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GED Sample Questions: Science Concepts

You will be asked basic questions on the Science portion of the GED that deals with common elements of a high school Science curriculum. You will be expected to read about these concepts and answer questions.

Directions: Read each item carefully and mark your answer on the answer sheet provided by filling in the corresponding oval or writing your answer in the blank box.

Questions 1–2 refer to the following passage.

Insulation

During the winter, you need something to keep warmth in the house and cold air out. In the summer, you need something to keep heat outside and cooler air inside. What you need is insulation.

Insulation reduces or prevents the transfer of heat (called thermal transfer) from the inside out or the outside in. Fiberglass and plastic foam provide such insulation because they contain trapped air. Normally, air is not a good insulator because the currents in air transfer the heat from one place to another.

Trapping the air in small places, however, slows or prevents the transfer of heat. Think about these little packets of air the next time you sit in a warm house, safe from the frigid air of winter.

Joe J.J. Johnson, the world-famous architect and building supervisor, has developed a standard vacation home that he builds for his clients. This house has one floor-to-ceiling glass wall that overlooks the best feature of the client's lot. The other walls are cinder block covered with a cosmetic coat of concrete.

Mr. Johnson has been hired to build one of his famous designs for a client who lives in Juno, Alaska, in a huge home with a spectacular view of the Gastineau Channel. The client has requested a variation on the standard design to reduce his heating costs.

  1. What variation would make the most sense to reduce the heating costs?

    • (A)Have a floor-to-ceiling window facing away from the channel toward the front of the property.

    • (B)Replace the floor-to-ceiling window with a cinder block wall.

    • (C)Order curtains to cover the floor-to-ceiling window.

    • (D)Order an oversized furnace.

  2. What other ways could the homeowner consider to reduce the cost of energy to heat the house?

    • (A)Add as much additional insulation as possible.

    • (B)Use the house only during the summer months.

    • (C)Wear clothing with thermal padding in the house.

    • (D)All of the above.

Answer Key

  1. B. Replace the floor-to-ceiling window with a cinder block wall.

    Glass contains no encapsulated air and, thus, provides neither insulation nor greater thermal flow. To answer this question, you need to know that good insulators contain trapped air and that glass doesn’t. Thus, replacing the floor-to-ceiling glass walls with a cinder block wall would increase the insulating properties of that wall and reduce the heating costs for the house.

  2. C. Wear clothing with thermal padding in the house.

    Each of the options would reduce heat loss and reduce energy costs. General knowledge would let you assume that Juno was considerably warmer during the summer, and the word thermal indicates a garment that’s meant to reduce personal heat loss and, thus, would allow the room temperature to be reduced.

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