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GED Sample Questions: Real Application Mathematical Reasoning Questions

The Mathematical Reasoning section of the GED will ask you questions that require you to apply mathematical skills to real life applications. Check out the following examples to see what you might encounter on test day.

  1. Gordon has the following six bills to pay this month:

    Bill Payable To Amount
    Bedding by Vidalia $23.00
    Chargealot Credit Corp. $31.00
    Dink’s Department Store $48.00
    Furniture Fit for a Princess Shoppe $13.00
    Highest Fidelity Sound Shop $114.00
    Overpriced Gas Corporation $39.00

    Each month, he allocates $250.00 to pay his bills. This month, his bills are over this budget. How much extra money must he find from other parts of his budget to pay all his bills?

    • (A)$8.00

    • (B)$268.00

    • (C)$28.00

    • (D)$18.00

  2. Georgette needs $185 to buy books for her Geography course, but because her hours at work have been cut back this month, she cannot afford them. She notices a sign offering to loan her $200 for one month for $20 interest. She calculates that if she can repay the money within the month by working extra hours, she will be able to afford the principal and the interest.

    When Georgette applies for the loan, she reads the contract carefully and notices that after the initial one-month period, the interest rate climbs to 15% per month and includes the previous month’s principal and interest. She was unable to get the extra hours she needed. Write an expression to calculate the amount she would owe at the end of the third month, using the following information:

    P is principal.

    T is the total indebtedness.

  3. Andrew just bought a small circular swimming pool for his children. The diameter of the pool is 12 feet, and Andrew can fill it safely to a depth of 9 inches. If a cubic foot of water weighs 62.42 pounds, how many pounds does the water in Andrew’s pool weigh?

    • (A)approximately 27,000

    • (B)approximately 2,700

    • (C)approximately 1,300

    • (D)approximately 5,300

  4. If Giorgio borrows $100 for one year and three months and repays $108 dollars including simple interest, what rate of interest was he charged?

    • (A)6.4%

    • (B)8.0%

    • (C)4.0%

    • (D)4.6%

  5. Chico went shopping for some groceries for his family. His shopping list was as follows:

    2 pounds of apples

    5 bananas

    1 container of milk

    1 loaf of bread

    If apples were $0.79 a pound, bananas $0.23 each, milk $1.27 a carton, and bread $0.98 a loaf, what is the approximate total cost of the groceries?

    • (A)$3.90

    • (B)$4.10

    • (C)$4.90

    • (D)$5.50

Answer Key

  1. D. $18.00.

    This problem involves number operations. The total amount of Gordon’s bills is $23.00 + $31.00 + $48.00 + $13.00 + $114.00 + $39.00 = $268.00. If Gordon allocates only $250.00 to pay these bills, he ends up $268.00 – $250.00 = $18.00 short. Be wary of Choice (B), which is a special trap for people who don’t read the question carefully.

  2. T at end of month 3 = T 2 + T 2(0.15) = T3

    T = ((200 x 0.1) + 200) + ((200 x (0.1) x (0.15) +

    T at end of month 1 = (P + (P x 0,1) = T1

    T at end of month 2= T 1 + (T 1 x 0.15) = T2

    T at end of month 3 = T 2 + T 2(0.15) = T3

  3. D. approximately 5,300.

    This problem tests your knowledge of measurement and geometry by asking you to solve a problem involving volume and weight. You can do this problem in your head, but here the steps using calculations first.

    The formula for volume of a cylinder (the cylinder is the circular inside of the pool to a height of 9 inches) is πr2h, where π = approximately 3.14, r = radius, and h = height. If the diameter is 12 feet, the radius is 6 feet. If the height is 9 inches, it’s 9/12 feet, which can be simplified to 3/4 feet.

    In a formula, don’t forget that all units must be the same — that is, feet and feet or inches and inches.

    The volume is (3.14)[(6)(6)](3/4) = 85.59 cubic feet.

    Because 1 cubic foot weighs 62.42 pounds, the weight of 85.59 cubic feet is (85.59)(62.42) = 5,343 or 5,300 rounded to the nearest hundred.

    To do this problem in your head, multiply 6 by 6 to get 36. Multiply 36 by 3/4 to get 27, and multiply 27 by 3 to get 81. The approximate volume of the pool is 81 cubic feet, which isn’t bad for an approximation.

    For your purposes, say the volume is 80 cubic feet, which is still close. The weight of a cubic foot of water is 62.42 pounds, so round it to 60 pounds. Now, multiply 80 by 60 to get 4,800, which is closest to Choice (D). You can go with that approximation because it’s very close to one of the answers.

  4. A. 6.4%.

    This question tests your ability to evaluate an answer by using a formula. This formula, I = prt isn’t in the format you want because you want to calculate the rate, which means solving for r.

  5. C. $4.90.

    This question involves number operations. You’re asked to calculate — in your head — the answer to a problem.

    To use mental math to solve this problem, round everything. Consider the apples at $0.80 a pound, bananas at $0.20 each, milk at $1.30, and a loaf of bread at $1.00. The total for this approximation is (2)($0.80) + (5)($0.20) + $1.30 + $1.00 = $4.90.

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