GED Subjects

To pass the GED test, you need to have a sophisticated knowledge of the four GED subject fields: Math, Social Studies, Science, and Language Arts.

Every subject test (module) has a list of required topics that you need to know, and to register for the four GED modules, setting up an account on the website is required.

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With this website’s online free classes for the GED test and practice tests, you can learn if this way of video instruction is a good fit for you. These resources cover just parts of the GED test. If you like this way of studying, register with Onsego GED Prep, a full-scale, accredited program, to get you well-prepared fast.

Keep reading to find out what exactly you need to learn to pass the GED test and receive your diploma.

Every GED® subject test can be taken separately, so you can focus on preparing for one subtest and just one type of subject field.

Let’s break down the four GED modules and see what topics they cover.

Math (Mathematical Reasoning)

The GED Math subject test takes 115 minutes and includes 46 questions. It measures your critical thinking skills to solve mathematical problems.

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The main areas on the GED Math test are:

  • Arithmetic (Numbers Sense, Fractions, Decimals, Rates, Percentages)
  • Algebra (Algebraic expressions and solving Equations)
  • Data Analysis (probability, mean, median, and mode)
  • Geometry (area and perimeter, circumference of a circle, 3D shapes, volume)

There are things you will not see on the math subtest. There are no calculus and trigonometry questions, nor do you have to memorize complicated math formulas. You will receive a math formulas sheet that you can use.

The GED math subtest covers Number Sense, Number Operations, Polynomials, Solving Equations, Algebra, Functions & Patterns, Geometry, Measurement, Statistics, Data Analysis, Probability, and Graphing.

The GED Math exam includes two parts. In part one, you cannot use a calculator.

In part two, you can use the on-screen calculator, and if you want to bring your own, it has to be the Texas Instruments TI-30XS scientific calculator.

Both versions work identically, and it is really important that you learn to work with the TI-30XS GED calculator well. That will bring you points!

As said before, there are two timed math sections, and in the first part, you cannot use a calculator.

In the second part, you can. Most questions are in the multiple-choice, draggable, or fill-in-the-blank format.

There are also questions that require you to label or interpret information on graphs or submit your answers in the provided space.

You’ll also have to solve word problems as well as interpret various information displayed in charts, graphs, tables, or diagrams.

This website also offers free GED Math practice tests, and if you feel that’s the way you like to learn, sign up for Onsego and get ready for the real thing soon!

English Language (Reasoning Through Language Arts)

The GED English Language (RLA) subject test measures your knowledge and critical reasoning skills in the fields of reading comprehension, grammar and language conventions, and writing an essay. This subtest includes three major topics:

  • Reading Comprehension. You will receive a reading passage and need to answer questions based on that passage.
  • Grammar and Language Conventions. You will receive a short passage containing grammatical irregularities and errors. You must choose the best or correct answer option.
  • Writing (Extended Response, or essay). You will have to compose an essay based on the information that’s given to you in two passages.

Reading and Writing – The GED Reasoning through Language Arts subtest is 150 minutes, including a 10-minute break. The reading comprehension section measures to what extent you understand and are able to interpret written fiction and non-fiction texts.

The grammar part assesses your understanding of language conventions and grammar through a number of short passages.

You need to answer multiple-choice questions that measure your understanding of topics such as punctuation, sentence structure, language usage, and organization.

Then, you will have to compose a five-part essay. You’ll be asked to indicate which of two viewpoints on a contemporary issue is supported best. Check here to learn more about how to write a good GED essay, an essay that will bring a good score.


The GED Science subtest is 90 minutes long and covers :

  • Life Science (40%, this biology)
  • Physical Science (40%, this includes physics and chemistry)
  • Earth and Space Science (20%)

You must understand the fundamental concepts of science. You don’t have to demonstrate deeper knowledge and understanding of all Science subject fields.

You see that 80 percent of the Science questions relate to Life Science and Physical Science, so start with learning about these subject fields.

You will have to answer some stand-alone questions, but most will include a text passage, diagram, graph, or illustration. Check here for ->free GED Science practice tests.

Social Studies

The GED Social Studies subtest must be completed in 70 minutes and covers four main subject fields:

  • The United States and World History
  • Civics and the Organization of Government
  • Economics
  • Geography

The GED Social Studies test is document-based, meaning that all questions come with something to reference, a graph, a text, a cartoon, a map, a photograph, and so on.

This subject test measures how well you can understand and interpret the given information in the presented documents. There’s no need to memorize lots of dates and names. The documents will provide much of the information required to answer the questions correctly.

Check here for ->free GED Social Studies practice tests.

Preparation is Key

This website offers numerous free online GED video lessons and also many free GED practice tests that will help you identify your weak points so you can fully concentrate on those topics that require most of your attention. However, be aware that free support does not cover the full GED exam!

Being successful on the GED exam requires careful preparation. Much of your best preparation hinges on understanding exactly what to expect on testing day.

The passing score on each of the four GED subtests is 145 out of 200. Averaging scores across the four modules is not possible. On each subtest, attaining a minimum score of 145 is required.

There are three passing score levels. The scale on which the modules are scored runs from 100 to 200, and the passing score is 145. if you score in the 145-164 range, your score is in the “High School Equivalency” range.

There are two “College-Ready” scoring levels. One is when you attain from 165 to 174 points (college-ready), and the highest class is the 175-200 score, which is the college-ready PLUS college credit range. You can read all about GED scoring in this post.

This website offers you all the help you need, and please bear in mind that the GED is a rigorous exam that assesses your knowledge at a level that’s similar to what’s expected of high school seniors.

To sit for the GED exam, you were required to come to a state-approved testing site. Online testing was not possible. But that has now changed with the arrival of an online proctored GED test. And GED Testing Service has now also added another tool, an online whiteboard for the GED test.

GED Test And The Alternatives

Many states use the GED® (General Education Development) test for their high school equivalency (HSE) testing programs. In this post, we take a look at what’s on the GED exam. The HiSET is now also available online, and the TASC exam was discontinued.

Students who successfully take the four individual subtests (modules) of the GED exam will receive their state’s high school equivalency diploma.

There are two high school equivalency tests available in the U.S., the HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) and the GED (General Education Development) exams.

The credential that you will receive when you’ve passed the four subtests of the GED exam, or the five HiSET subtests, is all across North America recognized and accepted in the same way as a conventional high school diploma that’s earned after four years in high school.

Now, you may think that 4 years of high school is quite a lot of study material! That may sound overwhelming at first because you don’t have that long to spend learning. Well, that shouldn’t intimidate you. Most students manage to get properly prepared in a 3 to 6-month time frame if they study regularly.

Last Updated on November 9, 2023.