GED Science

The GED® Science Test focuses on the fundamentals of science reasoning, striking a balance of deeper conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply these fundamentals in realistic situations. In order to stay true to this intention, each item on the Science Test is aligned to one science practice and one content topic.

The science practices can be described as skills that are key to scientific reasoning in both textual and quantitative contexts.

The Science Test also focuses on three major content domains:

  1. Life science- 40%
  2. Physical science- 40%
  3. Earth and space science- 20%

The science content topics, which are drawn from these three domains, provide context for measuring a test-taker’s abilities to apply the reasoning skills described in the practices. The content topics focus on science that reflects both that which is taught in many high school-level science courses and that which is most relevant and useful for an adult population. To measure this content at a range of levels of complexity, several different item types are used in the test, including multiple choice, short answer, drag-and-drop, hot spot, and fill-in-the-blank.

Given these priorities, the GED® Science Test adheres to the following parameters:

  • The test includes items that test textual analysis and understanding, data representation and inference skills, as well as problem solving with science content.
  • The contexts within which problem solving skills are measured were taken from both academic and workforce contexts.
  • Approximately 50 percent of the items are presented in item scenarios, in which a single stimulus (which may be textual, graphic or a combination of both) serves to inform two to three items. The rest of the items are discrete.


  1. Human Health and Living Systems pertains to material that is vital for the health and safety of all living things on the planet. Topics explored in this area of focus include the physical body and characteristics of humans and other living things.
  2. System of living organisms and related topics (e.g. diseases, evolution, and heredity) are also covered. This crosscutting concept also examines the mechanisms for how the human body works on chemical and physical levels.
  3. Within the domain of Earth and space science, topics are focused on how the environment affects living things and human society, as well as on how humans and other organisms affect the environment.
  4. Energy and Related Systems deals with a fundamental part of the universe. Topics in this area of focus cover sources of energy, transformations of energy, and uses of energy. Within the domain of life science, this theme is reflected in content exploring how energy flows through organisms and ecosystems. Similarly, the Earth’s geochemical systems are touched upon in Earth and space science. Topics related to how humans gain energy in their bodies and the results of the use of that energy are also relevant to this theme.
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