Test Information Guide

Field 10: General Science
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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The following reference material will be available to you during the test:

Periodic Table PDF opens in a new window.

History, Philosophy, and Methodology of Science

Objective 0002
Understand principles and procedures of research and experimental design.

1. Students are planning to study the effects of a nitrogen fertilizer on the growth of young corn plants. Two weeks earlier, the students started approximately 100 plants from seed under identical conditions. From this group of 100 seedlings, the students will select 40 seedlings to use in their study. To provide experimental results that will be most representative of corn seedlings in general, the students should choose:

  1. 20 large and 20 small seedlings.
  2. 40 mid-sized seedlings.
  3. 40 randomly selected seedlings.
  4. the 40 smallest-looking seedlings.
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.

Objective 0004
Understand the safe and proper use of tools, equipment, and materials (including chemicals and living organisms) related to classroom and other science investigations.

2. In a classroom laboratory, a teacher is demonstrating a method of determining relative humidity using a procedure that involves swinging an apparatus on the end of a lightweight chain. The apparatus contains a mercury thermometer with its bulb covered by a piece of water-soaked cotton cloth. The teacher supplies each student with safety goggles. Which of the following changes to the demonstration is necessary in this situation?

  1. Perform the demonstration outdoors.
  2. Replace the mercury thermometer with an alcohol thermometer.
  3. Wrap the thermometer in plastic in case it shatters.
  4. Show students a video recording of the demonstration rather than a live demonstration.
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.


Objective 0006
Understand the nature of physical changes in matter.

3. A teacher adds a pure solid to a pure transparent liquid. The solid disappears as it enters the liquid, producing a transparent sample. Which of the following would provide the strongest evidence that the new sample is a colloid rather than a solution?

  1. The solid can be recovered by passing the sample through a filter.
  2. The solid can be recovered by evaporating the sample.
  3. The sample conducts an electric current.
  4. The sample scatters a narrow beam of light.
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.

Objective 0008
Understand the kinetic molecular model of matter.

4. Containers 1 and 2 are identical. Container 1 contains one mole of gas X, and container 2 contains one mole of gas Y. Both containers are sealed and represent closed systems. The molecules of the gases in the two containers have the same average speeds, but gas Y has a much higher temperature than gas X. Which of the following pairs of gases is possible for gas X and gas Y?

  1. Gas X is helium, and gas Y is hydrogen.
  2. Gas X is argon, and gas Y is hydrogen.
  3. Gas X is oxygen, and gas Y is helium.
  4. Gas X is oxygen, and gas Y is argon.
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.


Objective 0009
Understand the concepts of force, motion, work, and power.

5. Use the diagram below to answer the question that follows.

The lever shown in the diagram above is 4 m long, with the fulcrum 1 m from one end. A 12 kg load is placed on the end of the lever nearest the fulcrum. What load must be applied to the opposite end of the lever at F in order to balance the 12 kg load?

  1. 3 kg
  2. 4 kg
  3. 8 kg
  4. 9 kg
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.

Objective 0012
Understand principles of electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetism.

6. A circuit is created using a dry cell battery, two pieces of wire, and a small lightbulb. The current in the circuit is produced by:

  1. the movement of protons between the positive and negative terminals within the battery.
  2. the transfer through the wire of voltage created by the separation of charge in the battery.
  3. the difference in resistance between the pieces of wire and the lightbulb filament.
  4. the chemical reactions within the battery that change chemical energy into electrical energy.
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.


Objective 0014
Understand principles related to the inheritance of characteristics.

7. A genetic mutation that results in a nucleotide insertion usually has a much greater effect on the organism than a genetic mutation that results in a nucleotide substitution. This is true because a nucleotide insertion:

  1. causes a shift in the reading frame of the DNA code.
  2. causes structural damage to the DNA molecule.
  3. makes a gene unreadable at the ribosomal sites.
  4. disrupts normal processes of mitosis and meiosis.
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.

Objective 0015
Understand principles and theories related to biological evolution.

8. Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

In California, the Ensatina salamander lives in the area surrounding a valley but not in the valley itself. Populations of the salamander in different locations around the valley have different identifiable markings, so a given pattern can be used to identify the home of a given salamander. At each border where salamanders with one pattern leave off and salamanders with another pattern begin, individuals from the two populations are able to interbreed. There is one exception to this—at the southern end of the valley there are two populations of Ensatina salamanders that are not able to interbreed. The Ensatina salamander is an example of what is known as a "ring species." Each local group is able to interbreed with its neighbor, except for the two groups that seem to represent a beginning and an end to the ring and apparently are too distantly related to interbreed with one another.

This concept of a ring species implies that evolutionary mechanisms have which of the following characteristics?

  1. Evolutionary changes can accumulate over time.
  2. Evolutionary change in a species can be affected by abiotic environmental factors.
  3. Evolutionary changes are reversible in some situations.
  4. Two species will diverge more quickly if they are geographically close.
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.

Earth and Space Science

Use the information below to answer the two questions that follow.

As Pangaea pulled apart, the modern Atlantic Ocean was formed. At the same time, another rift developed just to the west, along the present-day Connecticut River Valley. This rift, rather than forming an ocean or sea, resulted in volcanic activity and lava flows in the area that is known today as the Holyoke Range. Much of the old rift has since been filled in by sediment that later lithified.
Objective 0017
Understand geologic history and processes related to the changing earth.

9. Based on the information in this passage, the rock making up the Holyoke Range can best be classified as:

  1. aggregate.
  2. sedimentary rock.
  3. metamorphic rock.
  4. igneous rock.
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.

10. The events described in this passage most likely occurred about how long ago?

  1. 20 thousand years ago
  2. 65 million years ago
  3. 200 million years ago
  4. 2.5 billion years ago
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.