Mathematics is one of the five sections on the GED exam required to get your high school equivalency certificate. GED mathematics include a broad range of the typical material covered during four years of high school. You'll need to understand the basics of arithmetic and number properties, simple and advanced algebra, geometry, and statistics. If you have not done complex math in years, or have never considered yourself a "math person," investing in a good prep book and taking several practice tests prepares you for the challenge.

Order a GED study guide to have an overview of the type of math you'll see on the exam. Make sure the GED prep guide you purchase has plenty of open questions that you must calculate on your own. Use practice tests from the study guide or online to quiz yourself before the exam.

Study the areas of math covered on the GED exam: algebra, geometry, measurement and data analysis, and number operations and number sense. The test has 50 questions divided into two sections, with 25 questions in each section. The questions are divided evenly between the four sections, so you'll want a solid grasp of all four areas.

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Brush up on mental math and estimation. Calculators are only allowed on the first part of the GED math test; on the second part, you will need to demonstrate that you can solve simple problems on paper or in your head. Make flash cards to help you memorize division and multiplication tables and simple equations, like calculating fractions or percents.

Review basic algebra, including simple linear equations, systems of equations, and quadratics, all of which are covered on the GED. In addition to solving equations, review the graphs of different functions.

Review basic concepts from geometry, including how to figure out perimeter, area, and volume. Triangles and circles are the most frequently featured figures on the test. Write a study sheet with different shapes and the formulas used to calculate the perimeter, area and volume of each one.

Hire a tutor who is familiar with the GED exam if you feel your math skills need more improvement. Another option is to enroll in a test-taking seminar or class.

Be prepared to handle the test's format. Eighty percent of the questions are multiple choice, and 20 percent are open, meaning that you have to calculate the answer yourself. You may encounter word problems, charts and graphs.

Pace your work when you take the GED math test. You get 45 minutes for each of the two sections, for a total of 90 minutes on the math test. If you spend too much time on a difficult question, you may run out of time. Skip problems that are difficult and come back to them at the end.

Retake the GED test if you don't pass the first time. You need at least a score of 410 on the math portion, with an overall average of 450 per section. This means if you only score 410 on the math section, you'll need to score higher on another section to get at least a 450 average. If you retake the test, wait and continue studying to improve your math skills.


  • As of 2013, the official calculator of the GED is the Casio FX260 Solar Scientific calculator, which is provided by the testing center for people taking the paper test. If you take the GED exam on the computer, the Texas Instruments TI-30XS calculator appears on the screen. If possible, work on the specific calculator model in advance so you are comfortable with the location of the buttons and the functions of the calculator.
  • You'll need to answer 60 to 65 percent of the questions correctly to pass the test.

Things Needed

  • GED prep book with practice tests
  • Calculator

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