Understanding the GED Math Test
The GED math test gives test-takers 115 minutes to answer 46 questions. The test is in two sections. Part 1 has five questions, and Part 2 has 41 test questions. Calculators can be used for the second part of the test, but not for Part 1. Answers for Part 1 must be submitted before beginning Part 2. Test takers can use an online calculator during the test, or they can bring a handheld Texas Instruments 30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator to use during the test.
The test uses a variety of types of questions including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, hot spot and drag-and-drop questions.
What is Tested
The aim of the math portion of the GED is to test problem-solving, reasoning and analytical skills. The mathematical skills tested are based on the College and Career Ready Standards used by a majority of high schools in the United States
To evaluate these skills, the exam commonly requires test-takers to extract information from mathematical data. This data may be presented in either a textual form, such as a written scenario, or visual form, such as charts, graphs, tables or diagrams. Another skill tested is the ability of test-takers to apply mathematical concepts to common real-life situations.
Content of the Test
The 2014 GED math test focuses on two main content areas. Roughly 45 percent of the test covers quantitative problem solving and includes questions on number operations and geometric thinking. The remaining 55 percent of the test involves algebraic problem solving.
Some of the specific skills tested are the ability to solve multi-step arithmetic problems with ratios, proportions and percents, factoring polynomial expressions, evaluating linear, polynomial and rational expressions by substituting integers for unknown quantities and calculating the surface area and volume of composite 3-D geometrical figures. A formula reference sheet is provided for use during the test.
Format of the Questions
Questions are commonly put into contexts familiar to the average high-school-level test-taker. The American Council on Education (ACE) and Pearson VUE, which have teamed up to develop and standardize the test, write questions in the context of work environments, consumer interactions, family situations and similar scenarios.
Types of Questions
There are different types of questions on the test. Some questions focus on the ability of the test taker to evaluate a math problem and decide the best procedure for solving the problem. Conceptual questions require test-takers to demonstrate an understanding of basic mathematical concepts and fluency. Application, modeling and problem-solving questions test the ability to solve real problems with mathematical concepts.
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