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What Formulas Do You Need to Memorize for the Math GED Exam?

by Lori Garrett-Hatfield

Since World War II, the General Educational Development test has been allowing people to obtain their high school equivalency certification. Adults who pass the GED test may then gain entry into the job market or continue their educations. Preparing for the GED test is important, as students must achieve a minimum score to pass the test. Students who know what mathematics knowledge is required to pass the GED Mathematics subtest have a better chance of passing it.

The GED Test and Subtests

The GED test consists of five subtests: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. According to the GED Testing Service, the test will change at the end of 2013 and there will be four subtests instead of five: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Social Studies and Science. In total, the current GED test takes approximately 6 and a half hours to take and can be taken on paper or a computer, but in 2014, the test will be computer-based only.

The Mathematics Subtest

The GED Testing Service states that the mathematics subtest consists of 50 problems in two parts with an hour and a half time limit, 45 minutes for each part. The mathematics problems cover four areas: numbers and operations; algebra, functions, and patterns; measurement and geometry; and statistics. Calculators are allowed for part one, but not for part two. The test includes simple computation problems and more difficult word problems. Forty of the questions are multiple choice and ten of the questions are of the short answer grid variety.

Mathematics Formulas 2013

According to the GED Testing Service, the current GED mathematics subtest provides a formula sheet for test takers, with the following formulas provided: area of a square, rectangle, parallelogram, triangle, trapezoid, and circle; perimeter of a square, rectangle, triangle; circumference of a circle; volume of a cube, rectangular solid, square pyramid, cylinder and cone; coordinate geometry or the distance between two points, and the slope of a line; Pythagorean theorem; mean; median; simple interest; distance; and total cost.

Mathematics Formulas 2014

On the 2014 GED Mathematics subtest, a formula sheet will still be provided, but there will be fewer formulas given. The following formulas will be provided on the 2014 sheet: area of a parallelogram and a trapezoid; surface area and volume of a rectangular prism, cylinder, pyramid, cone, and sphere; and algebra, including the slope of a line, slope-intercept form of a line equation, point-slope form of a line equation, standard form of a quadratic equation, quadratic formula, and Pythagorean theorem; and simple interest.

About the Author

Lori Garrett-Hatfield has a B.J. in Journalism from the University of Missouri. She has a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia. She has been working in the Education field since 1994, and has taught every grade level in the K-12 system, specializing in English education, and English as a Second Language education.

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