GED Sample Questions: Physical Science Questions

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

When you reach the Science portion of the GED, you will be expected to have a general knowledge in all branches of Science, including physical Science. Here is an example of the type of questions you may encounter on test day.

Velocity and Speed

There is a difference between speed and velocity, though sometimes you see the words used interchangeably. The velocity of a body is its rate of motion in a specific direction, such as a bicycle traveling 34 miles per hour due east. Because velocity has both magnitude (34 miles per hour) and direction (due east), it can be represented by a vector.

Speed has a magnitude only. If a bicycle travels at a speed of 28 miles per hour, you know its magnitude (28 miles per hour) but not its direction. Because speed has a magnitude but not a direction, it can be represented as a scalar.

  1. If force is defined as that which is required to change the state or motion of an object in magnitude and direction, how should it be represented?

    • (A)wavy lines

    • (B)straight line

    • (C)scalar

    • (D)vector

  2. A GPS is a device that shows you your position on Earth and can give you directions to get to another location on Earth. The directions given by a GPS are really in the form of ___________.

Answer Key

  1. D. vector.

    The passage states that velocity can be represented by a vector because it has both magnitude and direction. Force is defined as changing the state or motion of an object, either in magnitude or direction. Because a force has magnitude and direction, it’s represented by a vector. The information needed to answer this question is in the last sentence of the first paragraph.

    You can ignore the first three answer choices completely because they have very little to do with the question. Choice (D) requires you to know the difference between a vector and a scalar. The last line of each paragraph in the passage contains the definitions you need.

  2. vectors.

    Because the GPS gives directions containing both magnitude and direction, the directions would really be in the form of vectors.