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Sample GED Social Studies Test

GED Sample Test Questions
Social Studies

The Social Studies Test contains 50 multiple-choice questions from the following content areas:

  • History (United States or Canada, 25%; World, 15%)
  • Geography (15%)
  • Civics and Government (25%)
  • Economics (20%)

(Note: There are different U.S. and Canadian versions of the Social Studies Test.)

Most of the test questions are based on written and visual texts drawn from a variety of sources, including academic and workplace texts, as well as primary and secondary sources. The information provided may be one or more paragraphs, a chart, table, graph, map, photograph, cartoon, or figure. In every case, to answer the questions in the Social Studies Test, you must understand, apply, analyze, or evaluate the information provided.


Directions: Choose the one best answer to each question.

Questions 1 and 2 are based on the following information.

The history of the world is filled with stories of people migrating. Migration is the movement of people from one place to another as they seek a new home. Famine, overpopulation, limited resources, war, and religious and political persecution "push" immigrants to move to another country. Hopes for employment and a better life "pull" immigrants to new places.

Millions have migrated to North America since the 1600s. Spanish, French, English, and Dutch immigrants were the first European settlers to establish permanent colonies. They settled in lands originally populated by people from Asia. Many people from Africa were driven from their homes at this time to be enslaved to work in colonies in the Americas.

Throughout the 1800s, immigrants looking for employment came to North America from Japan, China, and southeastern Europe. In the 1970s and 1980s, Southeast Asians, Latin Americans, and Caribbeans migrated to North America. Many of these immigrants fled from war-torn countries, political persecution, and economic difficulties.

  1.  The government of a country may restrict the number of immigrants allowed to enter that country.

These restrictions on immigration are most likely based on what belief?

1.  An economy can support unlimited numbers of people.
2.  The "push" factors justify most immigration.
3.  Immigrants enrich the culture of a country.
4.  A country has a limited number of jobs and services.
5.  A government should not interfere with the migration of people.
  2.  Based on the information, which is an opinion rather than a fact about immigrants to North America?


1.  traveled long distances to find a better life
2.  migrated to find employment
3.  learned to live in a foreign culture
4.  escaped from political persecution.
5.  found a better life
    Questions 3 and 4 refer to the following cartoon:
  3.  What is the main idea represented by the artist of the cartoon?
1.  Congress cannot pass legislation on health issues.
2.  Hatred exists between Congress and senior citizens
3.  Senior citizens are a powerful interest group.
4.  Older people are healthier and stronger than the generation before them.
5.  Senior citizens favor Congress over the president.
  4.  Which political and economic assumption does the cartoon suggest is held by U.S. senior citizens?
1.  Seniors are entitled to certain social insurance programs.
2.  Seniors do not contribute to the economic productivity of the nation.
3.  Entitlements should be cut within the federal budget.
4.  Senior should lobby at the state level of government, not the federal level.
5.  Social insurance programs can only be paid for by higher taxes.
    Question 5 refers to the following chart:
  5.  Some people think that stores that sell fewer brands of computers provide faster service than stores that sell a wider variety of brands.

What information from the chart supports this idea?
1.  AAA Business - 96% service promptness
2.  Operating Systems - 69% service promptness
3.  Programs ‘'N Stuff 79% service promptness
4.  Technodazzle - 100% service promptness
5.  Compu-Wonder - 89% promptness
  6.  “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Which of the following political actions violated the principle of “unalienable Rights” of liberty that evolved from the above excerpt of the U.S. Declaration of Independence?
1.  In 1857, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling promoted the expansion of slavery in U.S. territories.
2.  In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution outlawed the practice of denying the right to vote because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude
3.  In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution granted women the right to vote nationwide.
4.  In 1964, the Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in employment and public accommodations.
5.  In 1971, the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution extended the right to vote to 18-year-old citizens.

Answers to these sample questions are available on the Answers page.

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