, but it is far better to learn in advance how to operate the calculator and what the little machine can do for you!

GED Science Format

You are allotted 90 minutes (1.5 hours) to answer the questions on the GED Science subtest. During the test, there are no breaks.

The GED Science module is comprised of multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, multi-select, draggable, and more types of questions. In most states, the GED Science module costs around $30, so the entire GED exam will set you back around $120. Check here to learn all about the cost of GED testing in your state. 

Prepare Well

The GED Science module is a rather demanding and challenging exam and becoming properly prepared is absolutely needed. There are some pretty good GED prep courses available that will get you all set for the 4 GED modules fast.

This website offers you lots of free Science video lessons that explain the matter in bite-sized lessons. We also provide a great number of free practice tests to measure to what extent you understand the matter at hand.

Taking a number of practice tests allows you to find out which topics you already command and which areas need more study. This way, you can use your time more efficiently.

The official GED organization, GED Testing Service, also offers quite a few options to support students get ready for the GED exam. You can create your account on the website GED.com and learn all about the job market, college programs, how to learn effectively, and a lot more.

In Conclusion

The GED Science module (independent subtest) requires you to understand science concepts, how to read and interpret charts and graphs that display scientific data and information.

The GED Science module is not about memorizing facts or formulas. You don’t have to, for example, memorize any periodic table of elements. However, you will have to recognize symbols and names of key elements to be able to answer some questions correctly.


Last Updated on April 5, 2021.

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