Unit Assessment

Nature of Science Section Assessment

1. All the characteristics listed below are attributes of the nature of science except for

a. Durability
b. Tentativeness
c. Skepticism
c. Replication
c. Reliance on evidence

2. Which statement is more accurate?

a. Scientific knowledge is based on facts.
b. Scientific knowledge is based on inference.

Science Process Skills

3. Refer to this diagram. Which of these statements are observations and which are inferences?


For frame 1:

a. There are two different sets of tracks.
b. The tracks were made by two different animals.
c.One set of tracks is larger than the other.

For frame 2:

d. The two animals had a fight.
e. The two sets of tracks meet and become jumbled.
f. The smaller tracks are from a baby animal looking for its mother.

For frame 3:

g. There is only one set of tracks.
h. The larger animal ate the smaller animal.
i. The tracks are all equally spaced.

4. Which of the following terms provides an example of durability?

a. Scientific knowledge is based on facts.
b. Scientific knowledge is based on facts.
c. Scientific knowledge is based on facts.

5. Which phrase below does not refer to scientific imagination?

a. The ability to devise a hypothesis
b. The ability to visualize natural processes
c. The ability to see patterns and relationships

6. Skepticism and openness, logic and creativity, and individual research and collaboration are examples of

a.Partnerships in science
b. Conflicts in science
c. Opposites in science
d. Balancing acts in science

7. Scientific reasoning is the basis of the scientific method.

a. True
b. False

8. The qualities of scientific thinking can best be developed when students reach the upper elementary grades.

a. True
b. False

9. Scientific thinking has limited relevance to everyday life.

a. True
b. False

10. What are the six basic science process skills?

a. Observation, description, classification, revision, measurement, invention
b. Classification, extension, prediction, communication, observation, inference
c. Observation, communication, classification, measurement, inference, prediction
d. Numeracy, accuracy, measurement, observation, prediction, communication

11. Classification is a process of

a. Sorting
b. Description
c. Ranking
d. Communication

12. Classifying vertebrates into classes, orders, families, genera, and species is an example of

a. Serial ordering
b. Multi-stage classification

13. Choose the best answer. Measurement is

a. A way of facilitating communication
b. A way of quantifying observations
c. A way of turning observations into data

14. Predictions are based on

a. Observation
b. Inference
c. Both observation and inference

15. Inferences can be proved using our senses.

a. True
b. False

16. In experiments, an independent variable

a. . Is changed on purpose
b. Stays the same

17. Good science experiments focus on

a. One key variable
b. Two key variables
c. Three key variables

18. A dependent variable is the same thing as the outcome.

a. True
b. False

19. In an experiment, the only variable influencing outcome is the independent (or test) variable.

a. True
b. False

20. Controlled variables

a. Are purposely changed
b. May change as a result of changes in the test variable
c. Are held constant

21. It is a good idea to investigate more than one manipulated variable and one responding variable at a time.

a. True
b. False

22. Experiments should always be begun with a tentative explanation in mind.

a. True
b. False

23. Choose the testable hypothesis statement.

a. A hamster’s breathing rate will increase as its activity level increases.
b. A hamster’s breathing rate will increase with stress.

24. Visuals and graphics are used in science because

a. They are more attractive than written or oral formats
b. They demonstrate key points of science quickly
b. They are more concise than other methods of communication

25. Charts for elementary school students include graphics because

a. This will help them pay attention.
b. This will help them attach concepts to pictures.
b. This will help them draw conclusions.

26. Spreadsheets

a. can serve the same function as charts.
b. cannot serve the same function as charts.

27. The type of graph most often used to display results of a science experiment is a

a. Line graph
b. Bar graph
b. Pie graph

28. Spreadsheets

a. True
b. False

Living Things and Their Environments Section Assessment

1. The ability of an organism to maintain a steady internal state despite changing environmental conditions is called:

a. calibration
b. homeostasis
c. irritability
d. metabolism

2. In asexual reproduction, all offspring are identical to the parent and identical to each other—i.e., their genetic material is an exact copy.

a. True
b. False

3. Which of these groups contains eukaryotic single-celled organisms?

a. bacteria
b. protists
c. viruses

4. Which of these organelles is only found in plant cells?

a. golgi apparatus
b. mitochondria
c. plastids
d. vesicles

5. Which physiological process contains the Calvin Cycle?

a. cellular respiration
b. digestion
c. photosynthesis
d. transpiration

6. Which of the following is not a by-product of cellular respiration?

a. carbon dioxide
b. oxygen
c. water

7. Animals that reproduce by laying eggs that develop and hatch outside the mother's body are called:

a. oviparous
b. ovoviviparous
c. viviparous

8. Which organ system regulates metabolism in humans?

a. immune
b. integumentary
c. nervous
d. endocrine

9. Which two organ systems work together to form the circulatory system?

a. cardiovascular and respiratory systems
b. cardiovascular and excretory systems
c. cardiovascular and lymphatic systems
d. cardiovascular and endocrine systems

10. Mutations may be positive, negative, or neutral for the life of an organism.

a. True
b. False

11. The rate at which offspring are produced in every species is greater than the rate at which the environment can provide food, shelter, and other needs. Plants and animals that carry the advantageous traits will come to outnumber those without them, causing a shift in the common characteristics of the species over time. This is a description of:

a. Natural selection
b. Adaptation
c. Evolution
d. Heredity

12. When traits or characteristics are passed from ancestors to descendents, it is called

a. Evolution
b. Natural selection
c. Heredity
d. A and B

13. Which of the following best describes plate tectonics, also called continental drift? It's a

a. Homeostasis
b. Hypothesis
c. Evolution
d. Theory

14. The complete Linnaean taxonomic system is

a. Serial
b. Descending
c. Nested
d. Ascending

15. Through which process do green plants contribute water vapor to the water cycle?

a. condensation
b. evaporation
c. precipitation
d. transpiration

16. Label these natural resources either renewable or nonrenewable.

a. Coal
b. Fisheries
c. Forests
d. Minerals
e. Natural gas
f. Oil
g. Sun
h. Water
i. Wind

17. Which of these activities accounts for the greatest percentage of the average American's daily energy use?

a. cooking
b. home cooling
c. home heating
d. transportation

18. It is easier and less expensive to identify and control pollution from point sources than non-point sources.

b. False

19. Which is not one of the factors that determine how harmful most types of pollution are?

a. Chemical nature
b. Consistency
c. Concentration
d. Persistence

20. Which of the following is an abiotic limiting factor?

a. disease-causing organisms
b. food
c. predators
d. water

21. Population density is usually expressed as a proportion.

a. True
b. False

Earth and Space Section Assessment

1. When a volcano erupts, the molten magma that reaches the surface of the earth is called _______.

a. an igneous flow
b. lava
c. sediment
d. metamorphic

2. Young mountains have which characteristics?

a. low, domed mountains with sharp peaks
b. high, rocky with lots of vegetation
c. low, rocky with lots of vegetation
d. high, rocky with sharp, jagged peaks

3. Which description best fits a plateau?

a. A relatively low, rounded mountain
b. A relatively low, flat-surfaced mountain made of lava
c. A continental shelf
d. A high-level flat surface made of rock layers

4. Which of the following best describes plate tectonics?

a. plates that slowly drift on the mantle, causing the movement of continents
b. a crack or break in a rock
c. volcanic activity at the edge of a continent
d. continental drift

5. Which of the following could occur between the tectonic plates?

a. earthquakes
b. volcanoes
c. the uplifting of mountains
d. all of the above

6. Which of the following causes the most severe erosion?

a. Plant roots and lichen
b. Running water
c. Animals
d. Wind

7. Glaciers move due to

a. Energy transfer
b. Ice melt
c. Gravity
d. Friction

8. Karst topography is characterized by an even surface.

a. True
b. False

9. The elements that make up rocks are neither created nor destroyed.

a. True
b. False

10. Tectonic plate movement was responsible for the geologic structure of Florida.

a. True
b. False

11. The Ring of Fire is the area where more than _____ of the planet’s active and dormant volcanoes are located.

a. 25 %
b. 33 %
c. 55 %
d. 75 %

12. Earthquakes result from sudden releases in Earth’s crust that create

a. Sonic waves
b. Energy transfers
c. Seismic waves
d. Sonic booms

13. Canyons are formed by

a. Shifting tectonic plates
b. Moving water
c. EarthquakesEarthquakes
d. Serial snow melt

14. Which type of igneous rock forms the foundation of Earth’s crust?

a. Basalt
b. Granite
c. Obsidian

15. ______ rocks often contain embedded fossils.

a. Igneous
b. Sedimentary
c. Metamorphic

16. Rocks in which rock category begin as magma, crystallize, and with heat and pressure becomes part of metamorphic rock?

a. sedimentary
b. metamorphic
c. granite
d. igneous

17. Which describes this process: Rocks are constantly being formed, worn down and then formed again?

a. crystallization
b. rock cycle
c. magma to lava
d. weathering

18. Which of the following the rock types is most likely to be weathered in the shortest time?

a. sedimentary
b. igneous
c. metamorphic

19. How is the chemical process of weathering different from the physical process?

a. The physical process breaks down rock, but not the minerals within rock.
b. The chemical process changes the composition of minerals within rock.
c. The lichens that live on rock and break it down are an example of the physical process of weathering.
d. A and B

20. Some minerals can be formed by both organic and inorganic processes.

a. True
b. False

21. The origin of the energy and heat most important in the water cycle is ___________.

a. the Earth
b. the Sun
c. from oceans
d. infiltration

22. The process of giving off moisture or water vapor from the surface of leaves is called ____________.

a. transpiration
b. condensation
c. evaporation
d. precipitation

23. The transformation of water vapor to liquid water droplets in the air, producing clouds, is called ____________.

a. transpiration
b. condensation
c. evaporation
d. precipitation

24. Water in the form of mist or tiny particles of water in the air is called ____________.

a. steam
b. water vapor
c. run-off
d. clouds

25. The flow of water on the ground surface into the ground is called ____________.

a. a reservoir
b. groundwater
c. run-off
d. infiltration

26. The transfer of heat by convection is

a. the transfer of heat energy by the actual movement of heated molecules that move from place to place
b. the transfer of heat energy among molecules that vibrate in place, bump other molecules and transfer this energy to other molecules.
c. the transfer of heat that takes place in fluids.
d. A and C

27. Choose the answer that is false.

a. Radiant energy is not heat. It is only heat when it's absorbed in an object.
b. Radiant energy transfers heat energy from molecule to molecule.
c. The sun and other glowing bodies give off radiant energy.
d. Radiant energy travels from the sun through space in the form of invisible waves.

28. Earth’s topography is a factor in allowing evaporation of water to take place.

a. True
b. False

29. Earth’s atmosphere is divided into

a. 2 layers
b. 3 layers
c. 4 layers
d. 5 layers

30. Approximately half the air in an air mass has the same relative temperature and humidity.

a. True
b. False

31. A front is a boundary between two air masses.

a. True
b. False

32. There are six wind belts on Earth. What causes these wind belts?

a. the curved shape of Earth
b. areas of Earth are heated unequally
c. the trade winds
d. a and b

Interactions of Land and Water

33. Which of the following is not a storage place for water?

a. reservoir
b. aquifer
c. groundwater
d. infiltration

34. Which of the following is caused by a collapse of limestone?

a. reservoir
b. sinkhole
c. aquifer
d. water table

35. Which of the following may be the result of leaching?

a. contamination of public water
b. percolation
c. contamination
d. infiltration

36. What best describes soil absorption?

a. evapotranspiration
b. percolation
c. take in water
d. infiltration

37. Which of the following responses accurately states the cause(s) for the phases of the moon?

a. Clouds cover the part of the moon we do not see in the night sky.
b. Earth's shadow covers different parts of the moon as it orbits.
c. light from the sun reflects off the Moon in different ways, showing different shapes.
d. The moon gets less light from the sun at different times.

38. Choose the image that best illustrates a quarter moon.

moon moon moon

  Select your answer.

39. What is the average time between one full moon to the next full moon?

a. 29.5 days
b. 27.3 days
a. 28 days

40. Which one of the following responses cause the changes we see in seasons?

a. Variation in temperatures and Earth's tilt on its axis.
b. Earth's tilted rotation on its axis and its orbit (revolution) around the sun.
c. The tilt of Earth's axis.

41. If Earth's axis were vertical instead of tilted, we would not have:

a. heat.
b. seasons.
c. light.

42. What causes our high tides?

a. The gravitational pull from the moon on Earth's waters.
b. The rise and fall of the ocean.
c. The currents of the ocean.

43. Which two planets rotate clockwise?

a. Venus and Mercury
b. Venus and Uranus
c. Jupiter and Uranus
d. Saturn and Mercury

44. ________ is the largest planet in the solar system.

a. Neptune
b. Uranus
c. Jupiter
d. Saturn

45. Which planet is most like Earth?

a. Venus
b. Mars
c. Uranus
d. Neptune
e. Jupiter

46. Which of the following is a true statement?

a. A planet's year is the time it takes to make one complete orbit.
b. A planet's year is the time it takes to make one complete rotation.
c. A planet's year doesn't relate to its orbit or rotation.

47. Which of the following is a true statement?

a. A planet's day is the time it takes to make one complete orbit.
b. A planet's day is the time it takes to make one complete rotation.
c. A planet's day doesn't relate to its orbit or rotation.

48. Which of the following is/are not true about comets?

a. A comet has an elongated elliptical orbit.
b. A comet's head is made up of rocks, dust and frozen gases.
c. A comet has a very long tail as it orbits through the solar system and around the sun.
d. A comet's tail flies in a direction away from the sun as the comet curves around the sun.

49. It is hotter in the summer because Earth is orbiting closer to the sun at that time.

a. True
b. False

50. Earth's axis always points to the North Star as Earth orbits the sun.

a. True
b. False

51. The outer planets are closer together than are the inner planets.

a. True
b. False

52. What was the name of the spacecraft that inaugurated the Space Race in the late 1950s?

a. Surveyor
b. Vostok
c. Titan
d. Sputnik

53. The Mercury was a probe that obtained close-ups of the Moon’s surface.

a. True
b. False

54. Which manned missions were completed with astronauts using a moonrover to explore the surface of Earth's moon?

a. Mercury
b. Gemini
c. Apollo
d. Vostok

55. Which manned mission began in 2000 as a combined effort of 15 different countries and five different space agencies (including NASA), and was built in space?

a. Skylab
b. International Space Station
c. Mir
d. Viking

56. Cassini-Huygens is a joint endeavor of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency.

a. True
b. False

57. Which is the main purpose of the Hubble Space Telescope?

a. To study our universe.
b. To study our solar system.
c. To study galaxies.
d. To study Earth.

58. Which manned mission, begun in 2000 has led us to new advances in space technology, the testing of new theories and experimentation completed in near zero gravity?

a. Deep Space
b. Viking
c. International Space Station
d. Mir

Matter and Energy Section Assessment

1. The amount of potential energy possessed by an elevated object is equal to:

a. the force needed to lift it.
b. the distance it is lifted.
c. the power used to lift it.
d. the work done in lifting it.
e. the value of the acceleration due to gravity.

2. Heat is the:

a. total amount of energy contained in an object.
b. average amount of energy-per-molecule contained in an object.
c.energy transferred between objects because of a temperature difference.
d. amount of energy all the molecules have.

3. Pushing against a wall demonstrates:

a. Newton’s Third Law (Action-Reaction)
b. Newton’s Universal Law of Friction
c. Newton’s 1st Law of Contact Forces

4. There are ___ invisible forces.

a. Two
b. Three
c. Four
d. Five

5. Mass and weight are equivalent concepts.

a. True
b. False

6. Which has more density, a loaf of bread just after it comes out of the oven or the same loaf that has been squeezed into a small volume?

a. The fresh loaf
b. The squeezed loaf
c. They both have the same density.

7. What normally determines whether a substance is a liquid, solid, gas, or plasma?

a. The atomic number of the atoms involved.
b. The atomic mass of the atoms involved.
c. The density of the substance.
d. The temperature of the substance.
e. None of the above.

8. The Doppler Effect applies only to sound waves.

a. True
b. False

9. If you comb your hair and the comb becomes positively charged, your hair becomes:

a. positively charged.
b. negatively charged.
c. uncharged.

10. In a parallel circuit, the current has multiple paths and resistance is

a. Reduced
b. Increased

11. Ohm’s Law says that current is directly proportional to voltage and inversely proportional to resistance.

a. True
b. False

12. The law of reflection says that:

a. all waves incident on a mirror are reflected.
b. waves incident on a mirror are partially reflected.
c. the angle a ray is reflected from a mirror is random.
d. the angle of reflection from a mirror equals the angle of incidence.

13. Neither light nor sound can be refracted.

a. True
b. False

14. Sound waves are produced by:

a. radio stations.
b. vibrating objects.
c. objects under pressure.
d. soft objects.

15. __________ occurs when two or more waves overlap.

a. Resistance
b. Interference
c. Coherence
d. Sublimation

Knowledge of Effective Science Instruction Section Assessment

1. What are some developmentally appropriate strategies for teaching science practices in the elementary grades? Check all that apply.

a. Use students’ prior knowledge.
b. Incorporate music and models.
c. Teach students to make inferences.
d. Organize content on broad conceptual themes.
e. Incorporate problem-solving and reasoning.
f. Role-play a historic or contemporary science figure.
g. Tie science history to ethical issues.

2. Which type of assessment generally has the highest stakes?

a. Formative
b. Summative
c. Informal

3. In Webb’s Depth of Knowledge Content Complexity Ratings, which levels incorporate complex reasoning?

a. Level 1 and Level 2
b. Level 2 and Level 3
c. Level 3 and Level 4

4. Formative assessments serve as practice for students, similar to homework.

a. True
b. False

5. When combined with linguistic learning, nonlinguistic learning helps students

a. Recall and think about what they have learned
b. Connect visual imagery to what they have read
c. Memorize scientific concepts

6. The use of models in the science classroom

a. Allows students to recall and think about what they have learned
b. Makes it easier for students to think about physical reality
c. Helps students memorize scientific concepts

7. Models

a. are useful in experimentation.
b. are not useful in experimentation.

8. Informal science learning experiences do not help students understand their formal science learning experiences.

a. True
b. False

9. Informal learning experiences can help students gain science literacy.

a. True
b. False

10. One of the best ways to dispel the notion that knowledge about science is dispensed by the teacher alone is through

a. Creation
b. Observation
c. Collaboration
d. Extension

11. Debate is a method of correcting student misconceptions about science.

a. True
b. False

12. Word clues that signal relationships between variables

a. are helpful in making students understand the ‘why’ behind a reading assignment.
b. are not helpful in making students understand the ‘why’ behind a reading assignment.

13. Choose the best reason students need to understand the ‘why’ behind a science reading assignment.

a. When a reading assignment covers a multi-step cycle
b. When a reading assignment covers a simple concept
c. When a reading assignment covers a complex concept

14. Numeracy includes the science skill of recognizing patterns.

a. True
b. False

15. Numeracy includes the science skill of recognizing patterns.

a. True
b. False

16. In differentiation, the zone of proximal development refers to

a. The distance between what a learner can do with help and without help
b. How close a student is to understanding a new concept
c. Building upon prior knowledge to introduce concepts of increasing complexity

17. Drawing upon the community is helpful but not necessary in developing culturally responsive schools.

a. True
b. False

18. What shift in the classroom may be required to achieve gender equity?

a. Shifting from male to female teachers
b. Shifting from larger classes to smaller classes
c. Shifting from a competitive to a cooperative educational model

Additional Resources for Further Exploration

Click on the link below to access the
Florida Teacher Certification Examination Test Information Guide for Elementary K-6
(includes practice test items).

Florida Teacher Certification Examinations 
Test Information Guide for Elementary K-6 
Florida Department of Education 
Fourth Edition


Additional Testing Information


Find registration information for the Elementary K-6 Certification exam here:


Find additional certification subject listings here:


Learn more about the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) and Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) here: