Strategies for the GED Science Test

Instructor: Rachel Torrens
The GED Science test, which covers physical science, life science, and earth and space science, may seem overwhelming at first. In this lesson, learn some important tips and test strategies to make this exam more manageable.

Getting Started

You have taken all the necessary science courses, and now it's time to put your knowledge to the test. Feeling anxious? That's normal, but the tips contained in this lesson should help you to perform to the best of your ability.

The GED Science test is one of four parts that must be passed in order to earn your GED. This exam assesses your knowledge of the physical sciences, life sciences, and earth and space sciences.

As you sit down to begin this examination, you will be nervous and may be a little excited. Follow these general tips to do your best when answering questions:

  • Answer every question
  • Read the entire passage and question
  • Pace yourself and take a break

Answer Every Question

There's no penalty for getting a question wrong on the GED test, so never leave a question unanswered. You might not know the answer, but use the information you do know to eliminate as many answer choices as possible, and then take your best guess! You may select the right answer by chance.

But if you are feeling unsure about your answer, you may use the 'Flag for Review' option. At the end of the test, on the 'Question Review Screen' you will be allowed to go back and review all flagged questions.

Read the Entire Passage and Question

This may seem obvious; however, on a timed exam you may feel pressure to skim paragraphs and questions. Force yourself to slow down, read the entire informational passage once, then start on the questions. Once you've read a question, you may need to go back and reread a portion of the informational passage.

On the GED Science test, some questions are presented with the informational passage on the left side of the screen, and questions on the right side. Be sure to read all the pages of the informational passage (this usually involves clicking on page 2 tab located at the top of the passage) before answering questions on the right.

Pace Yourself and Take a Break

The trick with a timed test is not to rush but to pace yourself. The GED Science Test is 50 questions long, which is to be completed in 90 minutes. The test contains 2 short answer questions, which test-makers assume will take you 10 minutes each. Therefore, you are left with approximately 70 minutes for the remaining 48 questions. If you attempt to cover roughly one question per minute, you will still have 20 minutes to review flagged questions and take a short break. A break may seem silly, but it is proven to help test-takers.

So when your eyes begin to burn or your palms start to sweat or your mind feels exhausted, it is time to take a break! If you give yourself a moment to relax and refocus, you are likely to do better on the rest of the exam. Try closing your eyes, breathe in slowly for five seconds, and then exhale slowly for five seconds. Do this two or three times. Most likely after this short rest you will be ready to tackle the remainder of the test.

Decoding Scientific Information from Texts and Images

Although the GED Science test has the word 'Science' in it, that is by no means all it is testing. The purpose of the test is to see if you are able to think logically and glean answers from provided information. This may seem daunting, but it's actually good news. It means you do not need to memorize thousands of science facts to pass this portion of the GED.

Scientific Texts

Many of the questions in the GED Science test are based on an informational passage given to you. These passages usually are 3-5 paragraphs in length, and are used to examine your:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to form conclusions
  • Understanding of experimentation setup
  • Reading comprehension

So even if science isn't your strongest subject, you can still pass the GED Science test because it is assessing a variety of skills.

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