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Sample GED® Test Questions

By Peterson's Staff updated on Monday, January 27, 2014

Getting ready to take the GED® test? Start your prep with these sample GED® test questions to determine where you should focus your study time. Answers are provided at the end of all the questions.

Language Arts, Writing

Which of the following is the best way to write the underlined portion of this sentence? If you think the original is the best way, choose option (A).

1. The Internet is a world-wide network of computers that allow for easy sharing and transfer of all sorts of information.

(A) that allow for
(B) that allows for
(C) that allow
(D) allow for the
(E) allow

Social Studies

Until modern times, high rates of reproduction were necessary to offset high mortality — especially infant mortality. In agricultural societies, children were assets in the home and farm-centered economy. Also, before care of the aged became institutionalized, parents had to rely upon their children for care in their old age. Large numbers of children were advantageous. As a result of those factors and of short life expectancy, American women spent most of their adult lives bearing and rearing four or five children.

Long before the tradition of the large family disappeared, some couples had begun to adopt the small family pattern. As a result of declining mortality rates, a diminishing need for child labor in agriculture, increasing costs of raising a child in an industrialized urban society, and improved methods of fertility control, both the number of children desired and the number born declined.

1. In olden times, large families were more desirable because:

(A) many infants died.
(B) old people needed care.
(C) children helped out on the farm.
(D) children were assets.
(E) all of the above.

2. The tradition of the large family disappeared because:

(A) more infants survived.
(B) farms were bigger.
(C) juvenile delinquency increased.
(D) life expectancy decreased.
(E) all of the above.


Every day you breathe about 16,000 quarts of air. Almost everywhere in New York state, but especially in heavily populated areas, the air which circulates through your lungs and supplies oxygen to your bloodstream is splotched with unhealthy substances — carbon black, fly ash, soot, silica, metal dust, and other organic and nonorganic pollutants.

Air contaminants from industries, incinerators, power plants, automobiles, airplanes, and backyard leaf-and-debris burners stack the odds against us by contributing to staggering death and disease tolls. Medical research shows that air pollution can cause lung cancer. It increases suffering from pneumonia, allergies, asthma, and the common cold, as well as aggravating cases of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

High concentrations of air pollution — each lasting only a few days — were blamed for sharply increased death rates in Belgium's Meuse Valley in 1930; in Donora, PA in 1948; in London in 1952; and in New York City in 1963 and 1966. Air pollution kills.

Air pollution adversely affects all living things, stunting and killing flowers, shrubs, trees, and crops. Spinach, for example, can no longer be grown as an agricultural crop in the Los Angeles basin because of the city's smog problems. Crop damage means higher food prices, amplifying our already inflationary grocery-budget blues.

Pollutants also damage property and materials, soil clothing, discolor paint and even corrode stone, marble, and metal. Again the result can be measured in dollars and cents, in inconvenience and in higher cleaning and maintenance bills for homeowners, businesses, and government alike.

1. Which city has a smog problem that prevents spinach from being grown?

(A) Meuse Valley
(B) Los Angeles
(C) New York
(D) San Francisco
(E) Moscow

2. Which is NOT a medical effect of air pollution?

(A) The common cold
(B) Asthma
(C) Allergies
(D) Polio
(E) Pneumonia

3. The organ of the body most affected by air pollution is the:

(A) brain.
(B) thyroid.
(C) lungs.
(D) intestine.
(E) stomach.


From this time I was most narrowly watched. If I was in a separate room any considerable length of time, I was sure to be suspected of having a book, and was at once called to give an account of myself. All this, however, was too late. The first step had been taken. Mistress, in teaching me the alphabet, had given me the inch, and no precaution could prevent me from taking the ell.

The plan which I adopted, and the one by which I was most successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys whom I met in the street. As many of these as I could, I converted into teachers. With their kindly aid, obtained at different times and in different places, I finally succeeded in learning to read. When I was sent on errands, I always took my book with me, and by doing one part of my errand quickly, I found time to get a lesson before my return. I used also to carry bread with me, enough of which was always in the house, and to which I was always welcome; for I was much better off in this regard than many of the poor white children in our neighborhood. This bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give me the more valuable bread of knowledge.

I am strongly tempted to give the names of two or three of those little boys, as a testimonial of the gratitude and affection I bear them; but prudence forbids; — not that it would injure me, but it might embarrass them; for it is almost an unpardonable offense to teach slaves to read in this Christian country. It is enough to say of the dear little fellows that they lived on Philpot Street, very near Durgin and Bailey's shipyard. I used to talk this matter of slavery over with them. I would sometimes say to them, I wished I could be as free as they would be when they got to be men. "You will be free as soon as you are twenty-one, but I am a slave for life! Have not I as good a right to be free as you have?" These words seemed to trouble them; they would express for me the liveliest sympathy, and console with the hope that something would occur by which I might be free.

— from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

1. Based on information in this selection, when was Frederick Douglass' Narrative written?

(A) During the Middle Ages
(B) During the Renaissance
(C) Before the Civil War
(D) Between 1880 and 1900
(E) After 1900

2. According to the information in the passage, how did Douglass learn to read?

(A) By his own efforts
(B) From his mistress
(C) With the help of young white boys
(D) By using his time in a clever way
(E) By going to school

3. Which of the following would be the most suitable title for this selection?

(A) The Yearning for Freedom
(B) The Burning for Success
(C) As the World Turns
(D) How I Learned to Read
(E) A Lover is Spurned


1. Which quantity is not equal to 75(32 + 88)?

(A) 75 * 32 + 75 * 88
(B) (75 * 32) + 88
(C) 75(88 + 32)
(D) (88 + 32) * 75
(E) 88 * 75 + 32 * 75

2. The equation of the line passing through the points (–2, 2) and (3, –3) is:

(A) x + y = 5
(B) xy = 5
(C) yx = 5
(D) y = x
(E) y = –x

GED® Test Answers

Language Arts, Writing

1. The correct answer is (B). Change "that allow for" to "that allows for." Since this refers to a worldwide network, it has to be singular.

Social Studies

1. The correct answer is (E). Choices (A), (B), (C), and (D) are all stated in the first paragraph.

2. The correct answer is (A). Paragraph 2 mentions "declining mortality rates" as one reason for the decrease in family size.


1. The correct answer is (B). Spinach can no longer be grown in Los Angeles. (See paragraph four.)

2. The correct answer is (D). According to paragraph two, medical research shows all except polio are effects of pollution.

3. The correct answer is (C). The second sentence states that air "circulates through your lungs."


1. The correct answer is (C). Douglass uses the present tense and indicates that slavery still exists. Slavery was declared void in the United States just after the Civil War.

2. The correct answer is (C). He made the boys into teachers, and they taught him to read.

3. The correct answer is (D). These paragraphs are about learning to read.


1. The correct answer is (B). Choices (A), (C), (D), and (E) are all examples of the commutative and distributive properties. The quantity in choice (B) is not equal to 75(32 + 88).

2. The correct answer is (E).

Substitute the coordinates of each point in each equation. Only y = –x is satisfied by the coordinates of the points:

 (–2, 2): 2 = –(–2)
 (3, –3): –3 = –(3)

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