The Social Studies section of the GED Test is one subject that some test-takers love and some hate. The broad outline of Social Studies questions require that candidates understand how and why our society functions. This involves understanding the government, United States history, and a number of topics related to the overall economy. To do well on this section of the test, you must be able to read between the lines and understand the most important reasons behind political and economic events. Considering that much of the Social Studies test on the GED is based on history and specific names, memorization is also an extremely important skill.
The majority of the Social Studies subject is devoted to government and civics (50% of questions). In some states like Illinois, candidates are required to pass a U.S. Constitution test to prove they understand the Bill of Rights and the basic amendments that provide our civil liberties. It is important to study the most important events in U.S. history and modern developments in our democracy. Beyond this, test-takers must also be able to understand how society responds to changes in policy, natural events in the world, and the interconnection between these ideas.
The next most abundant type of question is about United States history, which accounts for 20% of the questions in Social Studies. This covers basic events, important people, and the underlying causes for the biggest shifts in American history. These questions are primarily multiple-choice and for the most part, memorization will be the best way to study for these questions. Using flashcards is a great way to improve your ability to retain information and effectively study for these questions.
A smaller subset of questions focuses on the economy. About 15% of the questions in Social Studies will test the candidate’s understanding of economic principles. These questions are framed in both academic and professional contexts, meaning that it is important to understand the differences between personal finance and business economics. Basic concepts like supply and demand will be covered in a way that requires candidates to understand different types of market responses and the effect of certain events on the economy.
The final 15% of questions in Social Studies on the GED test cover world geography. This can be a difficult section for some students because it requires some very broad memorization of the world map, including names of foreign countries and their capitols. To prepare for this section, notecards or visual aids like an unlabeled map will be extremely helpful.