GED Science Vocabulary: Genetics


Start Quiz


The GED Science test doesn't have vocabulary questions, but there are some words you should know before you take the test. For example, there are always a few questions related to genetics on the test, and some of the terms in these questions might be unfamiliar to you. You may be able to figure out what these words mean, but why take a chance? Check out our list of basic vocabulary related to genetics, and take the practice quiz to see how well you know them. Good luck!

  • allele: one of the alternative forms of a gene located at a specific position on a chromosome, contributing to variations in traits among individuals
  • carrying capacity: the maximum population size that a specific environment or ecosystem can sustainably support over an extended period, taking into account available resources and ecological factors
  • dominant: the allele that gets to show its trait when present along with another, recessive allele
  • genotype: an organism's unique genetic makeup; the specific arrangement of alleles in an organism’s DNA
  • heterozygous: a genetic condition in which an individual possesses two different alleles for a particular gene, inherited from each parent
  • homozygous: a genetic condition in which an individual possesses two identical alleles for a particular gene, one inherited from each parent
  • phenotype: the observable physical and biochemical traits of an organism that result from the interaction of its genotype with the environment
  • Punnett square: a visual tool used in genetics to predict the possible combinations of alleles that offspring might inherit from their parents, aiding in understanding genetic probabilities
  • recessive: an allele that is only expressed in the phenotype when two copies of it are present, as it is masked by a dominant allele in the presence of one copy
  • trait: a specific characteristic or feature of an organism, often resulting from the expression of particular genes and influenced by both genetic and environmental factors