Ways to Hone Your Science Skills for the GED Science Test - dummies

Ways to Hone Your Science Skills for the GED Science Test

By Murray Shukyn, Achim K. Krull

You will want to make sure you are prepared when you go in to take the GED Science test. When taking the test, you have 90 minutes to answer approximately 50 questions in the following science content areas:

Content Area Percentage of Questions
Life science 40%
Physical science (physics and chemistry) 40%
Earth and space science 20%

About half of the questions involve reading science-related passages, and half involve extracting information from and interpreting visuals — graphs, tables, charts, and diagrams.

While the GED Science test doesn’t require in-depth knowledge of science topics, it does require science aptitude — skills that enable you to process science-related information presented in different formats on the test and use it to choose or enter the correct answers. Specifically, these science skills fall into the three groups covered here.

Analyze scientific and technical information, evidence, and arguments

To perform well on the GED Science test, you need to be able to read with a critical eye and express your thoughts clearly in words. Specifically, you must demonstrate an ability to do the following:

  • Read and understand science-related reading passages.

  • Deduce the meaning of science symbols, terms, and phrases based on the context in which they’re used.

  • Reconcile scientific findings, conclusions, and theories.

  • Write coherent, short answer responses that cite evidence from one or more reading passages to support your claims.

Apply scientific processes and procedural concepts

A significant portion of the test requires a fundamental understanding of and ability to apply the scientific method — the process that scientists follow to draw conclusions and make predictions about natural phenomena. In this area, you must demonstrate mastery of the following skills:

  • Draw conclusions from data or evidence.

  • Predict outcomes based on data or evidence.

  • Recognize a hypothesis — a proposed explanation for a condition or occurrence that can be tested and either proved or disproved. You may also need to refine a hypothesis.

  • Design an experiment or scientific investigation to test a given hypothesis.

  • Analyze the design of an experiment or other scientific investigation and identify possible sources of error and/or improve the design to reduce or eliminate errors.

  • Grasp scientific models, theories, and processes and apply them to certain scenarios.

  • Determine whether certain evidence supports or challenges a conclusion or theory.

Interpret scientific data and use it to reason out answers

Although the GED Science test doesn’t require a great deal of expertise in math, it does require an ability to interpret raw data and use it to draw reasonable conclusions and predictions. Specifically, you must be able to demonstrate an ability to do the following:

  • Describe data using statistical terminology, such as relative frequency, mean, median, mode, spread, range, percentage, and average.

  • Use formulas from scientific theories and laws to calculate unknown values when provided with the formula and the known values required to perform the calculations.

  • Interpret and express data visually; for example, you may be required to extract data from a graph or plot points on a graph.

  • Express scientific information or findings numerically or symbolically.

  • Calculate the probability of a certain event or series of events.

  • Solve scientific problems through the use of counting techniques and permutations.