What's on the GED: Social Studies

What's on the GED: Social Studies

The GED® Social Studies Test evaluates your ability to understand, interpret, and apply information. You will have 70 minutes to answer 35 questions that are based on reading passages and interpreting graphics such as charts, graphs, diagrams, editorial cartoons, photographs, and maps. You will need a minimum score of 145 to pass the Social Studies Test, which is one of the four tests you will need to pass in order to earn a high school equivalency diploma.

[ RELATED: GED Social Studies Practice Questions ]

GED Social Studies Content Areas

  • Civics and Government (50%) topics include modern and historic governments, constitutional government, levels and branches of the U.S. government, the electoral system, and the role of the citizen.
  • U.S. History (20%) topics stretch from colonialism and the American Revolution through the Civil War and Reconstruction into the modern era of industrialization, immigration, two world wars, the Cold War, and the movements for equal rights.
  • Economics (15%) topics include basic economics concepts and systems, the government and the economy, and labor and consumer economics issues.
  • Geography and the World (15%) topics cover major stages in world history as well as the relationship among resources, the environment, and societies.

GED Social Studies Practices

In addition to testing your understanding of social studies passages and graphics, questions are based on your understanding of major skills, called Social Studies Practices. They include the following:

  • Determine Central Ideas, Inferences, Hypotheses, and Conclusions.
  • Analyze Words, Events, and Ideas in Social Studies Contexts.
  • Analyze Author’s Purpose and Point of View.
  • Evaluate Author’s Reasoning and Evidence.
  • Analyze and Integrate Relationships Within and Between Social Studies Materials.
  • Interpret Data and Statistics in Graphs and Charts.
  • Find the Center in a Statistical Data Set, Including Average, Median, and Mode.

Computer-Based Social Studies GED Test Question Formats

You will work with five question formats on the Social Studies Test. Many of the questions will be in the familiar multiple-choice format, but you will need to be acquainted with the other formats as well.
  • Multiple-Choice

    Multiple-choice questions have four options (A through D). You will click on the best answer.

  • Fill-in-the-Blank

    Fill-in-the-blank questions will require you to type a word, phrase, or number in a box that appears on the screen.

  • Drop-Down

    Drop-down questions give you the opportunity to click on the correct response to complete a statement.

  • Hot-Spot

    Hot-spot items consist of a graphic image or images. You will need to click on one or more “points” or graphics on the screen.

  • Drag-and-Drop

    Drag-and-drop items require you to click on a small image, words, or numerical expression and to drag and drop it in a specified location on the computer screen.

Math Problems on the GED Social Studies Test

Many social studies investigations use mathematics. For that reason, there will be math questions on the GED® Social Studies Test.

Although you do not have to use a calculator, you may use either a handheld or an on-screen version of the TI-30XS MultiView™ calculator on the Social Studies Test. Some problems will say: You MAY use your calculator. When you see that language, the calculator icon appears at the top of the screen. If you cannot remember how to use the calculator, you can open the online Calculator Reference Sheet.

You can click the links to open, move, and close both the online Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiView™ calculator and the Calculator Reference Sheet. You will want to move them on the computer screen so that they don’t block the problem. Also remember that you will have an off-line wipe-off board that you can use as scratch paper.

[  WHAT’S TESTED ON THE GED:  Science  •  Language Arts  •  Mathematics  ]