Sample GED Social Studies Questions

Question 1 refers to the following table.
*Information taken from U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

Last Updated: Saturday, 30 August 2008

Total Inmate Population 201,214
Total Sentenced Population 183,738
Inmates in BOP Facilities 165,553
Inmates in Privately-Managed Secure Facilities1 23,032
Inmates in Other Contract Facilities2 12,629

1Includes inmates housed in privately-managed secure facilities under contract with the BOP or with a state or local government that has an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the BOP.
2Includes inmates housed in community corrections centers, home confinement, jail/short-term detention, contract juveniles, and long-term boarders.

1. Which of the following statements is supported by the above table?

A. The majority of prisoners are not considered dangerous offenders.
B. Many people currently in prison have not been convicted of a crime.
C. Privately-managed facilities typically look after more dangerous offenders.
D. Home confinement is more common than housing criminals in community corrections centers.
E. The number of inmates in Bureau of Prisons facilities will probably decline in the future.

Question 2 refers to the following excerpt from the Fair Housing Act.
*Excerpt taken from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sec. 804. [42 U.S.C. 3604] Discrimination in sale or rental of housing and other prohibited practices

As made applicable by section 803 of this title and except as exempted by sections 803(b) and 807 of this title, it shall be unlawful--

(c) To make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.

2. A man is trying to rent out an apartment. Referring to the excerpt provided, indicate which of the following statements, if included in an advertisement, would be a violation of the Fair Housing Act?

A. Quiet people only please
B. Employment check may be required
C. Please have references ready
D. Located in a singles' building
E. First and last month's rent required in advance

Question 3 refers to the following table.
*Excerpt taken from "Table 1-1: Maximum-Priced Home That Can be Afforded for Families and Unrelated Individuals by Current Tenure: United States, 2002." Compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau

Maximum-priced home Number Percent
Using Conventional, Fixed-Rate,30-Year Financing
Total 79,246 100.0
Less than $20,000 26,957 34.0
$20,000 to $29,999 1192 1.5
$30,000 to $39,999 977 1.2
$40,000 to $49,999 988 1.2
$50,000 to $59,999 1086 1.4
$60,000 to $69,999 1025 1.3
$70,000 to $79,999 1096 1.4
$80,000 to $89,999 1211 1.5
$90,000 to $99,999 1222 1.5
$100,000 to $124,999 3234 4.1
$125,000 to $149,999 3171 4.0
$150,000 to $199,999 6376 8.0
$200,000 to $249,999 5658 7.1
$250,000 or more 25051 31.6
Median $130,000 (X)

3. Which of the following statements is supported by the information presented in the table?

A. Most Americans cannot afford the homes they are in.
B. Most Americans cannot afford to spend $250,000 on a home.
C. Most Americans cannot afford to spend $20,000 on a home.
D. Most Americans spend $130,000 on their homes.
E. Most homes cost between $150,000 and $199,000.

Question 4 is based on the following excerpt from the U.S. Bill Of Rights.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

4. Based on the information given, which of the following actions would be a violation of the U.S. Bill of Rights?

A. A demonstration during which protestors throw rocks at a government building is broken up by police.
B. A person is accused of a crime and several witnesses are brought into court to testify against him.
C. An organization collects 20,000 signatures on a petition and presents it to a government official, but no changes are made as a result.
D. The U.S. government stops a story from being printed in a newspaper because it contains classified information.
E. An individual charged with a crime is assigned a defense lawyer he did not personally choose.


Answer Key:

1. Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Answer choice B, which states that many people currently in prison have not been convicted of a crime, is the only choice supported by the information presented in the table. There are roughly 200,000 inmates in the United States. However, only about 180,000 of them have been sentenced, indicating there are approximately 20,000 people currently incarcerated who have not been officially convicted of a crime.

2. Correct Answer: D

Explanation: D is the only statement that would be a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Advertisements cannot indicate any preference or limitation based on, among other things, familial status. Indicating that the apartment building is a building for single people is to manifest a discriminatory preference for individuals with a certain familial status.

3. Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Answer choice B is the only choice that is supported by the data presented in the table. The table is outlining the maximum house price that American can afford. Therefore, D and E can be eliminated because they are talking about the price of homes and how much people spend. A is not supported because the average price of a home isn't indicated. C is incorrect because only 34% of people are not able to afford a $20,000 home. B is the correct answer. Only 31.6% can afford to spend $250,000 or more, meaning the majority (68.4%) cannot.

4. Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Choice D would be a violation of the U.S. Bill of Rights. The First Amendment states that Congress will not make or pass any laws to restrict freedom of speech, or of the press. Blocking a newspaper story from running would be an example of restricting the freedom of the press and constitutes a clear violation of the Bill of Rights. While the information may be classified, the government cannot interfere with the freedom of the newspaper to report the information.

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