The GED Social Studies test is a 50 question multiple-choice test. The time limit for the test is 70 minutes. Questions will be based on text or a combination of graphs and text. Examples of text that may be used include voting information, historic documents, and sections of the U.S. Constitution. Approximately 60% of the questions will refer to graphs or a combination of graphs and text. The other 40% will refer exclusively to text. The questions will be divided among U.S. History (25%), World History (15%), Government and Civics (25%), Economics (20%), and Geography (15%).
The questions will also target specific thinking skills. Of the 50 questions, 20% will test comprehension skills, 20% will test application skills, 40% will test analysis skills, and 20% will test evaluation skills.
Successful completion of the Social Studies test will require candidates to demonstrate a mastery of comprehension skills. Candidates will be given a combination of reading passages, forms, quotations, graphs, charts, maps, and cartoons. Students should be prepared to summarize main ideas, restate information, and identify implications after reviewing the given material.
Students will also need to demonstrate a mastery of application skills. Some test questions will require students to review the given material and apply theories, ideas, and facts in a different situation.
Some questions will require students to demonstrate their ability to analyze information. Questions will ask candidates to analyze given material by distinguishing fact from opinion, distinguishing conclusions from supporting statements, recognizing unstated assumptions, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, recognizing persuasive or manipulative information, examining and interpreting visual data, and recognizing the historical context of specific writings.
Candidates will also need to demonstrate a mastery of evaluation skills. Test questions will ask candidates to judge the extent to which certain information satisfies specific criteria, to recognize the role of individual values and beliefs in decision-making, to judge the adequacy of facts, to compare and contrast different viewpoints, and to recognize logical fallacies and faulty reasoning.
The preceding GED information is valid until 2014, when a completely overhauled GED exam will take the place of the current test.