PRAXIS II Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge Exam (5511)

The PRAXIS II Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge Exam (5511) is designed to assess your general knowledge of Science, Social Studies, Citizenship, Mathematics and, English Language Arts. You will be given 2 hours to complete this 120 multiple choice question test. An on-screen scientific calculator is provided.

English Language Arts
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of reading and communication, the usage of language, fact versus opinion, influences and conclusions, using words in context, vocabulary, meanings of literary terms and elements, and comparisons of literary texts. Your understanding of poetry, fiction, speeches, nonfiction and various literary texts will also be assessed.

You can use a four function calculator for this portion of the exam. This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of basic mathematical competencies needed for every day life. The following areas of mathematics are included in this exam: basic algebra, measurement, geometry, probability and data analysis. The algebra portion of the exam will cover usage of percentages, ratios, solving word problems and expressing them in algebraic form; estimating skills, numeration, and place values. The measurement and geometry section will cover selection and usage of various methods of measurement, using scales to figure measurement of models, maps and drawings, figuring volume, area, circumference and perimeter.

The probability and data section will cover the determination, mean, median, range and mode of data sets; trends and patterns of data and graphs; calculation and usage of probability in various problems; and, the interpretation of data from spreadsheets, graphs, tables and charts.

Social Sciences and Citizenship
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of the major concepts of social sciences. The economic choice section will assess your knowledge of economic factors that impact individuals, events, nations and various types of institutions. The relationship between culture, geography and economics will also be covered in this section. Under the government and civics section you will be tested on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens, the systems of government, and the functions of American government. In the geographic section of the exam your ability to utilize maps, charts and graphs will be assessed. Your knowledge of human adaptation and, environmental influences; cultural influences on people’s lives; and human behaviors will also be covered in this section of the exam. Under the historical change and continuity section your ability to utilize chronological thinking, understand multiple points of view understand historical artifacts and documents and, understand the impact of religions, movements, social groups and individuals on history will be assessed.

This section of exam will assess your knowledge of general scientific concepts. Your knowledge of orders, organization, measurement, change, evolution, equilibrium, natural earth processes, biological processes, and the inter-action of matter and energy will be assessed. Your ability to gather information from nature, collect scientific data, and draw conclusions will be assessed in the nature and history of science, section of the exam. Your knowledge of the diversity and characteristics of living organisms; various environmental processes and their impact on living organisms; and the importance of energy and properties of matter will be assessed. In the science and technology segment of the exam your knowledge of social, political, ethical, and economic issues surrounding technology will be assessed. Knowledge of medical and health issues of society along with human and environmental issues will be assessed.

PRAXIS II Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge Practice Questions

1. Which of the following definitions of literary criticism is incorrect?

A. Plato said poetry was imitative.
B. Medieval criticism concentrated on secular works.
C. Neoclassicism criticism declared literature was necessary to understanding culture.
D. Romantic criticism stated a well-written piece could make any subject noble.

2. The literature of a nation reflects its:

A. history
B. culture
C. diversity
D. All of the above

3. Types of poetry include:

A. haiku
B. limerick
C. sonnets
D. All of the above

4. One way to suppress creative thinking is to:

A. require memorization of unrelated facts
B. encourage research and reasoning
C. explore texts thought different lenses
D. ask open-ended questions

5. Cultural differences are manifested in:

A. language
B. dress
C. traditions
D. All of the above

Answer Key For Fundamental Subjects Content And Knowledge

1. Answer: B

Literary criticism is the philosophical study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature based on a scholarly reading of the text. Some critics use the term literary theory interchangeably with literary criticism, while others subscribe to the belief that literary criticism is the practical application of literary theory. In most educational settings, the two terms are interchangeable.

Literary criticism has existed as long as people have been writing compositions for other people to read. Aristotle’s Poetics criticizes contemporary works. Plato disparaged poetry as being imitative and false. Criticism in the Medieval Age concentrated on religious texts, but the standards used also influenced the study of secular works. During the Renaissance, unity of form and content developed into Neoclassicism, which declared a society’s literature is central to understanding its culture-a belief embraced by many critics today. Nineteenth century Romantic criticism stated that literature didn’t have to be beautiful or perfect and that well-written literature could make any subject noble.

2. Answer: D

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines literature as “the body of written works of a language, period, or culture.” This is the commonly accepted definition; however, literature can mean different things to different people. Some only consider serious literary works to be literature and would ridicule and refuse to consider any composition that didn’t meet a strict set of arbitrary criteria But according to the dictionary definition, any written work is part of a nation’s literature and reflects its history, culture, and diversity.

Through the centuries, different genres have been explored. Early history was preserved by the older generation telling the next generation stories and traditions, oral literature. The earliest written documents had a religious and/or didactic purpose. The Age of Reason produced nationalistic epics and philosophical treatises. Romanticism focused on popular folk tales. Early nineteenth century literature embraced realism and naturalism, while the twentieth century generated symbolism and character development.

3. Answer: D

Poetry is words written in verse. Sometimes it rhymes but not always. Poetry chooses its words carefully; uses imagery, similes, and metaphors; and has a defined meter, rhythm, and pattern. Poetry may be the earliest form of literature. Parts of the Bible, Homer’s Iliad and the Indian epics have some poetic characteristics. Cultures with oral traditions frequently use rhythm and rhyme as a memory aid, i.e., legal texts, genealogical histories, and moral treatises may initially have been in poetic form.

There are different types of poetry. The haiku has seventeen syllables in three lines of five, seven, and five and is usually about nature. A limerick has five lines with a rhyming scheme of AABBA and lines of three, three, two, two, three syllables. Its subject may also be nature but with a more irreverent approach. Sonnets can be various lengths but are always written in iambic pentameter.

4. Answer: A

One of the primary purposes for education is to teach students to become critical thinkers. Language arts classes are fertile fields to sow the seeds of original thinking. One method is to teach students not only facts, but also how to think about and discover answers through research and reasoning. Students learn better, retain data longer, recall it easier, and integrate it more effectively when they understand the how and the why, not just the what.

Teachers should plan activities that use the newly acquired skills and knowledge and encourage students to probe deeper into the subject. Exploring texts through different lenses (social, historical, ethical, political, cultural, psychological, personal) is an extremely effective way to help them move beyond first impressions and obvious interpretations. Asking open-ended questions and responding to students’ concerns, ideas, and unique interpretations is another way to probe deeper and elaborate further. Assigning challenging problems, collectively developing solutions, and applying them to contemporary issues makes learning exciting and relevant to the real world.

5. Answer: D

Diversity is the fact or quality of having distinct characteristics. When used to describe a society, diversity means the cultural differences found within the language, dress, arts, and traditions of the aggregate group. There are differences in how individual groups are organized, their understanding of morality, and the ways in which each group interacts both inside and outside their circle. Members of an ethnic group usually identify with a shared ancestry and are frequently bound by a common language, cultural heritage, religious belief, and behavior patterns.

When students are taught to appreciate diversity, it enables them to function more effectively in a complex, multicultural society. They learn to respect the historical experiences of every cultural group and understand how past actions affect present circumstances. Integrating information about and studying the impact of all cultures greatly enhances students’ ability to get along with different racial, ethnic, and gender groups. America may be a melting pot, but that pot contains the hopes, dreams, history, and struggles of many ethnic groups; each one made unique contributions to the society we have today.