GED Math: What to Expect From the Math Section of the GED?

The math section of the GED test evaluates a candidate's analytical, critical thinking, problem-solving and reasoning skills with a combination of multiple choice and synthesis questions. Test takers have 90 minutes to answer 50 questions.

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Preparing for the GED Math Test

Created and managed by the American Council on Education (ACE), the General Educational Development (GED) test includes sections on writing, reading, social studies, science and mathematics. To prepare for the GED math test, candidates should understand both its format and content.

Test Structure

The math portion of the GED exam is split into two parts. Each part is given equal weight. Both parts are also equal in length, allowing 45 minutes to answer 25 questions. Test takers will be provided with a formula sheet during the test, and, for some questions, they will be required to plot their answers on an X,Y coordinate grid. Roughly 80% of questions are multiple choice, and the rest will require a tester to construct an answer either by writing it or plotting it on graph.

Test takers can use a calculator on the first part of the test, but not on the second. Calculators are distributed by the moderator of the test. In 2010, testing centers used Casio fx-260 calculators. Calculators are not allowed on the second portion of the math test because those questions require test takers to estimate and perform mental math.

Skills Tested

The GED math test assesses a candidate's mathematical skills based on standards for high school graduates. It commonly asks testers to evaluate mathematical concepts and apply those concepts to various scenarios.

Successful test takers should have a strong grasp on problem-solving, reasoning and analytical skills. They should be able to glean information from both written and visual mathematical data, which might include graphs, charts, diagrams or tables. They should also be able to understand and apply mathematical concepts in real-world situations.

Content of the Test

Four major areas will be covered in the test, including number operations and number sense; measurement and geometry; data analysis and statistics; and algebra, functions and patterns. Each area makes up 20-30% of the test. Those who would like more detailed information on each of these sections can visit the GED Testing Services portion of the ACE website (www.acenet.edu).

Context of the Questions

One aim of the writers of the math section of the GED test is to put questions in a context that makes sense to a wide variety of test takers. So, most questions will be presented in the context of situations from family life, consumer interactions, work environments, familiar technology and other daily-life scenarios.

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