Course Summary
Credit Type:
The exam is administered at Pearson VUE Testing Centers (PVTCs) at over 4,500 locations in the US.
70 minutes
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 interdisciplinary social sciences
Scale (cut) score of 145 for High School Equivalency, score of 165 for College Ready designation, and score of 175 for College Ready + Credit designation.


(Exam Time: 90 minutes). The exam is designed to provide students with the opportunity to show their achievement in Social Studies skills at the high school equivalency level, college readiness level, or college credit level, with the following areas of focus: applying social studies reasoning skills and practices to content drawn from the four domains of civics and government, United States history, economics, and geography and the world; and analyzing source documents and interpreting data represented in a variety of ways relevant to social studies, including maps, graphs, and tables.

Skills Measured:

The social studies practices can be described as skills that are key to scientific reasoning in both textual and quantitative contexts. The practices come from important skills specified in the Career and College Ready Standards and other career- and college-readiness standards, as well as in National Standards for History. The social studies content topics describe key concepts that are widely taught in a variety of high-school level social studies courses and are relevant to the lives of GED® test-takers. They focus, in particular, on American civics and government.

The Social Studies Test will also focus on four major content domains:
1. Civics and government.
2. United States history.
3. Economics.
4. Geography and the world.

The content topics for the Social Studies Test focus on two main themes, each applied across the four domains in the social studies arena. These themes have been selected to ensure that the test covers a wide range of important concepts and ideas in social studies, but they are also intended to function like a lens to draw focus to a distinct subset of ideas within each content topic. Content that falls outside the parameters of these themes are not included in the GED® Social Studies Test.

1. Development of Modern Liberties and Democracy, the first theme, explores the development of current ideas about democracy as well as human and civil rights from ancient civilizations to the present. It examines contemporary thinking, policies and structures, major events that have shaped our democratic values, and major thinkers who contributed to American ideas of democratic government.

2. Dynamic Responses in Societal Systems, the second theme, explores how the systems, structures and policies that people have created respond to each other, conditions, and events. For example, societies and civilizations have developed and changed in response to particular geographic features and natural events. National economies respond to both governmental policies and natural laws of economics (such as supply and demand) around which policies are built. Similarly, countries respond to both internal and external changes and challenges in ways that are beyond the ability of any one person to control.
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