Scientific Method

GED Science: Understanding The Scientific Method

A major part of the GED® Science Exam will be understanding and applying the Scientific Method. The Scientific Method is a collection of techniques used to observe facts and gain knowledge about a particular area of study. As you begin to write and design your own experiments and/or paragraph responses, you can use the steps of the Scientific Method as a guideline.

In the section that follows, you will find basic information about the Scientific Method. You will also find:

  • Steps of the Scientific Method Guide
  • Important Vocabulary Terms
  • A Sample Science Test Reading
  • A Sample Test Prompt and Practice Questions

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Vocabulary Quiz

Do you know what each of these terms mean?

Hypothesis:

Answer:An educated guess about what you think answers the problem in the experiment.

Data:

Answer:Observable facts and information about the phenomenon you are studying.

Dependent Variable:

Answer:The phenomenon that you are studying.

Independent Variable:

Answer: Factors you believe might affect your phenomenon.

Sample Science Reading

Sam notices that on Wednesdays, after a weekly lunch meeting with his co-workers, he develops an upset stomach. After three months of discomfort, he begins to notice the correlation between the meals and the pain. Sam also notices that when he goes out for ice cream with his children, he develops the same symptoms. A co-worker suggests that Sam keeps a food journal, recording what he eats every day. Sam believes that once he finds out what food is bothering his stomach, he can control the pain and discomfort.

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Sample Test Questions

Math of the steps of the Scientific Method in Section A with a phase of the investigation listed in Section B.
Section A
a. Form a hypothesis
b. Design a test
c. Collect data to test your hypothesis
d. Form a conclusion based on your data

Section B
1. Sam will keep a food journal for one month, recording everything he eats. He also keeps careful note of any pain and discomfort that may occur after each meal.
2. Sam tries to eat dairy on Thursday evening. He notices that it makes him ill. In an attempt to isolate the experience, Sam doesn’t eat anything until the morning.
3. Sam believes that by monitoring his food intake through a food journal for one month, he will be able to determine a milk allergy.
4. After reviewing journal, Sam finds that each time he ingests milk, he has a stomach ache. Based on his data, he believes that milk is to blame for his on-going stomach pain.

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Answer Key
1. Sam will keep a food journal for one month, recording everything he eats. He also keeps careful note of any pain and discomfort that may occur after each meal.

Answer:b. Design a test

2. Sam tries to eat dairy on Thursday evening. He notices that it makes him ill. In an attempt to isolate the experience, Sam doesn’t eat anything until the morning.

Answer:c. Collect data to test your hypothesis

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3. Sam believes that by monitoring his food intake through a food journal for one month, he will be able to determine a milk allergy.

Answer:a. Form a hypothesis

4. After reviewing journal, Sam finds that each time he ingests milk, he has a stomach ache. Based on his data, he believes that milk is to blame for his on-going stomach pain.

Answer:d. Form a conclusion based on your data

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