Strategies for GED Mathematical Reasoning Test

Instructor: Sharon Linde
If you're taking the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test, you'll need to fill your tool bag with solid strategies to help you succeed. In this lesson, we'll cover smart test-taking strategies and give you information to use before test day.

Why Strategize?

Preparing for a major assessment such as the GED Mathematical Reasoning test can sometimes be overwhelming or daunting, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, by reading this lesson, you're showing how prepared you actually are. Congratulations!

Just about everything you do involves some sort of strategizing on some level. Think of a simple task like loading the dishwasher. You probably don't just stack dirty dishes in there all willy-nilly, but rather put dinner plates on the bottom, large rack, and glasses on the top, more narrow rack. This intentional loading is a strategy you're using for a variety of reasons, such as maximizing the load capacity, or getting dishes as clean as possible.

From about the time you're able to think reasonably and logically, you've been consciously or subconsciously figuring out the 'best' way to accomplish tasks. These strategies help you out in countless ways. So it just goes to reason that on super-important things, such as test taking, we line up some strategies that will help us to succeed. And since you're ready to jump into these strategies, let's get to it!

Strategies for Taking the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test

Believe it or not, teachers really want you to succeed. It may seem like they're out to trip you up sometimes, what with their tricky questions and endless work load. The truth is, educators' jobs are to get you to learn, and more often than not, the way we measure that learning is through testing.

We're just telling you this as a way to say that these strategies (that we'll get to in just a second!) are meant to help you rock this test. We're giving them to you so that you CAN succeed. Make sense? Great - here we go.

Overarching Strategies

There are some strategies you can use to take just about any test. These strategies are super-important for the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test as well.


Because the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test is timed, you're going to need to finish all 50 questions in the 115 minutes allotted. Start off at a pace that feels comfortable to you and check in often to make sure you're moving at a reasonable clip. If you finish early, go back and check your answers. Use all the time you're given! You'll likely find a mistake or two, and those points add up!

If you're not finished when the administrator gives you a time warning, go ahead and guess on the remaining questions. Leaving answers blank is NOT a good idea - there is no guessing penalty, and you just may guess correctly. If you have enough time, go ahead and use some smart skills such as approximation or estimation. For example, you may notice answer choices vary widely and be able to make a sound 'guess' as to which is correct. Rounding numbers and streamlining calculations are also smart tools to use in a pinch, particularly when you're working sans calculator in the second section.


We know you studied hard and know your stuff, so now it's time to show what you know. To keep from making simple mistakes, make sure to read each question carefully so that you clearly understand what you're being asked to do. After reading the question, go ahead and read all the answer choices before beginning to solve the problem. This way you have a general idea of the type of question you're being asked.

If the answer you calculate isn't a choice, don't fret. It may simply be that the answer is being expressed in a different form. For example, you answer of '100' may be shown as '80 + 20.' Read all word problems slowly, making sure you're clear on the question being asked.

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