The Mathematics section of the GED, General Equivalency Diploma test is made up of three different topics: quantitative problem solving and algebraic problem solving. The basic difference between these two topics is that algebra requires the test-taker to solve for an unknown variable and quantitative problem solving uses fixed numbers to evaluate the test-takers ability to determine mathematical solutions. Even within these two types of problems, there are different types of math skills required.
The most straightforward math subject covered on the test is number operations. These are the basic problems of mathematics and test-takers must be able to find the solutions to problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and more complex operations. These questions account for approximately 25% of the Mathematics section. The next types of problems covered are related to measurement and geometry. These questions account for another 25% of the test. Candidates must be comfortable with calculating angles of shapes and identifying the unique features of different shapes.
The next section of the Mathematics subject test is the statistics section, accounting for another 25% of the subject’s questions. These problems will present information in graphs, charts, or text and ask the candidate to determine additional information from that provided. The questions focus on data analysis, statistics, and probability. To do well on these problems, you must understand how to calculate the chances of situational outcomes and infer trends from a collection of data.
The last quarter of the test is devoted to algebra, patterns, and functions. These problems will provide a pattern or equation to the test-taker and ask for a solution to the unknown variable or power. These can be the most challenging types of question on the Mathematics test, and candidates should prepare accordingly. Algebra is more conceptual than the other parts of the test and can be confusing. For this reason and also because over half of the test questions are somehow related to algebra, most practice tests focus heavily on this type of mathematical reasoning.
Fortunately, the new computerized format of the test in 2014 provides a calculator for each candidate to use during the test. This calculator can only be used for the first section. In the second section, candidates must be able to solve problems mentally. 80 percent of the questions are multiple-choice, but the rest require an answer to be filled in or drawn. Depending on your strengths as a student, there will be certain types of math that you will need to practice more than others. When completing Math practice tests, make sure to spend time on your weaknesses, but don’t forget to brush up on your strengths too.