The Successful GED Social Studies Study Guide (Update 2023)
Doing well on the GED Social Studies test by referring to our comprehensive study guide. This GED Social Studies study guide will show you what you need to know to pass the test.
1. What Is On The GED Social Studies Test?
The GED Social Studies test assesses candidates’ ability to understand, interpret and apply information. You will be given 70 minutes to complete 35 questions which are based on reading passages and interpreting graphics such as diagrams, editorial cartoons, maps, photographs, graphs and charts.
The GED Social Studies comprises four areas:
- Civics and Government (50%): covers topics including modern and historic governments, constitutional government, levels and branches of the U.S. government, the electoral system, and the role of the citizen.
- U.S. History (20%): covers topics ranging from colonialism and the American Revolution through the Civil War and Reconstruction into the modern era of industrialization, immigration, two World Wars, the Cold War, and the movements for equal rights.
- Economics (15%): covers topics comprising basic economics concepts and systems, the government and the economy, and labor and consumer economics issues.
- Geography and the World (15%): covers topics including major stages in world history, the relationship among resources, the environment, and societies.
The GED Social Studies test covers three broad skill topics:
- Reading for Meaning in Social Studies
- Analyzing Historical Events and Arguments in Social Studies
- Using Numbers and Graphs in Social Studies
Each topic can be splitted into the following tasks:
Reading for Meaning in Social Studies
- Determine and use main ideas and details in social studies readings.
- Understand social studies vocabulary.
- Identify how authors use language in social studies.
- Determine fact from opinion.
- Evaluate claims and evidence in social studies.
Analyzing Historical Events and Arguments
- Make inferences based on evidence in social studies readings.
- Analyze the relationship between people, events, places, and processes described in a social studies reading.
- Make judgments about an author’s point of view (e.g. what events shaped the point of view, whether or not the point of view is supported by evidence.)
- Identifying bias and propaganda in social studies readings.
Using Numbers and Graphs in Social Studies
- Use data presented in visual form, such as maps, charts, graphs, and tables.
- Understand dependent and independent variables.
- Recognize the difference between correlation and causation.
- Use statistics in social studies (e.g. finding the mean, median, and mode.)
>>> Practice now: GED Social Studies Practice Test
2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About The GED Social Studies Test
2.1. Is the GED Social Studies test hard?
The GED Social Studies test will not be too hard if you prepare well for it. Keep in mind that the GED Social Studies test is not about memorization. You are not expected to remember specific historical details. The test is designed to check test takers’ comprehension of social studies concepts using logic and reasoning and drawing conclusions.
2.2. How Many Questions Can I Miss On The GED Social Studies test?
There are 35 questions on the GED Social Studies test. To attain the passing score, you need to answer 22-24 questions correctly. In addition, you also need to have the capability of reading passages and interpreting graphics such as charts, diagrams, graphs, photographs and maps.
The ability to understand and use data presented in visual forms is also really important. Therefore, getting acclimated to this way of presenting information is a key to ace the test.
2.3. How long is the GED Social Studies test?
The GED Social Studies test takes 70 minutes. There will be no break during the test.
2.4. How can I pass my Social Studies test?
To pass the GED Social Studies test, you need to learn a number of skills. Because much of the GED Social Studies test involves reading; thus, you need to study reading first, then handle the test once you have better preparation for it.
2.5. What kinds of questions are on the GED Social Studies test?
Below are types of questions that are included on the GED Social Studies test:
- Multiple Choice: The majority of questions on the GED Social Studies test are in the multiple choice form with four answer choices.
- Fill-in-the-blank: This question type requires you to complete a sentence with the correct answer
- Drag-and-Drop: This question type requires you to do things like putting historic events in order
- Drop-down: This question kind asks you to complete a sentence by selecting the correct answer from a drop-down list
- Hot Spot: This question kind asks you to click on a specific part of an image, such as an area on a map or a part of a photograph.
Several questions on the GED Social Studies test can stand alone. In other words, it is one question which asks about a picture, a short piece of text or a small table. Additionally, you have to read a longer passage and then answer a number of questions based on it.
In addition to giving FAQs about the exam, this GED Social Studies study guide offers helpful tips for you to apply when taking the real test. Keep following!
>>> Read more: GED Language Arts Study Guide
3. Tips To Get High Scores On The GED Social Studies Test
3.1. Read the question carefully
Reading the question carefully is a key to help you give the right answer to the question.
Read the question twice before looking at the answers and reading the passages. Many candidates may fall into a trap since they read questions too quickly. This also counts for answers. You may easily miss the point of the question since you didn’t read it well.
The GED Social Studies test includes straightforward questions. Therefore, you don’t need to over-read the questions. Keep in mind that your common sense answer is usually better than any “theoretical” answer.
3.2. Don’t just jump to a conclusion
Sometimes, you need to analyze carefully to answer some kinds of questions on the GED Social Studies test. After thoroughly analyzing, you may find that apparently wrong answers are the correct ones. Test writers may put a misleading answer first which will make you try to select that answer. Be careful not to fall into this kind of trap.
There are sometimes more questions that appear to be correct. One tip here is choosing the best answer option according to what the questions ask, not according to your assumption.
>>> Read More: GED Science Study Guide
3.3. Eliminate incorrect answer options
Answer choices which contradict the given information should be got rid of immediately. Usually, 1 or 2 answer choices will oppose what’s given in the short passage or in the given chart, table, data or graph.
If you remove obviously incorrect answer options, you will have more ability to choose the correct answer.
3.4. Answer all questions
On the GED Social Studies subtest in particular and the GED test in general, you will not be penalized for giving wrong answers. Thus, make sure that you answer all questions, even when you are not sure about answers to some questions.
When needing to guess, make an attempt to eliminate clearly incorrect answer options. It will be much easier for you to guess and choose from the remaining choices.
Read our full GED Social Studies study guide along with taking practice tests on our website GED Practice Test, you will definitely ace on the test.
3.5. Have trust in your first answer
Apart from reading the questions carefully, it’s also pivotal to read the answer choices carefully. Have trust in your first answer since it usually proves to be the best one.
If you have time to check your work, don’t change anything unless you identify obvious errors that you are completely sure about.
3.6. Pace yourself
Although the allowance time of the GED Social Studies test is 70 minutes which is enough for you to finish all questions, you still need to keep the correct pace going.
You should decide how much time you spend on each question. Once answering a few questions, check if you have time left and whether you are still on schedule. Don’t spend too much time on questions that you are not sure about their answers. Just skip them and move to the next questions.
Additionally, you should not rush questions to which you think you know the correct answers right away. Read these questions and answer choices carefully before selecting the best answer.
3.7. Don’t worry about challenging topics
The GED Social Studies test includes a variety of topics such as U.S. and World History, Civics & Government, Economics, Geography, Environmental Science and Contemporary Global Issues.
In this GED Social Studies study guide, we have provided various topics for you to refer to.
You may get familiar with all sets of the GED Social Studies subtest by reviewing and studying, for instance, basic history. Nevertheless, more than 50 percent of the Social Studies questions will ask you detailed questions about given graphics or texts.
It’s advisable to read the questions and what is presented thoroughly. Don’t be too nervous when encountering unfamiliar topics.
Hopefully, our GED Social Studies Study Guide will be of some help to you in your journey of conquering your GED certificate.