GED Science: Brushing Up on Life Science Lingo

By Murray Shukyn, Achim K. Krull

Part of GED Science Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Understanding the meaning of certain life science terms and concepts can help improve reading speed and comprehension for the GED Science test. Here are some key terms and concepts with which to familiarize yourself:

  • Cell theory: The principle that cells are the building blocks for all living things, from simple single-cell organisms up to complex multicellular organisms in which cells differentiate to perform different functions.

  • Conservation of energy: The law that energy can only be converted into another type of energy and can’t be created or destroyed.

  • Ecosystem: A community of plants, animals, and other living things that interact with one another and their physical environment.

  • Ecosystem disruption: Anything that disturbs the balance of an ecosystem, such as the introduction of an invasive species — a plant or critter that didn’t evolve as part of the ecosystem.

  • Evolution: The theory that explains the diversity of life on planet Earth.

  • Genetics: The study of how physical characteristics are inherited from parents.

  • Homeostasis: The tendency of a cell or organism to maintain a particular internal state in the midst of external changes.

  • Pathogen: A disease-causing agent, such as a virus or bacterium.

  • Photosynthesis: The process by which plants harness the sun’s energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, chemical energy that organisms that eat the plants can use.

  • Respiration: The process of breaking down nutrients from plants or other animals to produce energy for cells.

  • Taxonomy: The classification of all living things, including monera (simple single-cell organisms), protista (complex single-cell organisms), fungi (immobile multicellular organisms), planta (plants), and animalia (animals).