GED Math Test-Taking Strategies

Here are some test-taking strategies to maximize your performance and results on the GED Math test.

GED Math Test-Taking Strategies

#1: Use This Approach to Answer All GED Math Questions

  • Review the question to find the keywords and other valuable information.
  • Translate keywords into math operations to solve the problem.
  • Be sure to review the answer choices and the differences between the choices.
  • If needed, draw or label a diagram.
  • Look for patterns.
  • Find the right method to answer the question. Use straightforward math, plug in numbers, or test your choices of answers by backsolving. Backsolving is an effective shortcut for some math problems.
  • Afterward, always re-check your work.

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#2: Use Educated Guesses

This is a good approach for problems you understand to some level but cannot solve using straightforward math. Filter out as many answers as possible before choosing the answer you want. If you do not know what a specific problem involves, don’t waste your time trying to eliminate many choices, choose one at random before moving on to the next question.
As you can ascertain, straightforward math is the best approach.

Methodically read through the question to find out what the solution is using the methods you have learned already. Try to match the answer with one of the choices that are available to you. If you are having problems with the question, try to find an answer from the available choices then move on.
If you are unable to work out the problem and have tried to answer the question, do not leave any fields blank. Guess if you need to. If you get it right you will gain points, but if you don’t, you will not lose points by getting it wrong.

#3: Ballpark

A ballpark answer is simply a rough guess or approximation. If you become overwhelmed with the calculations and figures, it can lead to absurd mistakes. As an example, simply moving a decimal by one unit can alter the answer from right to wrong no matter how many steps you used to get there. This is the time that ballparking can come in very handy.
If you believe you know the right answer, even if it’s a ballpark answer, you will probably be able to eliminate a few choices. Answer choices are normally based on an average student error or values that are closely connected. You will still be able to go through the choices that are way off base and eliminate them. Look for answers that are not within the ballpark and are wrong for multiple-choice questions. This is a good way to get rid of some answers that won’t work for a given problem.

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#4: Backsolving

Backsolving is a shortcut you can use for a math problem. It’s a technique that is often used on questions that look for the value of a variable and have many answers. You are simply plugging in the answers to the questions until you hit the right one. Most questions on the GED Math test will be multiple-choice questions and the correct answer is right there in front of you. In most cases, you will have four answers to choose from. You just have to figure out which one is the right one. One of the best ways to solve these problems is backsolving.

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Again, straightforward math is the best approach to answer questions. Carefully read the problem, calculate the solution, then choose one of the choices that seem to work best for the answer. If you are stuck, turn to backsolving. When you are back solving, take one of your answer options and place it against the problem. You should be able to see which answer is the most relevant. In most cases, answer choices are listed in ascending or descending order. So, take choice B or C and try it out. If the answer is not correct, choose another one by going up or down the list.

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#5: Plugging In Numbers

This is a good strategy when applying a large range of different math problems on the GED Math test. It’s commonly used to help simplify a question that is challenging to make it more understandable. By carefully using this strategy, you can find the answer quite easily. This is pretty straightforward by replacing the unknown variables in a problem with certain values.

When you select a number, you should consider the following:

  • Choose a number that is somewhat basic, just not too basic. Stay away from 0 or 1. A good choice is often 2.
  • You shouldn’t try a number that is present in the problem.
  • If you need to choose at least two numbers, make sure your numbers are different.
  • Choosing numbers simply helps you filter out some of your answer choices but don’t just choose the first number you might think will give you the right answer.
  • If several answers seem to be correct, you need to choose another value and try it again and then check choices that have not been eliminated as of yet.
  • If you have questions that include fractions, the right answer may involve an LCD, least common denominator, or an LCD multiple.
  • One hundred (100) is the number you should choose when you are working with problems that have percentages.

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