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Five Tests Core Academic Areas



Language Arts: Writing


  • Will carry an emphasis on organization in addition to the three present content areas (sentence structure, usage, and mechanics)
  • Organization involves transition within paragraphs, creating effective text divisions, topic sentences, and unity/coherence
  • Will have a new scoring scale for Part II, the timed essay
  • Instructions for writing the essay will change to include directions asking the candidate to draw upon his or her personal observations, knowledge and experience

What's the Same:

  • 45 minute essay
  • 3 items types (correction, revision & construction shift)
  • Sentence structure, usage & mechanics
  • Information documents (passages)
  • Candidates will continue to read and interpret:

- Fiction
- Non-fiction
- Prose
- Poetry
- Drama
From a variety of cultures and time periods

What's eliminated:

  • Spelling - except for homonyms, possessives and contractions
  • Commas - only tested when they are used to eliminated confusion

What's New

Business Communications

  • Letters
  • Memos
  • Reports
  • Appilcations
    These documents will have 200-300 words(12 - 18 sentences)


"How to" texts - documents that provide instructions or directions

  • Securing a job
  • Writing a resume
  • Dressing for success
  • Leasing a car
  • Planning a trip
    These documents will have 200-300 words(12 - 18 sentences)

Organization -

  • Transitions
  • Text divisions
  • Topic sentences
  • Unity/coherence
  • Social Studies

Social Studies

What's the Same:

  • Multiple choice in sets and single items
  • Measures comprehension, application analysis, and evaluation
  • National, global, and adult contexts
  • Text and visual sources
  • Test covers - History

- Geography
- Civics
- Government
- Economics

What's eliminated:

Behavioral science - Psychology, sociology, anthropology -

  • Not tested as separate content area
  • Some concepts tested within context of other areas

What's New

  • More history, civics and government
  • More graphics, photographs
  • More clearly defined content in U.S. and world history
  • More analysis
  • More single - item questions

    At least one except from one of the following: - Declaration of Independence

- United States Constitution
- Federalist Papers
- a landmark Supreme Court decision

  At least one "practical" document:

  • Voters' guide
  • Tax form


Requires candidates to:

- select the best way to set up and experiment

- Interpret others' results

- Analyze experimental flaws

- Apply scientific conclusions to their personal lives

- Use the work of renowned scientists to explain everyday global scientific issues

What's the Same:

  • Multiple - choice in sets and single items
  • Text and visual sources

What's eliminated:

  • More single items
  • Fewer item sets

What's New

  • Earth science includes space science
  • Physical science includes physics and chemistry
  • Increased focus on environmental and health topics (recycling, climate, pollution, heredity)
  • Science's relevance to everyday life

Language Arts

What's the Same:

  • Reflect diversity - gender, ethnicity, age, region
  • Passages range from 300 - 400 words
  • One poem (8 - 25 lines)
  • One piece of drama
  • No graphics viewing addressed in textual manner

What's eliminated:

  • Definitions
  • Popular Text and Classical Literature
  • "Literal comprehension" is now "comprehension"
  • "Inferential comprehension" is now "synthesis"

What's New


  • content areas defined by type of text
  • Literary 75%
  • Non-fiction 25%
  • At least one comparison/contrast question
  • Non-fiction will include one business document
  • One selection about visual representation


  • Has two booklets
  • Part I - permits use of calculator
  • Part II - no calculator allowed
  • All GED Candidates will use the Casio fx - 260 Solar calculator
  • Candidates may practice with calculator prior to testing

What's the Same:

  • Measures algebra, geometry, number relations, and data analysis
  • 25% set - up questions -

- candidate is not required to calculate the response, but identify the correct way to solve a problem

What's eliminated:

  • "Not sufficient information" questions decreased from 12% to 4%

What's New

  • More emphasis on data analysis and statistics
  • Alternate format items approximately 20%
  • Item sets in which candidate must access multiple pieces of information - pie charts, bar graphs, tables
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