General Knowledge
For Testing on or after 1/1/2024

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Competencies and Skills and Blueprint

The test design below describes general testing information. The blueprints that follow provide a detailed outline that explains the competencies and skills that this test measures.

Test Design

table describing the format of the test, including test time, number of questions, and required passing score
Format Computer-based test (CBT)
Number of Questions
  • Essay Subtest: 1 essay
  • ELS Subtest: approximately 30 multiple-choice questions
  • Reading Subtest: approximately 30 multiple-choice questions
  • Mathematics Subtest: approximately 35 multiple-choice questions
Time
  • Essay Subtest: 50 minutes
  • ELS Subtest: 40 minutes
  • Reading Subtest: 55 minutes
  • Mathematics Subtest: 1 hour and 40 minutes
If you take all 4 subtests in a single session, you will receive a 15-minute break.
Passing Score
  • Essay Subtest: At least 8 out of 12 points
  • ELS, Reading, and Mathematics Subtests: a scaled score of at least 200 per subtest
  • Examinees must pass all 4 subtests to pass the GK

 

Competencies, Skills, and Approximate Percentages of Questions

Subtest 1: Essay

Competency and Skills

Competency 1–Knowledge of formal college-level writing

 

Subtest 2: English Language Skills

graph depicting percentages of each E L S competency's weight toward overall subtest score.

table describing the competencies, skills, and approximate percentage of each competency's weight toward overall test score for English Language Skills
Competency Approximate Percentage of Subtest Questions
1 Knowledge of language structure 33%
2 Knowledge of vocabulary application 33%
3 Knowledge of standard English conventions 34%

Competencies and Skills

Competency 1—Knowledge of language structure
  1. Determine correct placement of modifiers.

  2. Apply knowledge of parallelism, including parallel expressions for parallel ideas.

  3. Apply knowledge of a variety of effective sentence structures.

  4. Determine patterns of organization in a written passage (i.e., text structures).

Competency 2—Knowledge of vocabulary application
  1. Determine the meaning, including connotative meanings, of unfamiliar or multiple-meaning words and phrases in context.

  2. Identify and apply correct word usage.

  3. Determine appropriate diction and tone for addressing a given audience and purpose.

Competency 3—Knowledge of standard English conventions
  1. Select standard verb forms.

  2. Identify and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.

  3. Select agreement between subject and verb.

  4. Select agreement between pronoun and antecedent.

  5. Identify and correct inappropriate pronoun shifts.

  6. Select clear pronoun references.

  7. Select pronoun case forms (e.g., subjective, objective, possessive).

  8. Determine the correct use of adjectives and adverbs.

  9. Select appropriate comparative and superlative degree forms.

  10. Demonstrate command of standard spelling conventions.

  11. Demonstrate command of standard punctuation (e.g., recognizing and correcting fragments, comma splices, run-on sentences, syntax errors).

  12. Demonstrate command of standard capitalization.

 

Subtest 3: Reading

All items are passage based. The passages will be both expository and narrative. Each test form will contain approximately 5 passages.

graph depicting percentages of each reading competency's weight toward overall subtest score.

table describing the competencies, skills, and approximate percentage of each competency's weight toward overall test score for Reading
Competency Approximate Percentage of Subtest Questions
1 Knowledge of key ideas and details based on text selections 40%
2 Knowledge of text structure and meaning based on text selections 25%
3 Knowledge of the integration of information and ideas based on text selections 35%

Competencies and Skills

Competency 1—Knowledge of key ideas and details based on text selections
  1. Identify textual evidence to support conclusions drawn from text.

  2. Identify explicit meaning and details within text.

  3. Determine and distinguish between inferences and conclusions based on textual evidence.

  4. Determine and analyze the development of central ideas from one or more texts.

  5. Summarize one or more texts using key supporting ideas and details.

  6. Analyze how relationships between individuals, events, and ideas develop based on textual evidence.

Competency 2—Knowledge of text structure and meaning based on text selections
  1. Interpret the meaning of words and phrases as used in text (e.g., figurative language, connotative language, academic vocabulary).

  2. Analyze how specific word choices contribute to meaning or tone.

  3. Analyze how authors use text structures and features to convey meaning.

  4. Analyze how perspective and purpose influence the content and structure of texts.

Competency 3—Knowledge of the integration of information and ideas based on text selections
  1. Evaluate the relationship of content presented in diverse formats.

  2. Evaluate specific claims in texts based on relevancy, sufficiency, and validity of reasoning.

  3. Synthesize information from a range of texts to develop a coherent explanation of a process, phenomenon, or concept.

  4. Analyze and contrast the perspectives and approaches one or more authors use to explore similar topics or themes.

 

Subtest 4: Mathematics

An on-screen four-function calculator and an on-screen reference sheet will be provided.

graph depicting percentages of each mathematics competency's weight toward overall subtest score.

table describing the competencies, skills, and approximate percentage of each competency's weight toward overall test score for Mathematics
Competency Approximate Percentage of Subtest Questions
1 Knowledge of number sense, concepts, and operations 25%
2 Knowledge of geometry and measurement 25%
3 Knowledge of algebraic thinking and the coordinate plane 30%
4 Knowledge of probability, statistics, and data interpretation 20%

Competencies and Skills

Competency 1—Knowledge of number sense, concepts, and operations
  1. Compare real numbers and identify their location on a number line.

  2. Solve real-world problems, including problems in financial literacy (e.g., calculating percentages or simple interest), involving the four operations with rational numbers.

  3. Evaluate expressions involving the order of operations.

Competency 2—Knowledge of geometry and measurement
  1. Identify and classify simple 2D and 3D figures according to their mathematical properties.

  2. Solve problems involving ratio and proportion (e.g., scaled drawings, models, real-world problems).

  3. Determine an appropriate measurement unit and form (e.g., scientific notation) for real-world problems involving length, area, volume, or mass.

  4. Solve real-world measurement problems, including fundamental units (e.g., length, mass, time), derived units (e.g., miles per hour, dollars per gallon), and unit conversions.

Competency 3—Knowledge of algebraic thinking and the coordinate plane
  1. Determine whether two algebraic expressions are equivalent by applying properties of operations or equality.

  2. Identify an algebraic expression, equation, or inequality that models a real-world situation.

  3. Determine and solve equations or inequalities (i.e., linear and quadratic), algebraically or graphically, in mathematical or real-world problems.

  4. Interpret key features of linear equations or graphs in real-world problems (e.g., explain slope and y-intercept, determine additional solutions).

  5. Identify relations that satisfy the definition of a function.

  6. Compare the slopes of two linear functions represented algebraically or graphically.

  7. Apply linear, quadratic, and exponential functions to model and analyze real-world relationships.

Competency 4—Knowledge of probability, statistics, and data interpretation
  1. Identify and interpret numerical and categorical data presented in various forms (e.g., histograms, circle graphs, scatterplots, two-way tables) to solve problems.

  2. Analyze and evaluate how the presentation of data (e.g., scaling, chosen form) or selection of statistics (e.g., mean, median, mode) can lead to different or inappropriate interpretations in real-world contexts.

  3. Calculate and interpret the meaning of measures of central tendency (i.e., mean, median, and mode) and variability (i.e., range and standard deviation) in real-world or abstract contexts from numerical and categorical data sets.

  4. Solve and interpret real-world problems involving probability using counting procedures, tables, and tree diagrams.

 

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