GED Sample Questions: Science Questions Using a Table

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

On test day, you may encounter Science questions on the GED that expect you to be able to read tables and answer questions with the information. Take a look at this example.

The following questions refer to this table, which is adapted from Hands-On General Science Activities with Real-Life Applications, by Pam Walker and Elaine Wood (Wiley):

Characteristic Moon Mars
Distance from Earth 239,000 miles 48,600,000 miles
Gravity 1/6 Earth’s gravity 1/3 Earth’s gravity
Atmosphere None Thin carbon dioxide, 1% air pressure of Earth
Trip time 3 days 1.88 Earth years
Communication time 2.6 seconds, round trip 10 to 41 minutes, round trip
  1. If you were an aeronautical engineer planning a journey to Mars, why would you prefer to go to a space station on the moon and then launch the rocket to Mars instead of going directly from Earth to Mars?

    • (A)Lower gravity on the moon means you need less fuel for the launch.

    • (B)You have more space to take off and land on the moon.

    • (C)No atmosphere means an easier takeoff.

    • (D)The moon is closer to Earth than Mars.

  2. If you were a communications engineer trying to establish a safety network to warn a rocket ship of dangers, where would you place the transmitter for this rocket ship’s journey to Mars?

    • (A)on the moon

    • (B)on Earth

    • (C)on Mars

    • (D)not enough information given

  3. Why would a trip to the moon be a better first choice than a trip to Mars for space travelers?

    • (A)You can see the moon from Earth without a telescope.

    • (B)The time of the trip is much shorter.

    • (C)The moon has a better atmosphere.

    • (D)There are already space vehicles on the moon.

  4. If you held a pole-vaulting contest on the moon and Mars, the same contestant would vault higher with the same expenditure of energy on __________.

Answer Key

  1. A. Lower gravity on the moon means you need less fuel for the launch.

    The less fuel you need to launch, the less you have to carry. The gravity on the moon is less than that on Earth, so you need less force and less fuel to break free of gravity.

  2. D. not enough information given.

    The only locations mentioned in the table are Mars and the moon, and you’re supposed to answer the question based on the material given. Thus, you don’t have enough information to answer the question.

  3. B. The time of the trip is much shorter.

    According to the table, it takes just 3 days to get to the moon, which is a much better first choice than the 1.88 years needed to get to Mars. The other choices are irrelevant to the question and the given table.

  4. the moon.

    Gravity on the moon is less than that on Mars. Because gravity is the force that attracts you to the moon (or to Earth or to Mars), the less the gravity, the less the attraction between you and the surface on which you stand, and, thus, the higher and farther you can jump — which, as you may know, is the goal of a pole-vaulting contest.