About the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The GED Mathematical Reasoning test is one of four subject tests you will need to pass in order to earn your GED. Read on to learn about the content, structure and scoring of the exam, and discover effective strategies you can use to pass it.

Overview of the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test

The GED Mathematical Reasoning test measures both algebraic and quantitative problem-solving skills and requires a test taker to demonstrate an understanding of mathematical concepts, the skill to use those concepts, and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Exam Content Areas

The exam is broken down into four skill areas:

Skill Area Percentage of Total Test
Quantitative Problem Solving with Rational Numbers 25%
Quantitative Problem Solving in Measurement 20%
Algebraic Problem Solving with Expressions and Equations 30%
Algebraic Problem Solving with Graphs and Functions 25%

Test Structure

Like all GED tests, the GED Mathematical Reasoning test is a computer-delivered exam that must be taken at an official testing center. The exam has two sections: the first has five questions on which calculator usage is prohibited; the second contains 41 questions for which you may use a calculator. The sections are not timed individually; you will have 115 minutes to complete the entire test.

Within the test, you will encounter several types of questions, including fill-in-the-blank, drag-and-drop and multiple-choice. For a refresher on best practices for answering the latter, check out this short lesson on Strategy for Multiple Choice Questions.

How to Prepare for the Test

Use a Prep Course

A GED Mathematical Reasoning prep course will help you focus your studies on the exact content of the exam so you aren't wasting time studying concepts you may not come across on your test. Study.com's online GED Math course, for example, features short, easy-to-follow video lessons. The course also offers short quizzes and exams to help you determine how well you have mastered important skills and knowledge.

If you'd like a more comprehensive review of high school math, consider Study.com's Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry courses.

Use Free Resources Offered by GED Test Administrators

Several free tools and resources are available online by the GED testing service, including:

  • A test tutorial that demonstrates the computerized test delivery system you'll encounter when you take the exam, the types of questions contained within the test, and math resources.
  • A tutorial that demonstrates how to use your test-day calculator.
  • A practice test that, while unscored, illustrates typical Mathematical Reasoning test questions and provides explanations of answers.

Tip: Don't Worry About Memorizing

Ready yourself for the Mathematical Reasoning test by understanding how to apply formulas and solve problems, rather than memorizing formulas. When you take the Mathematical Reasoning test, you will be provided with common geometric and algebraic formulas, including how to determine areas, perimeters, volumes, means and medians, distance, and simple interest. You can review the provided formula sheet on the GED website.

Test Scoring

To pass the GED Mathematical Reasoning test, you will need a score of at least 145. Passing scores are divided into three categories that indicate whether you exhibited skills equal to a high school graduate, someone beginning college, or a college student who has taken undergraduate math courses. The last designation may make you eligible for as many as 3 math credits at some colleges and universities.

Category Score Range
High School Equivalency 145 - 164
College Ready 165 - 174
College Ready + Credit 174 - 200

Retake policy

If you do not pass your GED Mathematical Reasoning test on the first attempt, you may take it again. While some states have different retake policies, you typically may retake the exam twice after your first try without any waiting period between your testing dates. After three attempts, however, you will have to wait at least 60 days before you may take the test again.

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