What is covered on the GED: Mathematics portion?

About this article
Although the term 'test' is often used, the GED is actually a battery of four individual tests students need to pass in order to obtain a GED certificate, which is typically viewed as being equivalent to a high school diploma. This article contains information about the mathematics portion of the GED.
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Mathematical Reasoning on the GED

The mathematics portion of the GED (General Education Development) test is divided into two parts. The first 5-question part does not allow test takers to use a calculator, while the other 41-question section does permit calculator use.

Since the test is taken on a computer at an official testing site, a TI-30XS Multiview scientific calculator is offered on-screen in the second section of the test; if students prefer, a hand-held version of the same calculator can be used for those questions. The test has a total of 46 questions and students must complete both sections within 115 minutes. Questions take the form of multiple choice, drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank and hot spots, where test takers select a specific spot on an image.

Test Details

The mathematics test covers two general areas:

  • Quantitative Problem Solving (45% of test)
  • Algebraic Problem Solving (55% of test)

The first section of the test, done without a calculator, covers four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. That section must be fully completed before moving to the next section.

The second section of the test calls for math skills such as identifying and demonstrating an understanding of rational numbers, factoring polynomial expressions, solving linear inequalities, choosing or graphing a solution on a number line, solving real-world problems and writing linear inequalities in one variable.

No scratch paper is permitted into the testing area, but an erasable note board (8.5' x 14') is provided for use with an erasable marker. To further help, test takers are given a list of common formulas so that they can focus on applying the formulas rather than memorizing them.

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