GED Test Sections

The test is divided in to five sections of Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. The questions asked in these sections are designed to check on the skills that an individual has obtained in different ways. All the sections have multiple choice questions except for the writing section where an essay has to be written. It is a mixture of questions from easy to hard asked on varied subjects. All items required to take the test like pens, pencils, calculators etc will be provided at the test center.


This section has about 40 questions to be answered. The essays given in this section include both fiction and non-fiction selections. About 65 minutes will be provided to complete 40 questions. All these 40 questions are multiple-choice questions. The passages given are about 200-400 words each. One part of this section includes questions on Non-fiction prose, business document and critical reviews. Literary, fictional prose, poetry and drama include the remaining three fourth of the section. The questions can be based on Comprehension, Application, analysis and synthesis. Every test paper in this section has a poem of 8 to 25 lines and a piece of drama too.


The writing section is divided into 2 parts. Part I consists of 50 multiple choice questions. Part II consists of essay type questions. Scores of both the parts put together gives one section score.

Part I

In this part, the multiple choice questions are allotted 75 minutes. 30% of the questions are based on structuring sentences. The next 30% is used up to mend errors in the given sentences and phrases. 25% is allotted to correct mechanical errors like capitalization, punctuation and spellings. The remaining 15% of questions are based on paragraph organization.

Part II

An essay of general topic will be asked. The student must write the topic in 200-250 words and also present the opinions and views about that topic. A scrap paper will be provided to use as rough to make a note of any notes if any. The final essay has to be written only on a two paged answer book.

The scoring for the writing section is based on a range of four points. They are

  • 4- Effective
  • 3- Adequate
  • 2- Marginal
  • 1- Ineffective

Social Studies

The social knowledge of the candidate is tested by this section. The questions asked are both global and national based. The sources for the questions asked are History of United States (25%), World (15%), Geography (15%), Civics and Government (25%), Economics (20%). 50 multiple choice questions from the above mentioned topics will be covered. Only the social studies section is different in the American and Canadian versions. There are varied sources from which these questions are taken. To answer questions from this section, the candidate must have the ability to comprehend, work-out, evaluate and assess the information given.

Mathematics (56 items)

The mathematics section tests the mathematical understanding capability of the student and lasts for about 90 minutes. This section is also divided in to two parts. The student can use a scientific calculator for the first part and for the second part he cannot use it. The student cannot miss any questions from any part, thus to get a good score questions from both the sections must be completed. In case any one part is not done well, then the student has to re-attend the math section again. Both multiple choice questions and alternate format questions will be asked. The four major areas are tested in this section

  • Numbers, number sense & operations 25%
  • Measurement and Geometry 25%
  • Data, Statistics and Probability 25%
  • Algebra, Functions and Patterns 25%

Unlike selecting an appropriate answer in the multiple choice questions, the student has to construct his own answers in the alternate format questions.


The Science section has 50 questions pertaining to environmental and health topics. 80 minutes are provided to complete 50 multiple choice questions. Half of the questions asked are based on basic understanding and the other half are based on everyday life science like, recycling, heredity, prevention of disease, pollution and climate etc. The division of areas in this section is as follows

  • Life Science (45%)
  • Earth and Space Science (20%)
  • Physical Science (35%), including physics and chemistry

The student needs to understand, construe and make use of the information that may be in the form of a paragraph, chart, table, graph, map or figure to answer the questions asked.

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