GED TEST OVERVIEW
The table below shows the number of questions and the time limit for each test. Any parts
you do not pass, you may take again.
Test Area Number of Questions Time Limit
Language Arts, Writing, Part I 50 75 minutes
Language Arts, Writing, Part II 1 essay 45 minutes
Social Studies 50 70 minutes
Science 50 80 minutes
Language Arts, Reading 40 65 minutes
Mathematics Part I (may use Casio fx-260 calculator) 25 45 minutes
Mathematics Part II (no calculator) 25 45 minutes
To receive the GED certificate, you must earn both a minimum score of 410 on each test and
an average score of at least 450 on all 5 tests.
Calculators will be supplied by the GED Test Center.
GED TEST TAKING TIPS
Before the test:
Arrive 15 - 20 minutes before the scheduled test, so you can find the room and get yourself
Bring the materials you need -- picture identification, two or three sharpened No. 2 pencils,
an eraser, and a watch. Do NOT bring a cell phone to the testing room.
Eat well beforehand, so hunger won't distract you during the test.
During the test:
Always read the problem carefully to find the question it asks you to answer. Make sure your
response answers that question.
Answer every question on the test. If you are not sure, take your best guess.
Make sure the answer you mark on the answer sheet matches the number of your answer
Use the process of elimination to make the best guess when you are not sure of an answer:
eliminate the answers you're sure are incorrect, then, choose from the remaining answers.
Skip any problem you are having difficulty with and come back to it after you have
completed the rest of the test if time permits. Remember, if you skip a question; be sure to
skip the corresponding place on your answer sheet.
TIPS ON EACH TEST SUBJECT AREA
Part 1: Writing Skills
Read the entire passage before answering the questions on the editing section; this is
especially important for organization questions.
The Language Arts, Writing Test consists of two parts; In Part 1 there are 50 multiple-choice
questions. These questions require you to revise and edit.
The most-missed question types are organization and sentence structure.
Organization: Restructure paragraphs or ideas within paragraphs, identify topic sentences and
sentences that support the main idea, and arrange sentences in a logical sequence.
Sentence Structure: Correct sentence fragments, run-on sentences, comma splices, improper
coordination and subordination, misplaced modifiers, and lack of parallel structure.
Remember that there may be some sentences that are written correctly and do not require a
correction or revision as an answer.
Part 2: The Essay
Read the question carefully and try to restate the essay topic and put it into your topic
Draw on your personal experience and observations of the world for examples and details to
explain your ideas.
Keep refocusing on the topic as you write to be sure that your answer responds to the
Use the five paragraph essay format.
Revise your draft and pay close attention to content, organization and writing skills.
Scores for Part I and Part 2 are combined and reported as a single score.
Language Arts Reading, Science and Social Studies
Language Arts, Reading
To find the main idea of a passage read the first sentence, called the topic sentence, and
sometimes the last sentence. The main idea is often stated at the beginning or end.
Always differentiate main ideas from supporting details and facts from opinions.
Detail questions starting with words like What, Where, Who...can often be found by looking
back into the passage.
Questions that begin with Why, or include words such as imply or conclude. require you to
think about the passage as a whole and evaluate the information.
Try this preview technique to improve comprehension on the first reading:
1. Read the title.
2. Read the first sentence and last sentence.
3. Scan the questions.
4. Read the full passage and answer the questions.
Science and Social Studies Graphics
Read each passage carefully and study the charts, diagrams, and graphs before you answer the
For all questions with graphics try this preview technique:
1. Always read the titles and labels on first
2. Read the Key if there is one
3. Scan for the main idea
4. Read the question(s)
5. Return to the graphic for the information needed to answer
Prepare in the most-missed math areas: graphs and charts, order of operations, notation
(exponents), and reverse algebra.
Use estimation to eliminate wrong choices. Use common sense to check if the answers are
If a problem has more than one step, write down the result after each step. This will save you
time if you have to go back and rework a step.
Read measurement problems carefully to find out the measurement unit in which to express
Make a quick sketch of any figure that is only described and not pictured; then label your
Remember that maps, diagrams, and geometric figures may not be drawn to scale. Don't
"eyeball" an answer; do the work.
Use the formulas page whenever possible to set up problems involving simple interest,
distance, cost, or geometric figures.