GED Sample Questions: Laws of Science Questions

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

The Science portion of the GED will ask you questions about the laws of Science. Make sure you understand these. Take a look at this example for an idea of what you will encounter on test day.

The questions in this article refer to the following passage.

Laws of Conservation

You are faced with laws every day. You cannot speed on the roads, and you cannot park wherever you choose.

Science has its laws as well. One such law is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. This law, called the law of conservation of energy, makes sense because you cannot create something from nothing. If you have an electrical charge, you cannot simply make it disappear.

A further law of conservation is the law of conservation of matter, which says that matter cannot be created or destroyed. This means that when a chemical change occurs, the total mass of an object remains constant. When you melt an ice cube, the water that results is neither heavier nor lighter than the original ice cube.

  1. Trees are damaged when struck by lightning, but the lightning is nowhere apparent afterward. Because lightning is a form of energy, what would explain the apparent disappearance of the energy in the lightning?

    • (A)The energy in the lightning disappears.

    • (B)The energy in the lightning must be conserved and is transformed into another form of energy that affects the tree.

    • (C)The tree absorbs the lightning and stores the energy for future use.

    • (D)Lightning striking the tree creates new energy, which damages the tree.

  2. What is the purpose of laws in science?

    • (A)Science is an ordered discipline, and the laws provide the requisite order.

    • (B)Laws set parameters within which scientists can proceed with their investigations.

    • (C)Laws make it easier to study science because they provide a logical order to the information studied.

    • (D)All of the above.

  3. When a magician makes a rabbit appear in a hat, it is an example of which law of science?

    • (A)conservation of energy

    • (B)conservation of matter

    • (C)creation of illusion

    • (D)conservation of resources

  4. When an iceberg melts as a result of temperature changes, the law of science that is being best illustrated is ____________.

  5. When you take a dead battery out of your flashlight, what has happened to its original charge?

    • (A)It has been converted into light.

    • (B)It has disappeared.

    • (C)The battery has worn out.

    • (D)The energy has been destroyed.

  6. How would a scientist categorize the result of adding 3 ounces of water to 1 ounce of salt?

    • (A)An example of the law of conservation of energy in that the amount of energy would be the same afterward as before.

    • (B)You will end up with 1 ounce of salty water.

    • (C)The salt will disappear, and all that will remain is water.

    • (D)An example of the law of conservation of mass in that the total mass will remain the same.

  7. A ball rolling down a hill cannot stop by itself. What law of science explains this?

    • (A)There is a bump on the road.

    • (B)The ball has no brakes.

    • (C)The energy from rolling down the hill can’t disappear.

    • (D)The theory of the laws of conservation keeps the ball from stopping.

  8. What is the purpose of laws in science?

    • (A)They summarize the results of a group of experimental results in a form that can be understood and remembered.

    • (B)They represent the sum of positive reproducible experimental results in a coherent summary statement.

    • (C)They represent the mathematical or verbal summary of a series of diverse experimental results that may not otherwise be recognized as related.

    • (D)All of the above.

Answer Key

  1. B. The energy in the lightening must be conserved and is transformed into another form of energy that affects the tree.

    The passage states that energy can’t be created or destroyed, so the energy from the lightning must be transformed into another type of energy. The other answer choices imply that the energy has somehow disappeared, which the passage says can’t happen.

  2. D. All of the above.

    Science is an ordered discipline and, as such, needs laws to maintain its organization.

  3. C. creation of illusion.

    Matter can’t be created or destroyed. Thus, a rabbit can’t appear except by creation of an illusion, which is the best answer of the choices given.

  4. conservation of matter.

    When ice melts, it turns into water. This is an example of the law of conservation of matter. Although the amount of water in a melting iceberg is tiny, it does add some water to the ocean.

  5. A. It has been converted into light.

    Flashlights provide light by using the energy in the battery. The passage says that energy can’t be created or destroyed, so the energy in the battery must have been converted or transformed into something else. In reality, even if you don’t use a battery for an extended time, the battery grows weaker. But this tidbit isn’t mentioned in the passage.

  6. D. An example of the law of conservation of mass in that the total mass will remain the same.

    If you add 3 ounces of water to 1 ounce of salt, you have 4 ounces of combined ingredients. The combined mass is the same as the sum of the individual masses. The volume may be different, but the question doesn’t ask you about the volume.

  7. C. The energy from rolling down the hill can’t disappear.

    The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can’t be created or destroyed. Thus, the energy developed by the ball rolling down the hill can’t disappear.

  8. D. All of the above.

    Choices (A), (B), and (C) contribute to a definition of a scientific law, so Choice (D) is the best answer because it indicated that the others are a summary.