Test Tips for the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test - dummies

Test Tips for the GED Mathematical Reasoning Test

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

Some test takers struggle with certain sections of the GED. The Mathematical Reasoning test is challenging for some. Here are a few tips to help you. As you prepare for the Mathematical Reasoning test, do the following:

  • Master arithmetic fundamentals. About half of the Math test depends on basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, and fractions). The better you know the fundamentals, the better you can do on the test.

  • Understand how to solve problems. To get a handle on how to solve basic mathematical problems, do a lot of practice problems before the test. The more problems you solve, the more natural solving problems will become. Borrow or buy as many math books as you can, and use the sample questions in them to develop your problem-solving skills.

    Check every answer immediately after you work the question. If you answered it incorrectly, figure out why. If you still have trouble with that problem, ask someone to explain the solution to you. You can also check online for free math quiz websites that provide worksheets with answers. YouTube is also a good place to look for lessons on how to handle a particular math problem.

  • Understand the rules of math. Textbooks are full of rules, theorems, hypotheses, and so on. Read over as many of these rules as you can, and try to explain the main ones to a friend. If you can explain a particular rule (the Pythagorean theorem, for example) to a friend and he or she understands it, you’ve mastered the rule.

    If you can’t explain it, ask someone to help you better understand the rule. If you’re not sure where to start, begin by looking at the formula sheet provided on the GED test. Try to explain what each formula does and how it works.

  • Sign up for a math prep class or a math study group. The loneliest time is sitting in a room staring at a wrong answer without anyone to ask why it’s wrong. If you’re having trouble with math, swallow your pride and enroll for a math class or study group where you can get some help and have access to someone who can answer your questions.

  • Take practice tests and check your answers. As you take practice tests, answer every question and adhere to the time limits. Then, be sure to check your answers. Going through the answer explanations can help you figure out which areas you need more work on. Even if you get an answer correct, reading the explanation can be helpful.

    The only part of the test you can’t duplicate is the feeling of sitting in the examination room just before you start the test. But the more practice tests you take, the more comfortable you’ll be when test day finally arrives.

  • Get familiar with the calculator ahead of time. You’re probably familiar with calculators that add, subtract, multiply, and divide. The calculator included on-screen in the GED Math test is a scientific calculator, which means it does all those operations and a whole lot more, such as calculating fractions, percentages, exponents, and problems involving parentheses.

    You won’t be able to use the calculator on the first five questions of the test, and you won’t necessarily use all the keys on the calculator to take the test.

    Many test centers require you to preview a short film on how to use the calculator before taking the Math test. Call your local administrator to find out whether the film is available at your site. If not, you can always watch it on the Internet. Check out YouTube. It’s worth the time to watch it.

  • Read and make sure you understand what you read. What all the GED test sections have in common is that they all assess, in one way or another, reading comprehension; if you can’t read and understand the items, you can’t answer them. Just reading isn’t always enough — you have to stop and ask yourself questions about what you read.

    A good way to practice this skill is to find an old math textbook. Don’t worry about the grade level or even the content. If it’s full of problems to solve, it’ll work.