If you want your high school equivalency diploma, the math test might be your biggest concern. Many people are intimidated by math… but it doesn’t have to be that hard! The important thing is to be prepared.

First, you can take a free online math practice test to find out what you need to study. A free online test should give you:

- Example questions that help you understand what’s on the test.
- A list of skills that you should study.

This is a great starting point! Once you have a good idea what to study, you can choose a study program, books, or other materials. Look for a program that will be right for you. Can you study at home? Is it online, print, or both? Is it affordable? Does it have good quality lessons? And does it have complete practice tests that you can take while you study?

Be aware that there are three high school equivalency tests that you could take, depending on your state. While these tests are similar, there are some differences. You can choose a study program specifically for the GED test, HiSET exam, or TASC test.

A good study program will have complete math practice tests that are designed for a specific exam. Once you’ve done a little studying, take a full practice test that will give you an estimated score. These practice tests will be your measuring stick to tell you when you’re ready to pass.

Free online practice tests can vary a lot. Some of them are just sample questions. Others are basic paper tests that don’t give you a lot of information about what you’ll need to study. Think about your purpose taking an online test. Do you want to find out what you need to know? What the test is like? An online math test that will help you easily create a study plan is the best choice.

Once you’ve done some studying, you’ll be ready for a more complete test. You’ll still want a test that provides good feedback and helps you study. But you’ll also want a test that gives you an estimated score on a specific test, either the GED test, the HiSET exam, or the TASC test.

A GED practice test will include 45 percent quantitative questions:

- Understanding numbers and using basic math, including ratios, percents, exponents, and factors
- Geometry, including measuring perimeter, area, and volume
- Data, including graphs and charts, mean, median, and mode
- Probability

It will include 55 percent algebraic questions:

- Algebraic expressions and polynomials
- Linear equations and inequalities
- Quadratic equations
- Graphs, functions, and coordinate grids

Understanding the basics well will help you quickly pick up the more advanced math.

The HISET math practice test will be 19% numbers and operations, 18% measurement and geometry, 18% data and probability, and 45% algebra. This is similar to the GED test, but with slightly less algebra.

On the TASC math test, you’ll find a high emphasis on algebra, geometry, functions, and real numbers. There is a medium emphasis on geometry with triangles and congruent figures, building functions, quantities, and statistics, including making inferences, justifying conclusions, and interpreting data.

If you’re just starting out, you might be worried about advanced math. But a strong foundation in basic math is more important. You’ll need to be able to answer word problems, understand forms of numbers (fractions, decimals, exponents, roots), and be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

All the math on the test is built on these basics.

Once you have a strong math foundation, you’ll need to get familiar with algebra, geometry, probability, and statistics. Good basic math skills will give you a kick-start in higher math. Chances are, you’ll find some of the higher math easy, like charts and graphs, measuring the outside of shapes, or understanding the percent chance of something.

Chances are, you’ll also find some of the math challenging! That’s okay. You don’t need to get every question right on the math test. Spend some time with the more difficult math. The more you study (if it’s explained well!), the better you’ll do. But really master the basics and the areas that are easier for you. Your goal is to get the most questions right, and getting an easier question right adds the same amount to your score as a difficult question!

Math practice tests are useful tools to help you get your high school equivalency diploma. Make a plan to use them well!