Reviewing the GED Test and What It Covers

By Achim K. Krull, Dale E. Shuttleworth, Murray Shukyn

Part of GED Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Before you begin to prepare for something as important as passing the GED test, you need to know what you’re getting into — namely, what the different test sections are all about. Each test section is a series of mostly multiple-choice questions, each having four possible answers. However, some items are specifically designed for the computer interface, such as fill-in-the-blank, drag-and-drop, drop-down menu, and hot-spot questions, as well as Extended Response and Short Answer items.

The Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA) and Social Studies tests both have an Extended Response, which requires you to write a good, draft-quality essay with correct spelling and grammar on an assigned topic. You have a time limit in which to write the essay. The RLA test allows you 45 minutes, while the Social Studies test allows 25 minutes. The Science test asks you a Short Answer question (basically a mini essay).

The GED test sections vary in length and have different numbers of questions. The information in the following table gives you a brief overview of each test:

Test Test Structure Time Allowed (In Minutes)
Reasoning through Language Arts Approx. 20 questions 35
1 essay 45
Approx. 30 questions 60
Social Studies Approx. 50 questions 65
1 essay 25
Science Approx. 50 questions including 2 Short Answer items (allow 10 min per) 90
Mathematical Reasoning Approx. 46 questions (the first 5 you do without a calculator) 115

Now that you know the face of the enemy, you can begin to prepare to meet its challenges.

Make sure you check the GED Testing Service for ongoing updates and further information. This test is a work in progress, and the GED Testing Service is making changes and modifications regularly based on experience and feedback from clients.