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Societ english5

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Societ english5

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  1. – HISTORY AND NATURE OF SCIENCE – shake the foundations of understanding and lead to new Here are some major advances in science. modes of thinking. Thomas Kuhn, philosopher of sci- ence, called such discoveries paradigm shifts. 420 B.C.: Hippocrates begins the scientific study ■ of medicine by maintaining that diseases have common causes. 260 B.C.: Archimedes discovers the principle of ■ buoyancy. 180 A.D.: Galen studies the connection between ■ paralysis and severance of the spinal cord. 1473: Copernicus proposes a heliocentric system. ■ 1581: Galileo finds that objects fall with the same ■ acceleration. 1611: Kepler discovers total internal reflection ■ and thin lens optics. 1620: Francis Bacon discusses the principles of ■ the scientific method. 1687: Newton formulates the laws of gravity. ■ 1789: Lavoisier states the law of conservation of ■ energy. 1837: Darwin uses natural selection to explain ■ evolution. 1864: James Clerk Maxwell shows that light is an ■ electromagnetic phenomenon. 260
  2. Tips and CHAPTER 29 Strategies for the GED Science Exam IN THIS chapter, you will briefly review some tips you can use on the GED Science Exam. Several tips apply to other sections of the GED as well. N have reviewed the information you need to know, it’s time to think about strate- OW T H AT YO U gies you can use at test time. Throughout this chapter, you will review the structure of the science exam and learn specific tips you can use to improve your score on the test. Read this chapter care- fully, and then review your notes from the science section. When you are ready, move on to the practice ques- tions that follow. M ultiple-Choice Questions The good thing about multiple-choice questions is that the answer is right in front of you. All you need to do is find it, or at least eliminate some of the clearly wrong choices. At times, you may not be able to eliminate all four of the incorrect choices. But there is no penalty for guess- ing on the GED. If you can eliminate one of the wrong choices, you will have a 25% chance of guessing correctly, and that is still better than leaving it blank. If you can eliminate three choices, you have a 50% chance of getting the question right. When answering multiple-choice questions, make sure you have read the question carefully. Often, the ques- tion will ask you to chose a statement that is NOT true or find an exception to the rule. 261
  3. – TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE GED SCIENCE EXAM – Even when you think you have found the correct graphic is showing. Next, look at any legends or axis choice, quickly glance at the other choices to make sure labels provided. This will give you an idea of what vari- that no other choice is better or more specific. Also, ables are shown. Make a list of the variables. Once you check whether one of the choices is “All of the above.” have done that, you can try to interpret the chart or You may well have picked out a correct statement, but if graph by noting any trends you may see. How is one vari- the rest of the statements are also correct, the answer able changing in response to the other? Next, you can needs to be, “All of the above.” read the question and attempt to answer it. Here is more specific information about graphics. T ypes of Questions Charts Graph Title Two types of questions appear on the GED—conceptual 140 understanding and problem solving. 120 Conceptual understanding questions require you to data set 1 read and understand the information provided or to 100 data set 2 recall basic knowledge you have acquired through prior y-axis 80 schooling or everyday life. Read the question and infor- 60 mation provided along with it carefully. Often, a ques- tion will ask you to restate what was already said or to 40 make a generalization about the facts presented in a pas- 20 sage. By reading carefully and making notes on a piece of 0 scratch paper as you go along, you increase your chances 0 2 4 6 8 10 x-axis of understanding the provided information correctly. Problem-solving questions require you to apply what All charts are composed of rows (horizontal) and you have read or learned. As you are studying for the columns (vertical). Entries in a single row of a chart usu- exam, when presented with a scientific fact, such as ally have something in common, and so do entries in a “energy can be converted from one form to another,” single column. Determine what the common elements think about the situations in which that fact is apparent. are when you try to answer the questions on the GED Think about a car—using the chemical energy in the fuel Science Exam. causes the car to move and the engine to heat. Think about how the fuel level decreases as the car moves. Graphs Where is the fuel going? What is happening to the Three common types of graphs are scatter plots, bar exhaust gases? The principles of science are all around graphs, and pie graphs. This section provides a brief you. By paying attention to them in your everyday life, description of each. you will be better prepared to answer problem-solving Whenever a variable depends continuously on questions on the GED. another variable, this dependence can be visually repre- sented in a scatter plot. An example includes a change in a property (such as human population) as a function of R eading and Understanding time. A scatter plot consists of the horizontal (x) axis, the Graphics vertical (y) axis, and collected data points for variable y, measured at variable x. The variable points are often About half of all GED Science questions include graph- connected with a line or a curve. A graph often contains ics. By becoming familiar with different types of graph- a legend, especially if there is more than one data set or ics and learning about their essential components, you more than one variable. A legend is a key for interpret- will be better prepared to answer GED Science questions ing the graph. Look at the sample graph above. The that contain graphical information. essential elements of the graph—the x- and y-axes—are When looking at a chart or a graph, look at the title or labeled. The legend to the right of the graph shows that caption first. This will give you an overview of what the dots are used to represent the variable points in data set 1, 262
  4. – TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE GED SCIENCE EXAM – while squares are used to represent the variable points in E xperiment Skills data set 2. If only one data set exists, the use of a legend is not essential. Experiments should be designed and conducted in Bar graphs are similar to scatter plots. Both have a accordance with the principles of the scientific method. variable y plotted against a variable x. However, in bar This means that the goal of the experiment should be graphs, data is represented by bars, rather than by points carefully formulated and the experiment should be set connected with a line. Bar graphs are often used to indi- up to yield factual results. Review the concepts of the sci- cate an amount or level, as opposed to a continuous entific method in Chapter 22 if the tips included in this change. Pie graphs are often used to show what percent- section are unfamiliar to you. age of a total is taken up by different components of that whole. Setting Up an Experiment Experiments should be set up to test one clearly formu- Diagrams lated and testable hypothesis. The number of variables Diagrams could be used to show a sequence of events, (things changing) in the experiment should be limited a chemical or biological process, the setup of a science and carefully controlled. If possible, experiments should experiment, a phenomenon, the relationship between contain a control group. For example, if you were to different events or beings, and so forth. When you see a study the effect of a new soil supplement on house diagram, first determine its purpose. What is it trying plants, the soil supplement should not be used on a few to illustrate? Then, look at the different labeled parts of plants, which will comprise the control group. If there is the diagram. What is their function? How are they improvement in the growth of only the plants on which interrelated? the supplement was used, then there is strong indication that the supplement increases the plant growth. If, how- ever, the plants in the control group grow as much as the R eading and Understanding plants on which the supplement was used, then the Scientific Passages causes of growth most likely are not linked to the sup- plement. In this example, there would be two variables— When reading a scientific passage, the most important the use of the supplement and the plant growth. thing is to focus on the big picture, or on the subject of How the supplement is administered and how plant the passage. In many ways, the reading passages in the growth is measured would need to be carefully described science part of the GED are the same as the reading pas- and controlled. For example, the scientist conducting the sages in other areas. One important difference is that sci- experiment would need to decide whether the supple- ence passages may expose you to science jargon, ment would be administered once, several times, or every specialized vocabulary you may not be familiar with. Try day throughout the experiment. The scientist would also not to let new words throw you off. You may be able to need to define what constitutes plant growth—the ver- guess their meaning from the context. Even if you can’t, tical increase, the number of new leaves, the growth of keep reading. The questions following the passage may new branches and leaves, or some combination of these not require you to understand that particular word. factors. One choice is not necessarily better than the oth- ers. Measuring the vertical growth wouldn’t necessarily be worse than counting the number of new leaves. Sci- S eries of Questions Based on a entists must be consistent. If the number of leaves is Passage or Graphic recorded one day on one plant, it should be recorded every day on all the other plants in the experiment. On the GED, you will sometimes be asked more than one On the GED, you may be asked to pick out the best question based on the same graphic or passage. When design for an experiment. Before you look at the choices, this is the case, it is worth your while to invest a little determine the important variables and what would make more time to understand the graphic or passage. Even if a good control. Select the choice that contains these vari- you are unsure about the first one, try answering the ables, that has the most logical experimental control, and remaining questions—they may be easier for you. in which the variables not studied are held constant. 263
  5. – TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE GED SCIENCE EXAM – I nterpreting Others’ Results a scientific conclusion, either to your personal life or to In some GED questions, you will be asked to interpret global phenomena. These are almost always questions others’ results. You will need to make a generalization from the problem-solving category. You are presented about the results or draw a conclusion. Don’t base your with a fact in one context and asked to apply it in another answer of what you believe is right. Base your answers on context. For example, if you read in a passage about dif- the results provided. Look at the choices given. Some ferent methods of determining the sides of the world in could be inaccurate—if one part of the result doesn’t fit nature without a compass, you could be asked which of the description in the choice, the choice is wrong (unless the methods would best work if you were in a particular words such as generally or in most cases make room for situation—lost on a cloudy night in a forest, on the exceptions). Make sure you don’t jump to conclusions. A ocean on a clear day, etc. If necessary, as you are reading trend doesn’t always indicate a cause and effect relation- information provided in the question, make quick dia- ship. For example, every morning, your alarm clock goes grams and summarize the important concepts on a piece off, and every morning, you get hungry. However, the of scrap paper. These strategies may help you visualize alarm clock is not what is making you hungry. The two the concepts or the given situation and could help you events just happen to occur at the same time. Before you make sense of the question. conclude that there is a cause and effect relationship on the GED, consider other conclusions, and then pick the O ther Useful Skills most logical one. Analyzing Experimental Flaws The more material you are exposed to, the easier it will A common GED Science question requires you to ana- become to understand it. Reading about science and lyze the flaws of an experiment. Experiments should be applying science takes practice, just like riding a bike. At based on the scientific method. Common experimental first, you may be a bit clumsy with it, but if you stick with flaws include: it, you improve rapidly and it begins to click. To compre- hend science better, read as much about science as you not testing the hypothesis can—in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. ■ having too many variables Make sure you look at graphics, as well. As you are read- ■ unforeseen variables ing, think about what the passage or graphic, is commu- ■ lack of experimental control nicating to you. What are the possible applications of the ■ jumping to conclusions science concepts discussed? What can you conclude based ■ on the information given? What methods were used to Applying Scientific Conclusions arrive at the facts presented? Is anything presented an What good is science if we don’t benefit from it? How opinion or belief rather than a fact? Try to make up ques- would the finding that keeping a laptop on your lap for tions about the passage or graphic you read. Imagine that too long can damage your pelvic organs influence you? you are making up the GED: What could you ask the stu- You would not keep the laptop on your lap for too long, dents? By anticipating the move of your opponent, you right? Many questions on the GED require you to apply are better prepared to respond to it. 264
  6. CHAPTER GED Science 30 Practice Questions NOW IT’S time to put all that you have learned about science and scientific inquiry into practice. In the following section, you will find 75 multiple-choice questions like those you will find on the GED Science Exam. D irections Read the questions carefully and choose the best answer for each question. Some questions may refer to a passage, illustration, or graph. Be sure to answer every question; you will not be penalized for incorrect answers. Do not spend too much time on any one question so you can be sure to complete all the questions in the allotted time. Record your answers on the answer sheet provided on page 267. Make sure you mark the answer in the circle that corresponds to the question. Note: On the GED, you are not permitted to write in the test booklet. Make any notes or calculations on a sep- arate piece of paper. 265
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