GED Science test

What You Need to Study for Life Science in the GED Science Test

What You Need To Study For Life Science In The GED Science Test

Most people panic when they think about the GED science test. Science, after all, is a subject that deals with almost everything on this planet and beyond, from plants and animals to thermodynamics. Luckily, the GED test only includes three areas of science: physical science, life science, and earth and space science.

You don’t have to read all the science books in the library to study for the GED science test, you just need to focus on these three areas. Here is a quick guide for you before you start studying life sciences:

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What is Life Science?

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Life Science is a broad area of scientific knowledge that studies all forms of life, from the lowly bacteria to highly advanced organisms such as human beings.  The aim of Life Science is not only to gain knowledge but also to use that knowledge to improve human life and condition.  Life Science is composed of many scientific disciplines with biology at its core. While life sciences itself is a broad body of knowledge, GED test only includes six topics: Human Body and Health, Relationship Between Life Functions and Energy Intake, Energy Flows in Ecologic Networks, Organization of Life, Molecular Basis of Heredity, and Evolution.

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Human Body and Health

This is self-explanatory but deserves to be explained nonetheless. This topic will challenge your knowledge about your own body, its parts and how the different parts of the body function to keep you alive. You have to familiarize yourself with the various vital organs like the heart, lungs, kidney and liver and what roles they play in the body.  This part of the test will also include items that relate to human health, nutrients from food, medicines and current advances in medical science.

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Relationship Between Life Functions and Energy Intake

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Every living thing on this planet needs energy to continue living. In animals, including human beings, energy comes from the food they eat, which may be another animal or plants. For example, lions eat smaller animals as food and a source of energy. Humans can eat both types of meat from other animals and plants, too.  Plants, on the other hand, produce their own food through photosynthesis and produce a certain sugar to sustain their growth. In studying for this section of the Life Science test, familiarize yourself with the following terms:

  • Cellular Respiration
  • Photosynthesis
  • Fermentation
  • Respiration

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Energy Flows in Ecological Networks

Don’t be scared by the highly technical title, instead, think of it as the food pyramid. All living things on this planet depend on each other for survival. Plants feed the herbivores (animals that eat only plants) and herbivores get eaten by carnivores (animals that only eat meat), then when an animal dies without being eaten by another animal, it decomposes and enriches the soil with nutrients that are then used by another plant. In the food chain, energy is also transferred to one species eat or consume another. The energy from the plant gets transferred to the animal that eats it and ultimately the energy goes back to the soil and into the plant.

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Organization of Life

The organization of life explains how living things are structured from the smallest particles up. The smallest part of every living thing is the atom, which combines together to become cells. These cells combine to become tissues like the muscle tissue and fat tissue. Then the tissues combine further to create organs and the body structure. Then the body structure and organs combine to create a living animal.

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Molecular Basis for Heredity

Molecular basis for heredity is simply about DNA, genes and chromosomes and how these factors affect heredity. Heredity is important because it fuels the slow but constant change in living things. Make yourself familiar with such terms such as genes, DNA, RNA, and chromosomes because these may come out in the exam.

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Evolution is the leading theory that tries to explain how humans and the animals and plants we know today came into existence. As one study defines it, it is “the change in heritable traits of biological populations over successive generations.”

Surely, you have heard about evolution and how all living things started as single-celled organisms and slowly developed through millions of years. Remember the name Charles Darwin because he is the first to come up with the theory. You may have to memorize some of the ancestors of humans such as the homo habilis, homo erectus and many others. Studying evolution is fun and exciting.

When it comes to life sciences, memorizing facts is not enough, you have to understand the concepts and the theories. When studying this subject, adopt an attitude of curiosity because this subject explains a lot about you as a living organism and how you affect other living things on this planet and how they affect you, too.

Take notes while reviewing or listening to GED online classes. Test your knowledge by taking GED science practice tests.

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Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Natural Resources

Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Natural Resources

Part of the GED Science test is Earth Science. To learn more about this topic, one of the concepts you need to learn is renewable and non-renewable natural resources.

There are things that people use every day that they thought would be there forever. That is why some people abuse and waste these resources on useless things. An example for this is fossil fuel where gasoline and diesel are derived.  According to some estimates, by 2025 all of the current fossil fuel reserves are going to be drained. That is bad news if you own a car since, without fossil fuels, there won’t be gasoline or diesel to run it.

Fossil fuel is called a non-renewable resource. As the name implies, non-renewable resources are finite, meaning we could run out of them in the future. On the other hand, resources like water are renewable because it is constantly being recycled.

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Non-Renewable Resource

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The earth provides its inhabitants with lots of gifts that we can use to advance our civilization and keep us alive.  Fossil fuels are only one of those gifts – it gives humans a source of energy in the form of gasoline and diesel. But it does not last forever because it takes earth millions of years to create fossil fuels from bones of dinosaurs and other ancient animals, but we already used up almost all of it in just 200 years.

Other resources that earth made for thousands, even millions, of years are the different metals we use for development like iron, copper, zinc, nickel, and others. Because we used them faster than they can be made, they are sure to be all used up at one point. That is why they are called non-renewable.

What you have to remember to determine if something is non-renewable is that these things take thousands and millions of years to make. If earth can run out of something, then that something is a non-renewable resource.

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Renewable Resource

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Renewable resources are resources that are constantly being reproduced naturally. A tree, for example, can be cut to make homes, but another tree grows to replace the one that has been cut. A cow can be killed for food, but new cows can be raised to replace that one that’s been turned into jerky or steak. Anything that can grow from the earth is natural resources.  Plants, animals, fishes are all renewable natural resources.

Another group of natural resources is those that are renewed naturally by earth processes such as water and oxygen. Water is an important renewable resource. When you use water, it flows to seas or treatment plants and evaporates under the sun. Then it turns into clouds, which will soon fall as rain, and you can use it again. Oxygen is another very important renewable resource that you can’t live without – literally! We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, then the carbon dioxide we exhaled is used by the plants and released again as oxygen that we breathe. Oxygen is renewable as long as trees are around.

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Protecting Non-Renewable Resources

Because we can run out of them, we have to do everything we can to keep non-renewable resources from disappearing. That is where conservation and recycling come into the picture.

Conservation means minimizing the use of a resource so they don’t disappear fast. Conserving fossil fuel means using your car less so that you don’t use gasoline. Keeping electricity usage low also helps conserve fossil fuel, since producing electricity uses fossil fuels.

Recycling is another way to conserve non-renewable resources. Metals that are used in electronics, for example, can be recycled. For example, if your TV stops working, the copper and zinc and other materials on it can be used to make other appliances so that the copper and zinc still under the earth are preserved for future generations.

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Protecting Renewable Resources

Wait, do renewable resources need protecting? Yes, they do. That is because many of the natural resources can also run out if human beings abuse them. Think of the animals that were made extinct because of hunting and you get the point.

Oxygen, for example, is renewable only as long as trees are around and as long as the trees remaining on the planet can cope up with the massive amount of carbon dioxide we produce as a species.

Protecting our oxygen supply means protecting forests and jungles from being denuded because of over logging.  That is why it is important to appreciate conservation of forests. Remember this, trees are renewable but forests and jungles are not.

Fish, a very important food resource are renewable, but the seas and oceans are being destroyed by oil spills and chemical run-offs from factories.  Rivers become poisonous and so do lakes. If the places that fishes live are getting smaller, that means only a few of them can live.  But then again humans consume so much fish as food, so soon we may run out of fish because of overfishing. Protecting fish, therefore, means protecting the seas, oceans lakes and rivers and not overfishing.

Not only does the understanding of renewable and non-renewable resources help you pass your GED test, it also helps make you more responsible for using these resources. To increase your knowledge, take GED Science practice tests and sign up for GED classes.

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The Four Spheres of Planet Earth

The Four Spheres of Planet Earth

One of the topics under the GED Science Test is Earth Science. It covers the four spheres of planet earth.

The Earth, the planet we call home, how much do you know about it? Sure, you know that it looks like an imperfect circle, a little flat at the top and a little bulged on the sides. You know about the sea and the sky and about the land that you stand on. But there is more to our home planet than those things.  For example, have you ever wondered what is in the center of the earth or what it’s called? And most importantly, will you be able to answer if this topic appears in the GED test? All these questions will be answered once you understand the earth and its four spheres – lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere.

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All the four spheres of the Earth, the lithosphere is one of the most mysterious. What’s ironic is that it is also the sphere where we live. The lithosphere is composed of the crust, the mantle, and the core. The crust is composed of soil and rocks and those buildings we built on it. The crust is more or less 40 kilometers in thickness.

Below the crust is the mantle which is a giant river of molten rock and silica flowing under the crust and over the core. With a thickness of about 2,660 km, the mantle’s movement inside the earth is so strong that it could move big continents at its will. The continents of the planet float helplessly on the mantle and when these big pieces of the crust collide, you will experience an earthquake. The mantle is also the main actor in the creation of volcanos.

Below the crust is the outer and inner core. Rotating in the absolute center of the earth in opposite directions, the inner and outer core power up the processes that make our planet dynamic and supportive of life. Without the core, we would have less gravity. Without the core, the processes that created the conditions that started life would not exist and we would not be here.  The core also creates the magnetic field that protects the planet from harmful radiation from the sun and other sources. The most amazing thing about the core is that scientists say it spins 5,000 times faster than the spin of the earth. Imagine how fast that is.

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The hydrosphere is composed of water in all its state – liquid, solid and gas. That means the seas, oceans, rivers, and lakes, as well as water underground all, belong to the hydrosphere since they are water in liquid form. Glaciers, icebergs and the snow piling up on the road during winter is part of the hydrosphere as a solid form of water.  Finally, the water vapor, steam and clouds being the gas form of water are also part of the hydrosphere. The thickness of the hydrosphere extends several kilometers into the lithosphere and 12 or more kilometers into the atmosphere.

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The biosphere consists of all living things on the planet. From the lowly bacteria under the earth’s crust to the fierce lion stalking in the savannah to the human beings living on the international space station in space, as long as something is living, it is part of the biosphere. Within the biosphere, living organisms live and build their own ecological communities based on the ecosystem they are on. These communities are called biomes. The biosphere extends to wherever a living thing is found.

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The most popular among the four spheres of the earth is the atmosphere. Extending from 1 meter below the ground to ten kilometers above ground, the atmosphere has a very big influence in human life. First, it is important to acknowledge that the atmosphere refers to air including the oxygen we breathe and the various gases that make up air. The more carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere, the less oxygen we breathe. But that’s not the only way the atmosphere affects us. Weather and climate are conditions affected by the atmosphere. The wind you enjoy or the tornado that you fear, are all created in the atmosphere.

The atmosphere is also at the receiving end of human abuses. Every time you burn something, the smoke (carbon dioxide) goes up into the atmosphere and makes it dirty. Every time you drive your car, it releases various gasses that go into the atmosphere. As the atmosphere is filled with pollution, humans experience acid rain, smog, and extreme weather conditions. In the end, whatever we do to the atmosphere will come back to bite us in the hand.

The lithosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere make up the planet we call home. We affect these spheres, in the same way, affect us. Now that you know the four spheres of the earth, you will be able to answer when it appears on your GED test. Learn more about it by signing up for our GED online classes and taking GED science practice tests.

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What to Study for the Earth and Space Science Topic in the GED Test

What To Study For The Earth And Space Science Topic In The GED Test

The Earth and Space topic in the GED Science test constitutes 20 percent of your GED Science score. While it may not be as big a percentage as the other sections, namely, Life and Physical sciences, it is also the easiest among the three. Acing the space and science section would help you a lot in your score especially if you don’t do very well in the other topics included in the science tests. When it comes to the GED test, you would need every single score you could get to ensure you pass. You may be asking what specific topics you need to study for Earth and Space Science.

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Here are the specific topics to review:

Interactions Between Earth’s Systems and Living Things

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Every single day you wake up, you check the weather. Is it sunny, rainy, cloudy or windy today? You hear in the news about earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that destroy forests and leave wild animals and even some humans homeless. You know about droughts that cause famine in different parts of the world. Every day, you are reminded that living things on this planet are constantly at the mercy of the systems that govern the planet. The water cycle brings the rain. The circulation of the magma below the earth’s crust causes earthquakes. The interaction of the cold and hot wind in the ocean causes typhoons.

Study about the planet, from the core, which is in the center of the earth to the stratosphere up above. Learn about the tides, erosion and all the cycles you can find such as the water cycle, nitrogen cycle, and carbon cycle. Also, brush up on knowledge about fossil fuels, natural hazards and their effects on living things. Familiarize yourself with renewable and nonrenewable resources too because there is a big chance they’d be on the test.

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Have you ever wondered what lay beneath the surface of the earth? We human beings stand on the surface of the planet, called the crust. Beneath the crust is a river of molten rocks and metals circulating around a solid core. This is the structure of the earth, and this is one of the topics in the test. For this portion of the test, you must study about plate tectonics, the structure of the earth geological cycles and processes, and how each of these interact with each other and its effect on the living things on this planet.

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Structures and Organization of the Cosmos

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Yes, this is all about space, the planets within and beyond our solar system and the various theories about the universe. Naturally, you have to be able to name the planets in our solar system. Understand black holes, dark matter, The Big Bang theory (not the TV show), and expansion of the universe. You may also have to understand some terms like light years, galaxy clusters and a whole lot of interesting topics.

Earth and Space Science is an interesting topic, and you might find yourself enjoying while studying it. Don’t worry though if you can’t memorize many of the things you learned because most of the test gives you a paragraph or two to read and you will base your answers on that paragraph. Nevertheless, it would help you a lot of you are familiar with the topics presented here.

Sign up for GED science online lessons to understand science concepts quickly. Then test yourself by answering GED practice tests.

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