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

Aug 03, 2018

The Mathematical Reasoning section of the 2014 GED test evaluates a candidate's analytical, critical thinking, problem-solving and procedural skills. The GED math Test is based on the College and Career Ready Standards for high school graduates and is designed to measure mathematical reasoning and mathematical practices and procedures.

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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 language arts, math, science and social studies To prepare for the GED math test, candidates should understand both its format and content.

Test Structure

The math GED test is 115 minutes long and has 46 items which are a combination of multiple choice, drag-and drop, hot spot, fill-in-the-blank and drop-down questions.

The test is split into two parts. Part 1 has five questions that test basic arithmetic skills including the four operations, addition, subtractions, multiplication, and division, as well as exponents, roots, and basic number sense. Part 2 of the math GED test has 41 questions.

Test takers can use a calculator on the second part of the test, but not on the first part. Answers to Part 1 must be handed in before moving on to Part 2. There is no time limit for completing the first part of the exam, so test-takers need to watch their own time. The test provides an on-screen calculator and a reference sheet of calculator instructions, but test takers may bring their own TI-30XS calculator to the test if they prefer.

Skills Tested

The test commonly asks GED candidates to evaluate mathematical concepts and apply those concepts to various scenarios.

Some of the skills tested on the 2014 GED Math exam include solving multi-step problems based on real-world situations using ratios, rational numbers, percents and proportions. Other skills that are tested include the abilities to factor polynomial expressions, to solve linear inequalities, to identify a function on a table or graph, to use the Pythagorean Theorem and to calculate the surface area of 3-D geometric figures. Everyone who takes the test receives a formula sheet with foundational geometric and algebraic formulas for area, volume, slope of a line and other computations.

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

The GED math test cover two content areas. Approximately 45 percent of the test focuses on quantitative problem-solving skills which include number operations and geometric thinking. The remaining 55 percent of the questions assess the test taker's algebraic problem-solving abilities.

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.

Need help preparing for the GED? Check out's GED Test Prep study guides, complete with bite-size video lessons, practice tests, informational resources, and more to make sure you ace the exam!

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