GHSGT Social Studies

All about GHSGT Social Science Section

The Social Studies section is one of the five major testing areas of the Georgia High School Graduation Test, which eleventh grade students of Georgia schools have to take, in order to obtain high school graduate diploma in Georgia. The current version of the test is GPS compatible. Georgia Performance Standard (GPS) is a Georgia State Board of Education approved performance standard for high schools of Georgia.

The Social Studies Curriculum

The schools that use this test follow three curricula:

  1. The QCC (Quality Core Curriculum)- The old Georgia high school curriculum.
  2. Georgia Performance Standard- The New Georgia high school curriculum.
  3. Transitional- A curriculum specially designed for those changing from the QCC to the GPS curriculum.

The GPS curriculum is the most recent curriculum accepted by Georgia School examination authorities. The Georgia schools, which were following the QCC are now changing over to the GPS curriculum. Those in a transitional phase between the two are following a transitional curriculum. Hence, there are three versions of the Social Studies section to suit the three different curricula of Georgia high schools. A candidate will opt for the version of this test that best suits his/her high school curriculum.

When Should One Take the GHSGT Social Studies Examination?

The Social Studies examination is to be taken by eleventh graders in the Spring session. The students can contact the test administration authorities about further information on the test schedules by visiting the official website (

Social Studies Content Areas under GHSGT

The section has 5 content areas called domains. Each of these domains is as follows:

  1. American Government/Civics- This section covers 18% of the question paper and presents questions from the philosophical background of the US government. It also has questions on the US government network, and its association with the US citizens and the US states.
  2. History to 1865- In this section, which covers 26% of the examination, the examinee’s knowledge about the US historical events, pertaining to the given period, is tested.
  3. History Since 1865- This section, which contributes to 25% of the question paper, has questions testing the examinee’s knowledge of the US history from 1865 to the latter period of the 20th century.
  4. Geography- This section constitutes 13% of the overall question paper, and tests the examinee’s knowledge of the physical and cultural geography of the USA.
  5. World History- This section contributes to 18% of the question paper. It covers history from pre-historical times to the current period of the 21st century, with special emphasis on the Renaissance period, Reformation period, and the latter period of the 20th century.

Apart from the specific domains discussed above, the information-processing skills and knowledge of working with maps are tested as a part of the domain tests.

Test Format and Question Types

The Social Studies test is conducted online. The question paper consists of 90 questions of the objective pattern. Each question is given 4 multiple-choice answering options, out of which one has to choose the most appropriate answer.

Skills Tested in the Social Studies Section

This section tests the following skills:

  1. Aptitude to recollect factual information related to US History- To answer questions of this category, you will have to typically train your mind into thinking who did what, when and where in US History.
  2. Aptitude to describe and analyze historical events and personalities- Questions of this category will test your ability to describe certain historical events, provide a cause-and-effect analysis of a given historical situation, and also compare/contrast between the given questioning criteria.
  3. Aptitude to apply historical concepts and deduce conclusions based on the given information- Questions of this category are quite difficult as they test the soundness of the conceptual foundation of a student.

Social Studies Scoring

The score range in this section varies according to the curriculum under which the test is conducted. An overview of the scores in the different curricula is as follows:

  • QCC and Transitional Curriculums- The results range from 100-600.
    • Passing score -500 -525.
    • Pass Plus score-500 onwards.
  • GPS Curriculum – The performance interpretations according to this curriculum are as follows:
    • Scaled score of 200 or below: Below Proficiency
    • Scaled Score of 200-234: Basic Proficiency
    • Scaled score range- 235- 274: Advanced Proficiency
    • Scaled score range of 275 or above: Honors


The History and Geography section is a difficult examination to pass with a high score. One has to prepare for this examination well before attempting it. As the tested subject is Social Studies, there is no scope of answering questions based on guesswork. The examinee has to answer questions based on his/her knowledge of US history and his/her ability to recollect this knowledge in the examination hall.