GED Social Studies Test

Use these rules until 2014, after which the GED test will be replaced. These rules are good until then.

GED Social Studies Test

Quick Summary of the GED Social Studies Test
Tests For: Social Studies (including history, geography, civics and government, and economics)
Test Parts: 1 Part
Test Length: 70 minutes in total
Number of Questions: 50 in total multiple-choice type

The GED Social Studies Test measures an applicant's ability to understand history, geography, civics, and government and economics. This exam draws upon typical social studies materials a high school student should understand and comprehend. The test format consists of reading text passages, using visual images such as maps, graphs, diagrams, political cartoons, or photographs, and then answering multiple-choice questions about the passages and visual images. The content and context of the questions in several areas of GED Social Studies exam differs depending on the version of the test (the United States version versus the Canadian version). This differentiation represents an attempt to reflect more accurately the differences in the two countries' respective educational learning materials.

Historical questions make up 40 percent of the total exam material, covering topics of United States history and world history in three segments. For example, the first segment of United States history questions includes the beginning era of the Native Americans to the founding of a new nation up to the year 1820. Next, the second segment of topics traces the nation's expansion up to the industrial revolution, spanning the years of 1802 to 1890. The third segment of questions covers the years 1890 to the present, and includes such topics as World War II, the Depression, and the United States in modern times. The Canadian version of the exam covers Canadian historical events rather than events in the United States. The exam questions relating to world history are divided into four historical eras. The first era starts with civilization's beginning and ends at 1000 BC. The second era covers 1000 BC to 300 BC. The third era covers topics from 300 BC to 1770 AD. The fourth era measures the time period of 1900 to the present. Question topics include issues such as early civilizations, empire building, religions, world wars, and globalization.

The exam questions involving geography make up 15 percent of the total exam. The subject of geography includes such topics as world measurement systems, individual regions of the world, and a society's impact on the environment.

Civics and Government
The questions relating to civics and government make up 25 percent of the total exam. The differences in the United States form of presidential rule and the Canadian parliamentary government system are reflected in the two different GED test versions for this section of the exam.

The exam questions dealing with economics and related issues make up 20 percent of the total exam. Topics include the different types of global economic systems, various issues of production and consumption, and the impact of modern globalization on trade and markets.

Last Updated: 05/15/2014