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GED® Test Science


The Science section of the GED® exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and is allotted eighty minutes, leaving approximately 1.6 minutes to answer each question.  This section tests your grasp of basic scientific principles and concepts. We recognize that preparing for the science section of the exam may be difficult and anxiety-inducing for many people, as it may have been a long time since you have studied science at all. Remember that regardless of the topic being covered, it is more important to use good test-taking skills, be aware of time, and relax. This study section is a good place to practice not being intimidated by big, technical sounding words. Even if you have no idea what a word means, you can still find the correct answer to the question at hand.

Science is about breaking things down and examining the relationships between the parts, from the very small to the very large, and just about everything in between.


There are different kinds of science, called disciplines (categories).  The Science test covers a set of disciplines that together provide a broad overview of modern science in general.

1. Physical Science (physics and chemistry)

2. Life Science 

3. Earth and Space Science

It is important to know what these disciplines mean more specifically, as well as how much of each to study for the exam.

  1. Physical science is the study of how the world around you works: objects, substances, building-blocks, chemicals, and energy.  This take up roughly 35% of the test (just over a third).
  1. Life science is about the world of living things around us, including ourselves. This means that it covers everything that goes on within and between and around all creatures great and small. Life science will be roughly 45% of the test or just under half.


  1. Earth and space science looks at the bigger picture. It focuses on what is going on in our planet and its neighborhood, both near and far.  This will be roughly 20% of the test.

The Lessons in this section of the course will be structured around these categories.


The Science Test contains certain themes (established by National Science Education Standards)       

Unifying Concepts and Processes

Things that come up everywhere in science, over and over again, like systems, evidence, change.


How science asks and answers questions


The things that science makes possible and the things that make science possible.

Social Perspectives

The role of science in the quality of our lives, as well as how it affects our community and setting.

History and Nature of Science

How science has developed into what it currently is, as well as how it continues to grow.


Questions will involve a scenario or situation described in a short reading.  About half of the time, there will be accompanying visual information (pictures, maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables.)  In some parts of the test, you will be asked more than one question about a given scenario.

Based on the kind of thinking and reasoning skills they require, there are four different types of questions on the test. These are the same basic types of questions explained in the Language Arts and Social Studies sections of the course, but we include a description of them here once again to refresh your memory.



Approximate #

of Questions

1.   Comprehension      Determining the meaning (main point, implications) of the scenario that is presented.


2.   Evaluation              Deciding on the validity (accuracy, importance) of the explanation being presented.


3.   Application             Applying what is learned to other situations.


4.   Analysis                 Determining cause and effect; picking out the logic and relationships in a scenario.


Science Lessons

  1. Science Approach
  2. Lesson 1
  3. Lesson 2
  4. Lesson 3
  5. Summary
  6. Practice Test

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