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GED Social Studies Study Guide In 2022

This GED Social Studies study guide can help you get started and even master the test. Combine it with our free GED practice test now!

January 1, 2022

Do you find Social Studies hard and need help studying for the GED social studies test? You don’t know where to start? This GED Social Studies study guide can help you get started and even master it!

Learning social studies for the GED can be tough and challenging. The vocabulary alone can be known as intimidating. Don’t worry. With the right help, anyone can pass the exam and we’re here to help you. This guide will indicate to you what you need to study to develop weak skills in order to pass the test. 

Despite whatever you may have heard, the GED social studies is never about memorization. No question is expecting you to answer and remember state capitals or historical dates. Instead of that, the test focuses on interpreting and applying social studies information. 

If you’d like to get an idea of what you need to learn and pass, try taking a free GED Social Studies Practice Test online. You can always return to this guide to learn more anytime you want.

Is the GED social studies test hard?

We can say The GED Social Studies test isn’t hard if you prepare carefully. As mentioned above, The GED Social Studies subtest isn’t about memorization and there are no questions related to specific historical details. The GED Social Studies test requires more understanding of social studies concepts, using logic and reasoning, and drawing conclusions.  

What’s on the GED social studies test?

The GED Social Studies test focuses on four following content categories:

  • 50% Civics and Government
  • 20% U.S. History
  • 15% Economics
  • 15% Geography and the World

More specifically, it covers three broad skill topics:

  • Reading for Meaning in Social Studies
  • Analyzing Historical Events and Arguments in Social Studies
  • Using Numbers and Graphs in Social Studies

Each topic can be divided into the following tasks:

Reading for Meaning in Social Studies

  • Identify and use main ideas and details in social studies readings.
  • Comprehend social studies vocabulary. 
  • Determine how language is used in social studies.
  • Identify facts from opinion. 
  • Evaluate claims and evidence in social studies. 

Analyzing Historical Events and Arguments

  • Make inferences based on evidence in social studies readings.
  • Analyze and indicate the relationship between people, events, places, and processes described in social studies reading.
  • Make judgments and opinions about an author’s point of view 
  • Determining bias and propaganda in social studies readings. 

Using Numbers and Graphs in Social Studies

  • Use data presented in visual forms, such as maps, charts, graphs, and tables. 
  • Comprehend dependent and independent variables.
  • Recognize and indicate the difference between correlation and causation. 
  • Use statistics in social studies (e.g. finding the mean, median, and mode.) 

Read more >> A Comprehensive GED Study Guide to Preparing for the GED

How long does the GED social studies test last?

The GED social studies test is 70 minutes long in total. The test includes approximately 48 questions depending on which test you get. There is no break time during the test.  

How can I pass my social studies test?

Passing the test requires you to learn a number of skills. Like much of the GED Social Studies test involves reading, you’ll want to start there. First study reading, then ace the test once you’re better prepared.    

Where can I take the GED social studies practice test?

A practice test is a good place to start. It will give you some idea of what’s on the test and indicate what you still need to work on and improve. You can take a free GED free practice test 2022 on our website.

GED Social Studies Study Guide
GED Social Studies Study Guide

Once you’ve taken the practice test and are ready to take the GED test, consider first taking the GED Ready on the official GED website.

Where can I find the official GED social studies practice test in Spanish?

GED Academy provides full lessons on all GED subjects—with multiple practice tests in Spanish and English—enroll today for only $19 a month.

The GED testing service offers GED Ready official practice tests in Spanish for $6 per test at 

How do I learn for the GED social studies test?

Take our free GED Social Studies Practice Test to get 100% ready for your coming exam.

  • Preparation: Find a GED study program that provides you both study guides and practice tests and then make a detailed study plan to stick to. That will help you learn essential skills, including reading social studies texts and understanding social studies evidence.
  • Careful Reading: When you take the social studies test, read the questions carefully first. That will help you know clearly what to find when you look at the text, or at the chart or graph if you’re looking at the data. Once you know what you’re looking for, scan and search the text carefully for the information you need. This is probably the most important skill in order to get the right social studies answers.
  • Strategy: The GED social studies test is a mostly multiple-choice type of question. You should have a strategy to answer multiple-choice questions. First, eliminate all the wrong options. Then, if you already know the right answer, choose it. If you don’t, choose the first answer that you didn’t remove or guess the most possible one. Don’t worry if you have to guess. This strategy will work for drop-down questions, too! You can improve your score by following this simple test-taking strategy.

Try on our GED Social Studies Practice test now to see how you’ll do on the test!

What is the basic knowledge about the GED social studies test?

As mentioned, the Test lasts 70 minutes long, with no breaks. It includes about 48 questions, so you’ll have about 1 minute and 45 seconds to complete 1 question. If you’re doing your own practice questions, try a minute and a half per question, but don’t constantly look at the clock. Focus on the questions you’re on, instead. You’ll be allowed to access a calculator, but the focus isn’t on math. You won’t do a lot of math, but you will need to comprehend social studies data.

What types of questions are on the GED social studies test?

The GED social studies test has some types of questions as follows:

  • Multiple Choice. Most of the questions on the test would appear as multiple-choice questions with four answer choices.
  • Fill-in-the-Blank. Fill-in-the-blank items will require you to complete a sentence with the correct answer.
  • Drag-and-Drop. Drag-and-drop items will ask you to do such things as put historic events in order.
  • Drop-down. Drop-down items require you to complete a sentence by choosing the correct answer from a drop-down list.
  • Hot Spot. Hot spot questions ask you to find and click on a particular part of an image, like an area on a map or a part of a photograph.

Some questions of the test will be stand-alone. In other words, it will be just one question, maybe about a small table, a picture, or a short piece of text. For other questions, you’ll have to read a longer passage of text and answer a number of questions about it.

What social studies content is expected on the test?

Civics and Government—50% (24 out of 48 questions)

Civics and Government cover types of government, underlying principles of American government, the structure of the U.S. government, individual rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens, political parties, campaigns, elections, modern policies, and debates in politics today. It focuses on the American government, its origins, and how it works.

U.S. History—20% (10 out of 48 questions)

As exactly what it sounds like, the history of the United States, from the Revolutionary War and writing the U.S. Constitution, all the way to modern-day policies after 9/11. You won’t find questions on all of the following topics, but any of them could be on the test: important documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights; the Revolutionary War and early U.S. history; the Civil War and Reconstruction; Civil Rights; European settlement of the Americas; World War I; World War II; the Cold War; and modern American foreign policy after 9/11.

Economics—15% (7 out of 48 questions)

Economics is an essential issue for everyone. After all, you need to have a job, make money, and support yourself to earn a living. That’s all economics. You might find the following topics on the test: key economic events in American history; relationships between politics and economics; economic ideas like markets, incentives, competition, and profit; microeconomics and macroeconomics, such as supply and demand, monetary policy, government regulation, investment, and unemployment; consumer economics, such as credit, savings, and banking; economic causes and impacts of war; how economics influenced exploration and colonization; and the scientific and industrial revolutions.

Geography and the World—15% (7 out of 48 questions)

The rest of the GED Social Studies Test will focus on geography and the world. You could come across questions about any of the following topics: The development of classical civilizations, such as Greece and Rome; relationships between the environment and how society develops; borders between people and nations, including reading and understanding maps; and human migration, or movement from place to place throughout history.

What social studies skills need to be on the test?

If you wanted to memorize all the events of U.S. history, that would be a tough challenge! It’s more important to have the skills to read about these topics and comprehend what you’ve read. That’s the reason why the social studies test focuses on skills, also called social studies practices. All questions will relate to one of the following types of social studies skills:

  • Drawing conclusions and making inferences.
  • Comprehending the central idea, hypothesis, and conclusions in a social studies text.
  • Analyzing and indicating social studies events and ideas.
  • Comprehending the symbols, words, and phrases used in social studies.
  • Analyzing and indicating an author’s purpose and point of view, including the point of view of people living in a past time and place.
  • Comprehending and interpreting charts, graphs, data, and pictures as well as text.
  • Evaluating reasoning and evidence in what you read.
  • Analyzing and indicating the relationships between texts.

Read more >> Best GED Math Study Guide In 2022

GED Social Studies Study Guide – Tips and Tricks

You’re definitely wondering what’s the best way to study for GED Social Studies? These tips will help you ace quickly and get ready fast.

  1. Study Social Studies Skills, Not Details

Do you wish to memorize every fact, date, and name from the beginning of time to the current U.S. President? Of course, that’s impossible! Instead of studying facts, you should learn skills.

  • Learn how to read about social studies.
  • Learn how to interpret maps, graphs, and data about social studies.
  • Learn the “big idea” topics in economics, geography, and history.
  • Learn about how the American government works.

It’s a lot quicker, easier, and more efficient than memorizing!

  1. Take the GED Social Studies Practice Test

Our practice test will get you started to master your social studies test. A practice test is an optimal choice to start. It shows you:

  • What kinds of questions will be on the actual GED test.
  • What it’s like to take the test.
  • What kinds of questions do you have trouble with and what kinds do you do well on (weak questions).
  • What you need to study and improve.
  1. Study More Quickly and Effectively with a clear plan

If you want to learn social studies better, then you need a plan to study.

  • Make a to-do list of what you need to know. Focus on big ideas and social studies skills like reading. This will help you get ready quickly and easily. If you’re studying with an online course, then it might determine for you what you need to study.
  • Gather study materials. You may learn best from books, or maybe you work better from an online course or a class. If you’re studying on your own, you should find materials for all the things you need to study. An online course or class would give you the study materials you need.
  • Make a study schedule. Try to study a little bit every day and stick to the plan. It’s more effective than studying a large amount of time once a week. It also may be more effective to study at night, before you sleep. Make sure you’re sticking to your study schedule, and reward yourself when you hit goals.
  • Review as you go. Go back and review your work every day and once a week. This helps you remember what you’ve learned better and worse.
  • Take practice tests. As you go forward, take more practice tests to see how you’ve improved. When your practice test shows a passing score, schedule a GED Test date and we wish you all the luck.

You can download the official GED Social Studies study guide HERE.