PRAXIS II Middle School: Content Knowledge Exam

This exam is designed for individuals who would like to teach all subjects to middle school students. You will be given two hours to complete this 120 multiple choice question exam. A non-programmable calculator may be used for this exam. There will be 30 questions regarding science, 30 regarding history and social studies, 30 regarding mathematics and 30 regarding literature and language studies.

Science
This section of the exam will assess your ability to formulate and test hypotheses, design experiments, apply basic scientific concepts, identify problems, evaluate and analyze data, use scientific instruments, and utilize practical and theoretical models. Physical science, geosciences and biology will be covered in this section of the exam.

The physical science questions will cover the following topics: nuclear chemistry, relativity, radioactivity, fusion, fission, physics, sound production, mirrors, lenses, electromagnetic spectrum, magnetism, circuits, current, static electricity, heat, energy transformation, energy sources, Newton’s law of motion, conservation laws, mass, weights, gravity; periodic, circular, projectile, and straight-line motion, chemical bonding, catalysts, acids and bases, chemical reactions, reduction, oxidation, kinetics theory, and the physical and chemical properties of matter. Questions under physical sciences will comprise 33-34% of the science grade. The geosciences questions will cover the following topics: oceanography, geological processes, physical processes, biological processes and chemical processes, meteorology, weather, climate, atmospheric composition, movement of the atmosphere, earth life forms, land forms, internal processes, the earth’s composition, galaxies, planets, stars and the solar system. Questions under geosciences will comprise 33-34% of the science grade. The biology questions will cover the following topics: principles of heredity, function of organ systems, life forms and their structures, genes and their functions, energy sources, cellular function and organelles, and other important molecules. Questions under biology will comprise 33-34% of the science grade.

History and Social Studies
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of social science and significant events in history. Critical thinking skills will be required to complete this section of the exam.

Questions regarding social studies will cover sociology, anthropology, economics, geography, government, and politics. The anthropology and sociology questions will cover cultural change, social organization, human culture, and research methods in the fields of sociology and anthropology. The anthropology and sociology questions will comprise 20% of the social studies grade. The economics section of the exam will cover basic economic concepts, and the government’s role with the American economy. The economics questions will comprise 25% of the social studies grade for this exam. The geography questions will cover regional, economic, political, cultural, and physical geography. Globe and map reading skills will also be assessed in this section of the exam. This section of the exam will comprise 35% of the social studies grade. Questions regarding government and politics will cover the United States political system, political theories and political concepts. This section of the exam will comprise 20% of your grade in the social studies section.

The history section questions will cover world history and American history. American history questions will cover the causes and consequences of World Wars I and II, the industrialization of America, the cause and consequences of the Civil War, the American Revolution, European colonization, European exploration, and Native American civilizations. The American history questions will comprise 50% of the grade in the history section. World history questions will cover 20th-century conflicts and ideologies, imperialism, nationalism, Islamic civilization, the expansion of Europe, Sahara cultures and kingdoms, Indian and Chinese empires, feudalism in Europe and Japan, the development of early and classical civilizations, and development of world religions. The world history questions will comprise 45% of the grade in the history section.

Mathematics
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of probability and statistics, the real number system, number subsystems, number theory, algebraic concepts, measurement, geometry, numeration and number sense. You may utilize a basic four function calculator for the section of the exam. Questions regarding probability and statistics will assess your ability to solve basic problems, recognize invalid and valid inferences, understand the interpretation and presentation of data in various forms, and make predictions involving statistics and probability. The probability and statistics section of the test will comprise 15% of your grade in the mathematics portion of the exam. Questions in the real number system and number subsystems section of the exam will assess your knowledge of alternate and standard algorithms and solving real world situational problems. The real number system and subsystems questions will comprise 20% of your grade in the mathematics section. Questions regarding number theory will assess your ability to understand composite and prime numbers, divisibility rules, set theory, greatest common divisor; least, and most common multiple, and solve mathematical problems. The number theory, questions will comprise 10% of your grade in the mathematics section. Questions regarding algebraic concepts will assess your ability to describe patterns by identifying a formula, and apply and recognize algebraic properties and concepts. The algebraic concept questions will comprise 10% of your grade in the mathematics section of the exam. Questions regarding measurement will assess your knowledge of parameter, area, volume, mass, weights, temperature, time, and angle measurements in the metric and English system. The measurement questions will comprise 5% of your grade in the mathematics section of the exam. Questions regarding geometry will assess your knowledge of polygons, angle measurements, congruence, perpendicularity, parallelism, and drawing inferences based on these concepts. Your knowledge of two and three dimensional objects will also be assessed. Questions in the geometry section of the exam will comprise 20% of your grade in the mathematics section. Questions regarding number sense and numeration will assess your knowledge of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, place value, ordinal numbers, cardinal numbers, problem solving and number concepts. Questions in the number sense and numeration, section of the exam will comprise 20% of your mathematics section grade.

Literature and Language
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of oral and written communication, literature, and language. You will be required to apply language arts principles in diverse context, and utilize your critical thinking skills for this portion of the exam. Questions regarding oral and written communication will cover the interpretation of written research reports, retrieval of information from print and non print materials and, application of communication skills for the analysis of written text. Your ability to analyze oral discourse, exposition, rhetoric, conventions of narration, and argumentation and reflection will also be assessed in this section of the exam. Questions in the oral and written communication section will comprise 35% of your final grade in the literature and language section. In the language and linguistics section of the exam your knowledge of language integration across disciplines, linguistic analysis of various text, cultural and historical influences on standard American English, and the stages of language development will be assessed. Questions in the language and linguistics section will comprise 30% of your grade in the literature and language section. In the literature section of the exam your knowledge of the relationship between social history and literature, literary conventions and assumptions, literary terminology, and conventions will be assessed. Your understanding of various approaches to reading, and the interpretation of literature will also be included in this section of the exam. Questions in the literature section will comprise 35% of your grade in the language and literature section.

PRAXIS II Middle School: Content Knowledge Practice Questions

1. Language is integral to learning. It involves:

A. speaking
B. listening
C. writing
D. All of the above

2. Which of the following subjects is not part of social studies?

A. Sociology
B. Biology
C. History
D. Technology

3. Why are world history and geography linked?

A. Events and geography affect each other.
B. Common patterns found in all cultures.
C. This is the age of globalization.
D. All of the above

4. What are some of the negative effects of science and technology?

A. Water, air, and sound pollution
B. Water to sustain living things
C. Oxygen
D. Communication

5. Life science studies living organisms and their:

A. structure and function
B. growth
C. origin and evolution
D. All of the above

Answer Key For Middle School: Content Knowledge

1. Answer: D

Students need to understand language is integral to learning and developing skills in all fields of study and carries over into life after school. Language is not static or one-dimensional. It varies depending upon the audience (parents, peers, professors); has structural rules, patterns and conventions; and changes over time with continued use. It entails speaking, listening, and writing. It requires the speaker, listener, and writer to respond, interpret, assess, and integrate.

In today’s information age, media and technology play important roles. Besides books, newspapers, radio, and television, CDs, DVDs, and the Internet provide information. It is critical that students be taught methods to dissect and discriminate the digital data received and learn to scrutinize the sources from which it comes, rather than automatically accepting information at face value. The classroom should be a place where students feel safe to explore, ask questions, take risks, and develop effective listening, speaking, and writing skills.

2. Answer: B

The field of social studies is a broad subject composed of history and the social sciences (government, citizenship, sociology, psychology, economics, cultural influences, and the effects of technology). Imparting the values and mores of society to impressionable adolescents and teaching them how to be involved, engaged, active members of the world is a huge responsibility. It is critical for teachers to use real problems appropriate to the students’ age and prod them to use their creativity and unique vision of events to dissect problems and devise solutions.

Part of the process is to challenge students’ thinking and viewpoints by offering stimulating subjects from which to select their reading, writing, discussion, and debate topics. The projects need to combine independent study with group responsibilities because this is the way the real world works: People bring their unique perspective to the group, and the group reaches a consensus on the best way to tackle a problem. Social studies is a class that can and should be realistic preparation for participation as a productive member of society.

3. Answer: D

The U.S. Department of Education states that “key concepts of geography, such as location, place, and region are tied inseparably to major ideas of history such as time, period, and events. Geography and history in tandem enable learners to understand how events and places have affected each other across time.” This statement clearly explains the reasons history and geography should be studied together: One without the other merely offers isolated dates and individual facts but doesn’t allow students to understand how they are connected to one another and how each affected the other.

World history examines common patterns found in many different cultures, as well as the reasons differences have evolved over time. To truly understand how man and his various societal structures developed, it is necessary to study all areas that impact the evolution: political science, anthropology, sociology, economics, geography, and the arts. In this age of globalization, understanding how individual nations define these areas is important to addressing shared health and welfare issues, developing a stable world economy, and working to prevent misunderstandings between countries.

4. Answer: A

Science and technology are thinking activities concerned with causal relationships and use empirical evidence to prove or disprove a theory. Both require studies and tests that can be replicated. The two disciplines are so intertwined it is difficult to discuss one without the other. They have affected daily life in both positive and negative ways, and each has developed creative and destructive processes.

Water is essential for life. Most organisms will die in less than a week without it. When human and industrial waste is indiscriminately dumped into rivers and streams, the resulting pollution is a problem for everyone.

Air provides oxygen, a life-sustaining element; it also protects people from the harmful effects of the sun. When technology releases toxins into the air, it can cause a variety of health issues (i.e., respiratory problems, skin cancer, etc.)

Sound provides pleasure, is a communication tool, and helps some people do their jobs. When jet planes, jackhammers, and cars create a cacophony of sound, it becomes noise pollution, which can cause sleep problems, headaches, stress, and other physical ailments.

5. Answer: D

Life science, or biology, is the study of living organisms, their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution. The word biology is Greek: “bio” means life, and “logos” means speech. Biology literally means, “to talk about life.” It became a separate science in the late nineteenth century when researchers discovered that all organisms shared basic traits.

Biology studies how living things began, divides them into species, describes what they do, and how they interact with and relate to each other and the rest of the natural world. There are four unifying principles in biology: cell theory, evolution, genetics, and homeostasis.

The disciplines in the life sciences are grouped by the organisms they study. Botany studies plants, zoology studies animals, and microbiology studies microorganisms. These groups are further divided into smaller, specialized categories based on the level at which they are studied and the methods used to study them. For instance, biochemistry studies the chemistry of life, while ecology studies how organisms interrelate in the natural world. Applied fields of the life sciences, such as medicine and genetic research, combine multiple specialized categories.