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Welcome to GED Test Info

Algebra, Functions, and Patterns

Approximately 20%-30% of the GED Math Test is in the area of Algebra. This includes such things as:

  • Understanding the language and symbols of algebra.
  • Working with unknowns and variables.
  • Evaluating, setting up, and solving equations.
  • Using squares and square roots.
  • Identifying and applying patterns and relationships.
  • Using positive and negative integers.
  • Using variables and equations to represent information provided in tables, graphs, and written descriptions.

Algebra is mathematics that uses symbols to stand for unknown quantities. It also provides a way to represent a constant relationship between terms. Just like other types of math, algebra involves solving equations or manipulating expressions that contain symbols - generally variables such as xand y. In fact, a word problem in algebra is like a story problem in basic math.

Just like story problems, algebra problems require that students:

  • Identify the information they know and decide what information they need to find.
  • Decide which operation or strategy to use.
  • Solve the problem.
  • Check whether the answer is reasonable and answers the question.

Does this sound like the basic four-step problem-solving approach?

Teaching Tip:
Have students use letters or symbols to create their own equations. Start with simple math problems and substitute a letter or symbol for one of the digits. For example, change the equation 5 + 8 = 13 to 5 + y= 13. Let the students exchange equations and solve them. Compare the similarities between solving math problems and algebra problems. Both require that you solve a problem for an unknown value.