Social Studies

The Social Studies portion of the GED testing battery covers 5 main content areas. 25% of the test focuses on American history, 15% on world history, 25% on civics and government, 20% on economics, and 15% on geography. Students are given 70 minutes to answer the 50 questions asked on the Social Studies test.

Like the majority of the GED testing battery, the Social Studies test requires the student to read short passages, after which they select answers to questions using a multiple-choice format. Some of the passages used come from famous documents like the Declaration of Independence and United States Supreme Court decisions. Many use graphs, charts, and other types of images in addition to or in place of written passages, which the student then must use to arrive at the appropriate conclusion; on graphical questions, some basic mathematical skills may be required. Others involve editorial cartoons, typically with no context provided, that the student must examine critically. At least one question on each test asks the student to look at a photograph and identify a famous figure, moment in history, or the general scene being depicted, such as a political rally or child labor.

Questions involving civics and government and economics rely heavily on practical documents, such as tax forms, voter registration forms, and workplace and personal budgets. Topics such as global warming and environmental law are addressed by the questions about geography.