GED Practice Questions: Science

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

You don’t have to be a scientist to do well on the GED Science test. You just have to have a firm grasp on basic science concepts and be able to extract information from charts and other visual aids. Give these sample questions a try.

Sample Questions

Questions 1–9 refer to the following passage.

Where Does All the Garbage Go?

When we finish using something, we throw it away, but where is “away”? In our modern cities, “away” is usually an unsightly landfill site, piled high with all those things that we no longer want. A modern American city generates solid waste or garbage at an alarming rate.

Every day, New York City produces 17,000 tons of garbage and ships it to Staten Island, where it is added to yesterday’s 17,000 tons in a landfill site. We each produce enough garbage every five years to equal the volume of the Statue of Liberty. In spite of all the efforts to increase recycling, we go on our merry way producing garbage without thinking about where it goes.

In any landfill, gone is not forgotten by nature. By compacting the garbage to reduce its volume, we slow the rate of decomposition, which makes our garbage last longer. In a modern landfill, the process produces a garbage lasagna. There’s a layer of compacted garbage covered by a layer of dirt, covered by a layer of compacted garbage and so on.

By saving space for more garbage, we cut off the air and water needed to decompose the garbage and, thus, preserve it for future generations. If you could dig far enough, you might still be able to read 40-year-old newspapers. The paper may be preserved, but the news is history.

One of the answers to this problem is recycling. Any object that can be reused in one form or another is an object that shouldn’t be found in a landfill. Most of us gladly recycle our paper, which saves energy and resources. Recycled paper can be used again and even turned into other products.

Recycling old newspapers is not as valuable as hidden treasure, but when the cost of landfills and the environmental impact of producing more and more newsprint is considered, it can be a bargain.

If plastic shopping bags can be recycled into a cloth-like substance that can be used to make reusable shopping bags, maybe American ingenuity can find ways to reduce all that garbage being stored in landfills before the landfills overtake the space for cities.

  1. Why are the disposal methods used in modern landfills as much a part of the problem as a part of the solution?

    • (A) They look very ugly.

    • (B) They take up a lot of valuable land.

    • (C) The bacteria that aid decomposition do not thrive.

    • (D) Newspapers are readable after 50 years.

  2. Why is recycling paper important?

    • (A) It saves money.

    • (B) It reduces the need for new landfill sites.

    • (C) Newspaper is not biodegradable.

    • (D) None of the above.

  3. Why is solid waste compacted in a modern landfill?

    • (A) to reduce the odor

    • (B) to help the bacteria decompose the waste

    • (C) to make the landfill look better

    • (D) to reduce the amount of space it occupies

  4. What is the modern landfill compared to?

    • (A) an efficient way of ridding cities of solid waste

    • (B) a garbage lasagna

    • (C) a place for bacteria to decompose solid waste

    • (D) a huge compost bin

  5. Why is it important for cities to establish recycling programs?

    • (A) It makes people feel good about their garbage.

    • (B) It is cheaper to recycle.

    • (C) Recycling lets someone else look after your problem.

    • (D) It is cheaper than the cost of new landfill sites.

  6. What can individual Americans do to reduce the amount of waste that is going into the landfills?

    • (A) Eat less.

    • (B) Reuse and recycle as much as possible.

    • (C) Stop using paper.

    • (D) Import more nitrogen.

  7. Bacteria provide what helpful purpose in composting?

    • (A) They help get rid of rodents.

    • (B) They take part in chemical reactions.

    • (C) They are part of the inorganic cycle.

    • (D) They help decompose composting waste.

  8. If municipalities lose money recycling paper, why do they continue?

    • (A) The politicians don’t know they are losing money.

    • (B) Municipalities don’t have to make money.

    • (C) The public likes to recycle paper.

    • (D) The cost is less than acquiring more landfill sites.

  9. How does recycling paper save money for the city?

    • (A) Recycling trucks run on diesel fuel.

    • (B) New landfill sites are expensive.

    • (C) Municipalities don’t have to burn the paper.

    • (D) In a landfill site, the heavy machinery uses a lot of fuel.

Answers

  1. C. The bacteria that aid decomposition do not thrive.

  2. B. It reduces the need for new landfill sites.

  3. D. to reduce the amount of space it occupies.

  4. B. a garbage lasagna.

  5. D. It is cheaper than the cost of new landfill sites.

  6. B. Reuse and recycle as much as possible.

  7. D. They help decompose composting waste.

  8. D. The cost is less than acquiring more landfill sites.

  9. B. New landfill sites are expensive.