Skills Needed for GED Math Test

GED stands for General Educational Development is the process of earning the equivalent of your high school diploma. When you take and pass the GED test, you earn a GED certificate or credential, which is awarded by the GED Testing Service, an educational materials and testing company. The GED test consists of four exams designed by the American Council on Education to measure high school level skills and knowledge.

The total number of points available on each exam is as follows:

  • Reasoning Through Language Arts: 65 raw points
  • Mathematical Reasoning: 49 raw points
  • Social Studies: 44 raw points
  • Science: 40 raw points


To prepare for the GED math test, candidates should understand both its format and content. Studying math needs more than just memorizing formulas. You need to understand how to apply those formulas and math concepts.

The GED Math test covers the following topics:

  • Number operations & number sense: 20-30%
  • Measurement & geometry: 20-30%
  • Data analysis, statistics, & probability: 20-30%
  • Algebra, functions, & patterns: 20-30%

The GED Math test has 46 questions. You need to finish the test in 115 minutes or less. You need to get a score of 145 to pass this section. A calculator and formula and symbols sheet will be provided.

Mathematical Reasoning focuses on two major content domains: quantitative problem solving and algebraic problem-solving. The module aims to strike a balance between assessing a test-takes

  • deeper conceptual understanding.
  • procedural skill, and fluency with numeracy and mathematics.
  • the ability to apply these fundamentals in realistic situations.


The basic skills needed for GED math tests are:

  • Mathematical fluency
  • Abstracting problems
  • Building solution pathways and lines of reasoning
  • Furthering lines of reasoning
  • Evaluating reasoning and solution pathways.


The test commonly asks GED candidates to evaluate mathematical concepts and apply those concepts to various scenarios. Some of the skills tested on the 2014 GED Math exam include solving multi-step problems based on real-world situations using ratios, rational numbers, percents, and proportions. Other skills that are tested include the abilities to factor polynomial expressions, to solve linear inequalities, to identify a function on a table or graph, to use the Pythagorean Theorem and to calculate the surface area of 3-D geometric figures. Everyone who takes the test receives a formula sheet with foundational geometric and algebraic formulas for area, volume, the slope of a line and other computations.


To be a skilled test-taker in GED Math test one must focus on the following areas:

  1. Number Operations and Number Sense: Number operations are the familiar actions you take in math problems and equations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Number sense is the ability to understand numbers. You are expected to be able to recognize numbers, know their relative values (that 5 is larger than 3, for example), and know how to use them (number operations). In addition, number sense includes the ability to estimate (or approximate) the result of number operations, which is always a handy skill on a timed test.
  2. Measurement and Geometry: Here, you get a chance to play with mathematical shapes, Pythagorean relationship (or theorem) to do all sorts of interesting calculations and manipulate them in your head. This category breaks down into two topics: Measurement involves area, volume, time, and the distance from here to there. Measurement of time is a good thing to know when taking any test because you want to make sure you run out of questions before you run out of time! Geometry is the part of mathematics that deals with measurement. It also deals with relationships and properties of points, lines, angles, and planes. This branch of math requires you to draw, use, and understand diagrams.
  3. Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability: This category breaks down into the following types: Data analysis allows you to analyze data. You probably already practice this skill without realizing it. When you read about stock performance or lack of performance, calculate or read about baseball statistics, or figure out how many miles per gallon your car gets, you are doing data analysis. Statistics and probability are part of data analysis. Statistics is the interpretation of collections of random numbers and can be used to prove one thing or another; probability tells you how often an event is likely to happen.
  4. Algebra, Functions, and Patterns: You most likely use these concepts in your everyday life, but you are not known to it. Algebra is a form of mathematics used to solve problems by using letters to represent unknown numbers, creating equations from the information given, and solving for the unknown numbers thus, turning them into known numbers. Functions are part of mathematics. They involve the concept that one number can be determined by its relationship with another. Patterns are the predictable repeat of a situation. Most patterns are complicated, but, with some focus, you can figure out how to solve them.

Successful test takers should have a strong grasp on problem-solving, reasoning and analytical skills. They should be able to glean information from both written and visual mathematical data, which might include graphs, charts, diagrams or tables. They should also be able to understand and apply mathematical concepts in real-world situations.

Math is difficult only because you have been repeatedly told and convinced that it is. Go out of your comfort zone and start learning math the right way. Happy learning!


If you want to know more about the GED Math, you can check on Best GED Math Preparation Book.

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