- The language arts component of the GED consists of three separate tests in the areas of reading and writing. The language arts writing test consists of two elements. The first part, language arts, Writing I, features 50 questions that must be completed in a 75-minute time limit. The test covers the areas of organization, sentence structure, usage and mechanics. The second part is an essay which students generally have 45 minutes to complete. The essay topics are chosen by the GED testing service and students are scored on a scale of one to four. The language arts, reading component of the GED consists of 75 percent literary texts and 25 percent nonfiction texts, designed to represent the content generally taught in high schools. Literary texts on the test may include poetry, drama and fiction. Nonfiction texts may include nonfiction prose and critical reviews.
- The social studies component of the GED test covers history, geography, civics, government and economics. The history portion includes questions on U.S. history from pre-1800s to the present, including subjects such as the colonies, the American Revolution, the Civil War, industrialization, expansion and reform. The test also covers world history, including early civilizations, urbanization and world wars. The civics and government portions of the social studies test include questions on the United States political system, foreign policy, civic life and elements of democracy.
- The science component of the GED tests basic knowledge in the areas of physical science, life science, Earth science and space science, covering everything from the structure of atoms to biological evolution. The test is designed to reflect the material generally taught in high school biology, chemistry, physics and Earth science classes. Molecular structure, cell structure, chemical reactions and energy are just a few of the items on the test.
- Test takers need to be familiar with the subjects of number operations, number sense, measurements, geometry, data analysis and probability for the math component of the GED. The math test also includes algebra and the functions and patterns learned in trigonometry. The test consists of multiple choice and short answer questions; test takers have 90 minutes to complete the math component of the GED.