GED Test Prep: Science Section

When you take the Science section of the GED test, you have to answer the same variety of question formats, including multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, drop-down menu, drag and drop, hot spot, and short answer, all in 80 minutes. The questions deal with the following topics:

  • Life science (40 percent)

  • Physical science, including chemistry and physics (40 percent)

  • Earth and space science (20 percent)

Most of the information you need to answer the items on the Science section is given to you in the passages and other excerpts, although to get a perfect score, you're expected to have picked up a basic knowledge of science. However, even if you correctly answer only the questions based entirely on the information presented, you should get a score high enough to pass.

Although you won't be expected to be an expert on the various topics in the Science section, you will be expected to understand the words. To accomplish this, read as widely as you can in Science books. If you run across words you don't understand, write them down with a definition or explanation. Doing so will provide a vocabulary list for you to review before the test.

You must read and understand the passages in the Science section to be able to select the best choice for an answer. Practice reading quickly and accurately. Because you have a time limit, practice skimming passages to look for key words.

The less time you spend on the passages, the more time you'll have to answer the item, and the more time you'll have at the end of the test to review your answers and attempt questions that you found difficult the first time you read them. Attempt to answer every question. You can't get a mark for an item you've left out.

The Science section also includes short-answer questions in which you respond to a passage or passages in a coherent logical way. Remember: You're expected to write a response that might be expected of someone ready for employment or college, not a public school student or someone preparing for a doctoral thesis. You should be able to include material from the passage and some from your general knowledge.

Because the simplified word processor on the test has limitations, check your spelling and grammar carefully. In science, make sure that if you use a word from your reading, it's spelled correctly and used correctly. Above all, don't panic. If you've prepared, you'll do fine.

Here are some sample problems similar to those that may be in the Science section on the GED test.

The following questions are based on this excerpt from a press release.

A key feature of the Delta 4's operation is the use of a common booster core, or CBC, a rocket stage that measures some 150 feet long and 16 feet wide. By combining one or more CBCs with various upper stages or strap-on solid rocket boosters, the Delta 4 can handle an extreme range of satellite applications for military, civilian, and commercial customers.

The CBC in this context is a

  • (A)Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

  • (B)common booster core

  • (C)cooperative boosters corps

  • (D)common ballistic cavalier

The correct answer is Choice (B). After all, it's the only answer choice mentioned in the passage. Skimming the passage would give you an idea of where to look for a fuller explanation of the abbreviation.

How can the Delta 4 handle a wide range of applications?

  • (A)developing a Delta 5

  • (B)continuing research

  • (C)using the CBC as the base of a rocket ship

  • (D)creating a common core booster

The correct answer is Choice (C). The passage says that “By combining one or more CBCs with various upper stages or strap-on solid rocket boosters…,” so Choice (C) comes closest to answering the question.

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