What To Do About Unknown Science Terms On The GED

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The thing to keep in mind is that most of the time, the complicated terms that are used in the Science test are not that important.
For example, complicated unit names used in charts are not important at all. What matters is whether you can read the chart and find the solution to a question.
But students so often get intimidated by the unknown terms, and say: “oh, I don’t know what that word means, and so I am not going to be able to understand this passage.”
Well I’ve got news for you:
None of the students on that test know what those words are saying, unless you are a scientist working in that specific domain.
You probably aren’t going to know what that specific unit of measure really is, and you shouldn’t feel intimidated by these terms. If you see an unfamiliar term, you should get excited and say it’s going to be very easy for me to spot that word in the chart or table.
Let’s look at this question:


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It says: According to figure 2: if the trend in the CH4 for concentration had continued to match that trend in the solar radiation intensity, the CH4 concentration at present would most likely be:
a: less than 550 PPB;
b: between 550 PPB and 600 PPB;
c: between 600 PPB and 650 PPB;
d: greater than 650 PBB.

Now PBB is actually defined with a little asterisk, but it’s irrelevant.
We don’t need to know what PBB means here.
We don’t really need to know what CH4 concentration is, or what that means.
Let’s be honest; we don’t even need to know what Earth’s atmosphere is.
None of that matters.
What matters is that we know that it says: Go to figure 2.
So we look at Figure 2, and we know that we’re looking for concentration.
The word appears there, whatever that is. I’m reading a chart. I do not have to use these words for anything more than signposts. And I can see the answer to the question.

The right answer is F: less than 550 ppb (whatever that ppb is).
So keep it in mind, the Science test is not assessing your command of the vocabulary.
Vocabulary can help you feel like you’re in familiar territory. But what counts is: How well can you digest scientific information? Get really good at reading charts and tables, and you will be just fine.

Last Updated on January 28, 2024.