Cheat Sheet

GED Mathematical Reasoning Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From GED Mathematical Reasoning Test For Dummies

By Murray Shukyn, Achim K. Krull

To perform well on the GED Mathematical Reasoning test, you need to be able to perform basic mathematical operations; solve math problems (including word problems); interpret charts, tables, and graphs; calculate the perimeter, area, and volume of shapes and objects; and analyze data. This Cheat Sheet provides a more detailed list of what you need to know to perform well on the GED Mathematical Reasoning test and provides tips and tricks to help you answer questions faster and with greater accuracy.

Recognizing the Skills Required to Pass the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test

Uncertainty can generate significant test anxiety. To lessen the anxiety and boost your performance on the GED Mathematical Reasoning test, get a general idea of what’s covered on the test. To do well on the test, you need to be able to do the following:

  • Perform basic mathematical operations, including: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, finding the square and square roots of numbers, and finding the cube and cube roots of numbers.

  • Perform mathematical operations with fractions, decimals, and percentages.

  • Recognize number patterns and determine the missing number in a given pattern.

  • Read and understand word problems and translate them into mathematical operations that can be solved.

  • Read and extract data from various types of graphs, including bar and column graphs, pie charts, and line graphs from diagrams and tables.

  • Apply mathematical concepts to real-world situations, such as calculating the interest on a loan or the rate of speed required to reach a certain destination at a specific time.

  • Calculate the perimeter and area of two-dimensional objects and the surface area and volume of three-dimensional objects when provided with formulas to perform the calculations.

  • Use the Pythagorean theorem to calculate the length of one side of a right triangle when given the lengths of the other two sides.

  • Determine the mean, median, and mode of a group of numbers.

  • Solve linear equations that describe the slope of a line drawn on the coordinate plane.

  • Calculate the probability of one or more random events occurring, such as rolling a certain number on a six-sided die.

  • Solve for unknown variables when given the values of the other variables in an equation.

Solving Word Problems on the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test

Many of the questions on the GED Mathematical Reasoning test are word problems. They describe a real-world problem that requires math to solve. You need to read and understand the problem before you can answer it. Here’s a good way to approach word problems:

  1. Read the problem and the answer choices.

    The answer choices often provide valuable clues to solving the problem, such as the unit (miles, minutes, whatever) the answer needs to be in.

  2. Jot down the values you know and assign a variable, such as x, to the value you don’t know.

  3. Draw a picture if you think it will help.

    This isn’t helpful for all questions, but it is for many of them.

  4. Write the variable you assigned to the unknown value you need to find followed by the equal sign; for example, a = .

  5. After the equal sign, write the equation as if it were a sentence using the values given.

    For example: Henry had $5 more in his pocket than Joe had. How much money did Henry have if Joe had $12? If you let a stand for the amount of money that Henry had, then a = 12 + 5.

  6. Solve the equation.

  7. Select the answer choice that matches the answer you arrived at.

If you don’t know the answer, guess. Use what you know from reading the question and trying to solve the problem to try to eliminate one or more answers that appear to be obviously wrong, and then select from the remaining answer choices. You’re not penalized for guessing.

Performing Operations in the Proper Sequence on the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test: PEMDAS

When solving an equation that contains more than one mathematical operator on the GED, you must perform the operations in the correct sequence to arrive at the correct answer. For example, 54 +10 ÷ 2 can produce two different answers. If you add 54 and 10 and then divide by 2, you get 32. If you divide 10 by 2 first and then add 54, you get 59. Perform operations in the following sequence, known as PEMDAS:

Parentheses: Perform all operations enclosed in parentheses first.

Exponents: If an equation contains any exponents, such as, perform those operations next.

Multiplication: Do all multiplications next.

Division: Perform all division, including fractions, next.

Addition: Determine all sums next.

Subtraction: Finally, carry out all subtraction operations.

Some people use the mnemonic expression “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” to remember the proper order of operations. As long as everyone on earth does the operations in the same order, we should all get the same answer.