Page 2 Mathematical Reasoning Study Guide for the GED® test

Question Types:

Fill-in-the-blank: You will type a short response in the box provided, using 10 minutes or less.

Drag-and-drop: Here, you will click and drag an item from one place on the screen to another. You might be asked to do this in order to show in which category an item belongs or to show when it occurred on a timeline.

Drop-down: You will be asked to pick an answer from a pull-down menu on the screen. After you select your answer, it will become part of the text on screen so that you can see how it fits.

Hot spot: When answering this type of question, you will be asked to click on the spot on the screen that shows the correct place or answer. This type of question may be used to allow you to indicate points on a graph or to mark parts of a geometric figure.

Question Subject Matter

The questions on the Math Reasoning section of the GED test come from two major areas of math. About 45% of the questions deal with quantitative problem-solving and the other 55% concern problem-solving in Algebra. The questions are on a level that would be necessary for people entering college or the workforce. There is a focus on applying math to real-life situations, from both academic and workforce environments.

Here are some concepts you will want to review as you practice. Very basic and brief explanations are offered here, but you also need to be able to use all of them in problem solving and know the rules for doing so. If you run into something that you don’t fully understand or know how to use in math, there are many online drill and practice sites. Just search for the term and you should be able to find them.

Quantitative Concepts


Rational number: any number that can be written as a simple fraction, including all integers

These are rational:

  • the fraction
  • 5 (can be written as )
  • 0.25 (can be written as )
  • 0.33… (because it repeats forever and can be written as )

What is an irrational number? basically, any number whose decimal never repeats, such as Pi (3.14…)

Absolute value: This just tells how far a number is from zero and is written using two vertical lines around the number.

(Read: The absolute value of 5 is 5.)
. It is also 5 places from 0, just in the opposite direction.