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Sarah Bradstreet

Top Tips to Succeed on GED Science

The GED Science subject test is one of four subject tests that make up the GED exam. Learn what to expect and our top tips to prepare for GED Science.

About the GED Science Subject Test

Before we get into our tips, let’s take a quick look at what you should expect to see on the GED Science subject test.

What’s on the GED Science Subject Test?

The GED Science subject test consists of three main topics: life science, physical science, and Earth and space science.

GED Science Topics- Magoosh

Life Science (biology) includes:

  • Human body and health
  • Relationship between life functions and energy intake
  • Organization, structure, and functions of life
  • Genetics and heredity
  • Evolution

Physical Science (physics and chemistry) includes:

  • Conservation, transformation, and flow of energy
  • Work, motion, and forces
  • Chemical properties and reactions related to living systems

Earth and Space Science includes:

  • Interactions between Earth’s systems and living things
  • Earth and its system components and interactions
  • Structures and organization of the cosmos

How is the GED Science Subject Test Structured?

Like the other subject tests, the GED Science subject test is scored on a scale of 100-200 and you need 145 or higher to pass.

The types of questions on the GED Science subject test are:

  • Multiple choice
  • Fill in the blank
  • Drop down
  • Hot Spot
  • Drag and drop
  • Short answer

There are a total of 40 raw points available. 6 of those points come from the 2 short answer questions, and the other 34 come from the other question types.

The GED Science subject test lasts 90 minutes (with no breaks).

Learn more about GED scoring here.

Top 5 Tips for GED Science

Now that we’ve covered what’s on the GED Science subject test, let’s get down to what you really came here for—the tips! Without further ado, here are the top 5 tips for GED Science.

1. Use what you’re given.

The questions on the GED Science test have so many elements that are built in to help you. You just have to know how to use them!

Stimulus:

First of all, the GED Science test does you a HUGE favor by providing a stimulus for each question. Every question will be accompanied by some source of information. It could be:

  • Text
  • Graph
  • Chart
  • Diagram
  • Illustration

Some people see a graph and get intimidated, but don’t let this be you! Think of the stimulus as a gift! The test is GIVING you information that you can use to get the question right. Even if you know absolutely NOTHING about the topic, chances are, if you know how to read the stimulus and pull information from it, you’ve got a pretty good shot at figuring out the answer to the question. Practice working with these sources and learn to use them to your advantage.

Calculators:

A few questions will require you to make mathematical calculations based on information given. Even if the math seems simple and you think you can do it in your head, use your calculator to make sure. There’s no reason to get a question wrong from a simple error. Always double check your calculations.

2. Focus on the big picture.

The GED Science test expects you to have a general knowledge of the content topics we listed earlier. You should know the big picture concepts and have a basic understanding of how everything works. You do NOT, however, need to know a lot of details. Any detailed information you need to answer a question will be found in the stimulus that accompanies each question. While you should be familiar with the science concepts behind the questions, there is no need to have lots of details memorized. Don’t let yourself become intimidated by the broad range of topics that show up on the GED. You only need to have basic level knowledge of each to succeed.

3. Hone your skills instead of memorizing facts.

The GED Science test is more a test of your skills than your direct knowledge. Instead of spending your time memorizing lots of terms and facts, focus on practicing your skills. Some of these skills are listed in the next tip below. Practice tests are a great way to get a feel for what you’ll be asked to do.

4. Think like a scientist.

To succeed on the GED Science test, you’ll need to think like a scientist. Above all, this is a test of your scientific reasoning skills. You’ll need to have a basic understanding of how scientists design, conduct, and report the findings of experiments. Some things you’ll be asked to do:

  • Interpret information contained in a text, chart, or diagram.
  • Analyze data and draw conclusions.
  • Analyze an experiment to identify hypotheses, define variables, determine possible sources of errors, and assess reasonableness of conclusions.
  • Apply basic mathematical principles to scientific situations.

Make sure you have a good understanding of the scientific method. It’s the basis for how scientists conduct their research and it should inform the way you approach the scenarios described in these questions.

GED Science Scientific Method- Magoosh

Image by ArchonMagnus.

5. Read EVERYTHING carefully.

Read the stimulus before even looking at the question. If you read the question first, you’ll be tempted to just do a quick glance at the stimulus to pick out the answer and you run the risk of misinterpreting it. Work to understand the stimulus first; then you should be able to use it to find the correct answer. When reading the stimulus, read carefully and don’t miss the details. Check the labels on charts and graphs carefully to make sure you understand what the chart is showing, which axis is which, and that you are working with the correct units.

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About Sarah Bradstreet

Sarah is an educator and writer with a Master’s degree in education from Syracuse University who has helped students succeed on standardized tests since 2008. She loves reading, theater, and chasing around her two kids.


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