How to Manage Your Time for the GED Science Test

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

The GED Science test has about 50 questions (the exact number varies from test to test) that you must answer in 90 minutes, which means you have about 90 seconds to read each textual or visual passage and its corresponding question(s) and determine the correct answer.

If a passage has more than one question, you have slightly more time to answer those questions because you should read the passage only once. You’ll also have two Short Answer items, each of which should take you about ten minutes or less to complete. The Short Answer items aren’t timed separately, so some speed in keyboarding and passage completion will give you more time for the other items.

For the Science test, specifically, focus on these two time-saving strategies:

  • For questions about passages, read the question first and then skim the material for the answer. The passage always contains the answer, but your background knowledge in science and your familiarity with scientific terms can help you understand the material more easily and quickly. Reading the question first provides you with a guide to what’s being asked and what the passage is about.

  • For questions about a visual material, such as a graph or table, read the question first and then scan the visual material. Look at the visual material to see the big picture; questions usually don’t ask about minute details.

As a general tip, answer the easiest questions first. You can then go back and spend a little more time on the more difficult questions. Remember, though, to plan ahead and leave a few minutes at the end to review your answers.

And don’t panic! Your worst enemy on this or any other test is panic. Panicking takes time and energy, and you don’t have a surplus of both. On the Science test, you’re expected to recognize and understand some scientific vocabulary, but, if you come across a word you don’t understand, try to figure out its meaning from the rest of the sentence.

If you can’t do so quickly, leave it. Return to the problem at the end of the test when you know exactly how much time is left.