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How to Study for the GED Test

April 13, 2021

Passing the GED will open up new job opportunities and give you the foundation required to further your education. But how long should you study for the GED test? What skills are necessary when learning how to study for the GED test at home?

This guide will help you learn how (and what) to study for the GED test for each subject.

What To Study for the Test

Fortunately, there doesn’t have to be any guesswork involved in knowing what to study for the GED test. The test is broken down into four subjects: language arts, math, social studies, and science. By preparing for each of these individually, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to pass the GED test.

Language Arts

The GED Reasoning Through Language Arts test consists of multiple-choice questions that generally take 150 minutes to complete. Set yourself up for success on this exam by implementing these tips:

  • Read the question before you read the passage.
  • Frame the question in your own words.
  • Don’t know the answer? Use the process of elimination to make your best guess.
  • Summarize paragraphs as you read.

Test your knowledge by taking the RLA sample questions before the exam date. If you achieve a passing score, you’re probably ready to take the test.


The GED Mathematical Reasoning test contains multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, drag-and-drop, and more with 115 minutes to complete. All the questions require quantitative or algebraic problem-solving skills, covering topics like the quadratic formula, perimeter, and mean or median. Here are some tips to help you study:

  • Read all of the information before choosing an answer.
  • If you’re not sure of the answer, try estimating or approximating.
  • Don’t see the correct answer? Look for the numbers in a different format.

After you’ve spent some time studying, measure your progress by taking the GED Math Practice Test.

Social Studies

You’ll have 70 minutes to answer questions on the GED Social Studies test. As with the language arts exam, many of these questions are based on a passage (or historical document.) Keep these tips in mind as you get ready for this subject on the GED:

  • Remember that the answer usually lies in the passage—not in memorizing history facts.
  • Look to charts or data for help answering the question. What does the information tell you?
  • Focus on an event’s cause or effect rather than names and dates.
  • Get familiar with economics terminology.

It’s time to test your knowledge! Take the GED Social Studies Practice Test to see how you stand.


You’ll be required to answer questions on the GED Science test covering topics like earth science, life science, and physical science in a total of 90 minutes. Prepare for the exam with these study tips:

  • Pay attention to trends. Graphs and tables are telling you something about the data. What is it?
  • Know the difference between a dependent and independent variable.
  • Review the question before reading a passage or data set.
  • Skip questions you’re struggling with, then come back to them at the end of the exam.

Are you ready for the big test day? Find out by measuring your skills with the GED Science Practice Test.

How Long Should You Study

Most students spend about three months preparing for the GED and divide their time according to which areas they need to focus on the most. But don’t let the average timeline determine when you take the test—instead, wait to take the exam when you’re confident in your abilities.

Remember that you don’t have to take every subject on the exam on the same day. It may be best to spread them out over several weeks or months. And as you consider how to study for the GED test at home, remember to take breaks during your study time to keep your mind fresh. 

You can also create a positive study environment (link to best study environment article here) by removing distractions, setting a regular study time, and keeping an organized desk surface. 

Start Studying for the GED Today

Learning how to study for the GED test doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take it one subject at a time, follow our study tips, and get started today with our GED practice questions. Then create a free account to access additional study resources, including our online and in-person GED test prep classes.


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