1. In order to make observations, an observer must always
7. The graph below shows the changes in height of ocean
water over the course of 2 days at one Earth location.
2) the senses
4) mathematical calculations
2. Using a ruler to measure the length of a stick is an
Which statement concerning these changes is best
1) extending the sense of sight by using an instrument
supported by the graph?
2) calculating the percent of error by using a proportion
1) The changes are cyclic and occur at predictable time
3) measuring the rate of change of the stick by making
2) The changes are cyclic and occur at the same time
4) predicting the length of the stick by guessing
3) The changes are noncyclic and occur at sunrise and
3. Which statement made by a student after examining a
rock specimen is an inference?
4) The changes are noncyclic and may occur at any
1) The rock is of igneous origin.
2) The rock has rounded edges.
3) The rock is light-colored.
8. Which diagram most accurately shows the cross-
sectional shape of the Earth drawn to scale?
4) The rock contains large crystals.
4. The graph below shows the discharge measured at a
point in a stream during a period of one year.
The greatest change in stream flow occurs between
1) January 1 and March 1
2) March 1 and May 1
9. Which statement most accurately describes the Earth's
3) May 1 and July 1
4) October 1 and December 1
1) The atmosphere is layered, with each layer
possessing distinct characteristics.
5. Two geologic surveys of the same area, made 50 years
2) The atmosphere is a shell of gases surrounding most
apart, showed that the area had been uplifted 5
of the Earth.
centimeters during the interval. If the rate of uplift
3) The atmosphere's altitude is less than the depth of
remains constant, how many years will it take for this
area to be uplifted a total of 70 centimeters?
4) The atmosphere is more dense than the hydrosphere
but less dense than the lithosphere.
10. As altitude within the troposphere increases, the amount
6. Which factor can be predicted most accurately from day
of water vapor generally
1) decreases, only
1) chance of precipitation
2) increases, only
2) direction of the wind
3) remains the same
3) time of an earthquake occurring
4) decreases, then increases
4) altitude of the Sun at noon
11. Which circle graph best represents the volume of gases
17. What is the elevation of the highest contour line shown
in the troposphere?
on the map below?
18. Base your answer to the following question on the
topographic map below.
are locations on
12. At which latitude will
13. The diagram below represents a portion of a map of the
Earth's grid system. What is the approximate latitude and
longitude of point
Which location most likely has an elevation of 45
19. During which season in the Northern Hemisphere is the
14. Cities located on the same meridian (longitude) must
Earth closest to the Sun?
have the same
3) length of daylight
4) solar time
20. In New York State, how do the points of sunrise and
15. A stream has a source at an elevation of 1,000. meters. It
sunset change during the course of 1 year?
ends in a lake that has an elevation of 300. meters. If the
1) They vary with each season in a cyclic manner.
lake is 200. kilometers away from the source, what is the
2) They move toward the north in the autumn months.
average gradient of the stream?
3) They move toward the south in the spring months.
4) They remain the same during the four seasons.
16. The time required for one Earth rotation is about
21. The planetary winds in Earth’s Northern Hemisphere
1) one hour
3) one month
generally curve to the right due to Earth’s
2) one day
4) one year
1) orbit around the Sun
3) magnetic field
2) spin on its axis
4) force of gravity
22. The maps below show the odor fields from a neighborhood hamburger barbecue. An
marks the exact location of the barbecue
grill. The wind was blowing from the northeast when map
was drawn. Map
represents the same area drawn 1 hour after map
Which conclusion about what happened during the hour is best supported by comparing these two maps?
1) The field values changed at many places.
2) The wind direction remained constant.
3) The odor became stronger in the western section of the map area.
4) The size of the field grew.
23. In the diagram below, the direct rays of the Sun are
25. The diagrams below show the phases of the Moon as
striking the Earth's surface at 23
º N. What is the date
viewed by an observer in New York State at different
shown in the diagram?
times in August.
Which phase could have been observed on August 17?
1) March 21
3) September 23
2) June 21
4) December 21
24. Which statement best explains why different phases of
the Moon can be observed from the Earth?
1) The size of the Earth's shadow falling on the Moon
2) The Moon moves into different parts of the Earth's
3) Differing amounts of the Moon's sunlit surface are
seen because the Moon revolves around the Sun.
4) Differing amounts of the Moon's sunlit surface are
26. What is the approximate average density of the Earth?
seen because the Moon revolves around the Earth.
27. Base your answer to the following question on the topographic map below. Points
are locations on the map. Elevations
are shown in meters.
In which section of the map is the highest elevation located?
28. Why do stars appear to move through the night sky at the
31. If the distance between the Earth and the Sun were
rate of 15 degrees per hour?
increased, which change would occur?
1) The Earth actually moves around the Sun at a rate of
1) The apparent diameter of the Sun would decrease.
15º per hour.
2) The amount of insolation received by the Earth
2) The stars actually move around the center of the
galaxy at a rate of 15º per hour.
3) The time for one Earth rotation (rotation period)
3) The Earth actually rotates at a rate of 15º per hour.
4) The stars actually revolve around the Earth at a rate
4) The time for one Earth revolution (orbital period)
of 15º per hour.
29. Based on observations made in the Northern
32. In 1851, the French physicist Jean Foucault constructed
Hemisphere, which statement is the best supporting
a large pendulum that always changed its direction of
evidence that the Earth rotates on its axis?
swing at the same rate in a clockwise direction.
1) The stars appear to follow daily circular paths
According to Foucault, this change in direction of swing
was caused by the
2) The apparent solar diameter varies throughout the
1) Moon's rotation on its axis
2) Moon's revolution around the Earth
3) The length of the daylight period varies throughout
3) Earth's rotation on its axis
4) Earth's revolution around the Sun
4) The seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter)
repeat in a cyclic pattern.
33. Ocean currents exhibit the Coriolis effect as a result of
30. The day and the year, as units of time, are based upon
1) rotation of the Earth
2) revolution of the Earth
1) the Earth
3) the Sun
3) unequal heating of the Earth
2) the Moon
4) distant stars
4) variations in salinity of the Earth's oceans
34. Base your answer to the following question on the temperature field map below. the map shows 25 measurements (in ºC) that were
made in a temperature field and recorded as shown. The dots represent the exact location of the measurements.
locations within the field.
Calculate the temperature gradient between locations A and B on the temperature field map, following the directions below.
Write the equation for the gradient.
Substitute data from the map into the equation.
Calculate the gradient and label it with the
below represent phases of a
36. If the Earth's rate of rotation decreased, there would be
planet as seen by an observer on Earth using a telescope.
an increase in the
The diagram is drawn to scale.
1) length of the seasons
2) Sun's angle of insolation at noon
3) number of observable stars at night
4) length of time for one Earth day
37. In the geocentric model (the Earth at the center of the
universe), which motion would occur?
1) The Earth would revolve around the Sun.
2) The Earth would rotate on its axis.
Which is the most logical conclusion about this planet?
3) The Moon would revolve around the Sun.
1) The planet has a slower orbital velocity than the
4) The Sun would revolve around the Earth.
2) The planet is closest to the Earth at position
38. The elliptical shape of the Earth's orbit results in
3) The apparent diameter of the planet varies
1) changes in the orbital velocity of the Earth
throughout the year.
2) tilting of the Earth's axis
4) The planet does not rotate on its axis.
3) the oblate spheroid shape of the Earth
4) the phases of the Moon
39. Base your answer to the following question on the reading passage and topographic map below.
A group of Earth science students decided to take an adventurous camping trip, so they rode bicycles to a state park that
was located in an isolated area. They traveled up a steep hill. When they reached the top, they looked at the landscape and
noticed a lake at the bottom of the hill. They named it Hidden Lake. To the left of Hidden Lake was a large field with a
small stream. They decided to set up their campsite in the field near Hidden Lake. To get to the field, they cycled down a
very steep slope.
The map below shows the location of the bicycle trail and the students' campsite. Points
are reference points on the map.
State the evidence shown on the map that indicates that the area directly north of Hidden Lake is relatively flat.
40. Which statement best describes the geocentric
43. Which diagram best represents the motions of celestial
model of our solar system?
objects in a heliocentric model?
1) The Earth is located at the center of the
2) All planets revolve around the Sun.
3) The Sun is located at the center of the model.
4) All planets
the Earth revolve around
41. For what reason did the heliocentric model of the
universe replace the geocentric model of the universe?
1) The geocentric model no longer predicted the
positions of the constellations.
2) The geocentric model did not predict the phases of
3) The heliocentric model provided a simpler
explanation of the motions of the planets.
4) The heliocentric model proved that the Earth rotates.
42. When the distance between the foci of an ellipse is
increased, the eccentricity of the ellipse will
44. The force of gravity between two objects will be greatest
3) remain the same
if their masses are
1) small and they are far apart
2) small and they are close together
3) large and they are far apart
4) large and they are close together
45. Base your answer to the following question on the topographic map below. Points
are locations on the map. Elevations
are in feet.
Explain briefly how the map can be used to determine that Jones Creek is flowing westward into Jones Lake.
Base your answers to questions
on the diagram below, which represents a model of the Earth-Moon system as viewed from
above the North Pole. The numbers 1 through 8 represent positions of the Moon as it revolves around Earth. The parts of the diagram
lettered A through D show how the Moon's phases appear to an observer in New Jersey.
46. The time required for the Moon to complete one cycle of phases is about one
47. As the Moon's phase changes from first quarter to last quarter, the visible portion of the Moon as observed from Earth will
1) decrease, only
2) increase, only
3) decrease, then increase
4) increase, then decrease
48. Which motion causes the Moon to show phases when viewed from Earth?
1) rotation of Earth
2) revolution of Earth
3) rotation of the Moon
4) revolution of the Moon
49. Which Moon phase appears highest in the sky at midnight to an observer on Earth?
1) full moon
2) new moon
3) first quarter
4) last quarter
50. Which change always occurs as the distance between the
52. The average temperature of the planets
Earth and the Sun decreases?
1) increases with greater distance from the Sun
1) The gravitational force between the Earth and the
2) decreases with greater distance from the Sun
3) has no relationship to the distance from the Sun
2) The Sun's apparent diameter decreases.
4) depends only on the chemical composition of the
3) The Sun's rate of rotation increases.
atmosphere of each planet
4) The Earth's orbital speed increases.
53. The giant planets are composed primarily of
51. Three planets known as gas giants because of their large
1) hydrogen and helium
size and low density are
2) carbon dioxide
4) rocky materials
1) Venus, Neptune, and Jupiter
54. What was the most abundant gas present in the original
2) Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus
3) Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus
3) water vapor
4) Venus, Uranus, and Jupiter
4) carbon dioxide
55. The diagram below represents two photographs of the
57. The diagram below represents the Earth's orbital path
, taken at full moon phase several months
around the Sun. The Earth takes the same amount of
apart. The photographs were taken using the same
time to move from
magnification. Each photograph was cut in half and the
halves placed next to each other.
Which values are equal within the system?
1) The shaded sections of the diagram are equal in area.
2) The distance from the Sun to the Earth is the same at
and at point
What most likely caused the difference in the apparent
3) The orbital velocity of the Earth at point
size of the Moon in photographs
orbital velocity at point
1) The phases of the Moon changed.
4) The gravitational force between the Earth and the
2) The Moon expanded.
Sun at point
is the same as the gravitational force
3) The distance from the Earth to the Moon changed.
4) The Moon rotated.
58. A planet was viewed from Earth for several hours. The
56. The diagram below represents a planet in orbit around a
diagrams below represent the appearance of the planet at
four different times.
The best inference that can be made based on the
diagrams is that this planet is
1) tilted on its axis
2) changing seasons
Which statement best describes how the planet's energy
is changing as it moves from point
59. If viewed from the Earth over a period of several years,
the apparent diameter of Mars will
1) Kinetic energy is increasing and potential energy is
1) decrease constantly
3) remain unchanged
2) increase constantly
4) vary in a cyclic manner
2) Kinetic energy is decreasing and potential energy is
60. Billions of stars in the same region of the universe are
3) Both kinetic and potential energy are decreasing.
4) Both kinetic and potential energy are increasing.
1) solar systems
2) asteroid belts
61. Base your answer to the following question on the diagram below, which represents the Moon orbiting Earth as viewed from space
above the North Pole. The Moon is shown at eight different positions in its orbit.
Which device when placed on the Moon would provide evidence of Moon rotation?
1) Foucault pendulum
4) wind vane
62. The diagram below shows some examples of how surface winds are deflected in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres because of
Earth's rotation causes winds to be deflected to the
1) right in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres
2) right in the Northern Hemisphere and left in the Southern Hemisphere
3) left in the Northern Hemisphere and right in the Southern Hemisphere
4) left in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres
63. The diagram below represents the elliptical orbit of the
67. Which graph best represents the relationship between the
Earth around the Sun.
gravitational attraction of two objects and their distance
from each other?
Which equation should be used to find the eccentricity
of the Earth's orbit?
1) eccentricity =
2) eccentricity =
3) eccentricity = 299,000,000 km - 5,000,000 km
4) eccentricity =
299,000,000 km - 5,000,000 km
64. Which statement best describes galaxies?
1) They are similar in size to the solar system.
2) They contain only one star but hundreds of planets.
3) They may contain a few hundred stars in a space
slightly larger than the solar system.
4) They may contain billions of stars in a space much
larger than our solar system.
68. The major evidence supporting the "Big Bang" theory is
1) observations of supernova explosions.
65. According to the big bang theory, the universe began as
2) the discovery of black holes.
an explosion and is still expanding. This theory is
3) observations that the Doppler red shift becomes
supported by observations that the stellar spectra of
greater as we look at more distant galaxies.
distant galaxies show a
4) observations that most galaxies are rotating
1) concentration in the yellow portion of the spectrum
2) concentration in the green portion of the spectrum
69. The most abundant element on the sun is
3) shift toward the blue end of the spectrum
4) shift toward the red end of the spectrum
66. According to Hubbell’s law more rapidly moving
70. Approximately how many times larger is the diameter of
galaxies are now
the sun compared to the earth?
1) further away from us
2) closer to us
3) accelerating rapidly
4) already contracting toward another big bang
71. Most of the radiant energy released by the sun results
from the process of
1) nuclear fission
2) nuclear fusion
4) electrical generation
72. The symbols below represent the Milky Way galaxy, the
78. How does the amount of heat energy reflected by a
solar system, the Sun, and the universe.
smooth, dark-colored concrete surface compare with the
amount of heat energy reflected by a smooth, light-
colored concrete surface?
1) The dark-colored surface will reflect less heat
2) The dark-colored surface will reflect more heat
3) The dark-colored surface will reflect the same
amount of heat energy.
79. Infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light are all part of the
Which arrangement of symbols is most accurate?
solar spectrum. The basic difference between them is
80. An ice cube is placed in a glass of water at room
temperature. Which heat exchange occurs between the
ice and the water within the first minute?
1) The ice cube gains heat and the water loses heat.
2) The ice cube loses heat and the water gains heat.
3) Both the ice cube and the water gain heat.
4) Both the ice cube and the water lose heat.
73. According to the graph, the Sun is classified as a
81. Which statement is the best example of heat energy
1) main sequence star with a temperature of
transfer by conduction?
approximately 4,000 K and a luminosity of 100
1) Heat energy is transferred from the bottom to the top
2) main sequence star with a temperature of
of a lake.
approximately 6,000 K and a luminosity of 1
2) Heat energy is transferred from the surface soil to
3) white dwarf star with a temperature of
the rocks below.
approximately 10,000 K and a luminosity of 0.01
3) Heat energy is transferred from the Earth's surface to
4) blue supergiant star with a temperature of
the upper atmosphere.
approximately 20,000 K and a luminosity of 700,000
4) Heat energy is transferred from the Sun to the Earth.
74. An astronomer can estimate the temperature of a star by
82. Which process is primarily responsible for the transfer of
energy by air currents within the Earth's atmosphere?
75. By using a spectroscope an astronomer can
83. By which process does starlight travel through space?
1) measure the size of a star
2) measure the altitude of a star
3) identify elements in the atmosphere of a star
4) measure the diameter of a star
84. Which substance has the highest specific heat?
76. The explosion of a massive star near the end of its life is
known as a
85. The hottest climates on Earth are located near the
Equator because this region
1) is usually closest to the Sun
77. Which type of electromagnetic radiation has the longest
2) reflects the greatest amount of insolation
3) receives the most hours of daylight
3) visible light
4) receives the most nearly perpendicular insolation
2) gamma rays
4) radio waves
Base your answers to questions
on the data table below, which shows one cycle of equinoxes and solstices for the northern
hemispheres of several planets in the solar system and the tilt of each planet’s axis. Data for the planets are based on Earth’s time system.
86. State the length, in years, of the spring season on Uranus.
87. Describe the relationship between a planet’s distance from the Sun and the length of a season on that planet.
factors that cause seasons on Earth.
89. Compared to polar areas, why are equatorial areas of
92. Which form of radiation given off by the Earth causes
equal size heated much more intensely by the Sun?
heating of the Earth's atmosphere?
1) The Sun's rays are more nearly perpendicular at the
Equator than at the poles.
2) The equatorial areas contain more water than the
93. The diagram below represents a beaker of water that is
polar areas do.
being heated. As the colored dye pellet dissolves, the dye
3) More hours of daylight occur at the Equator than at
will show the movement of water in the beaker. On the
diagram, draw arrows in the water to show the direction
4) The equatorial areas are nearer to the Sun than the
the colored dye will move when the water is heated as
polar areas are.
90. The diagram below shows the noontime shadow cast by
a vertical post located in New Jersey. Which letter
indicates a location south of the post?
91. On which date does maximum insolation usually occur
in New Jersey?
1) June 21
3) August 21
2) July 10
4) August 31
94. Base your answer to the following question on the passage below.
Ozone in Earth’s Atmosphere
Ozone is a special form of oxygen. Unlike the oxygen we breathe, which is composed of two atoms of oxygen, ozone is
composed of three atoms of oxygen. A concentrated ozone layer between 10 and 30 miles above Earth’s surface absorbs some of the
harmful ultraviolet radiation coming from the Sun. The amount of ultraviolet light reaching Earth’s surface is directly related to the
angle of incoming solar radiation. The greater the Sun’s angle of insolation, the greater the amount of ultraviolet light that reaches
Earth’s surface. If the ozone layer were completely destroyed, the ultraviolet light reaching Earth’s surface would most likely
increase human health problems, such as skin cancer and eye damage.
State the name of the temperature zone of Earth’s atmosphere where the concentrated layer of ozone gas exists.
95. Daily weather forecasts are based primarily on
99. As the temperature of the atmosphere at a given location
1) ocean currents
3) phases of the Moon
increases, the air pressure will most likely
2) seismic data
4) air-mass movements
3) remain the same
96. Which weather conditions are most probable when the
moisture content of the air increases, resulting in a lower
100. As the dewpoint temperature of a sample of air
decreases, the amount of moisture in that sample of air
3) remains the same
1) sunny and fair
2) cold and windy
3) partly cloudy, with skies becoming clear
101. Which gas in the atmosphere has the most influence on
4) cloudy, with a chance of precipitation
day-to-day weather changes?
3) water vapor
97. The graph below shows the surface air pressure at a
4) carbon dioxide
certain city during a five-day period. On which day was
the warmest airmass probably over the city for the entire
102. In the Northern Hemisphere, what is the direction of
surface wind circulation in a low-pressure system?
1) counterclockwise and outward from the center
2) counterclockwise and toward the center
3) clockwise and outward from the center
4) clockwise and toward the center
103. The diagram below represents a cross-sectional view of
airmasses associated with a low-pressure system. The
cold frontal interface is moving faster than the warm
frontal interface. What usually happens to the warm air
that is between the two frontal surfaces?
98. The diagram below shows the isolines of air pressure
around a low-pressure center. On which side of the low-
1) The warm air is forced over both frontal interfaces.
pressure center will the wind speed be greatest?
2) The warm air is forced under both frontal interfaces.
3) The warm air is forced over the cold frontal
interface but under the warm frontal interface.
4) The warm air is forced under the cold frontal
interface but over the warm frontal interface.
104. The properties of an airmass depend mainly on the
1) wind speed within the airmass
2) characteristics of the surface over which the airmass
3) size of the airmass
4) rotation of the Earth
105. Base your answer to the following question on the weather map below, which shows the location of fronts and the temperature field
on a given day in the United States.
Which two cities most likely have an air temperature closest to 75°F?
1) Chicago and Detroit
3) Oklahoma City and Memphis
2) Los Angeles and Denver
4) Cincinnati and Kansas City
106. Why do clouds usually form at the leading edge of a cold
110. The weather map below shows a frontal system that has
followed a typical storm track.
1) Cold air flows over warm air, causing the warm air
to descend and cool.
2) Cold air flows under warm air, causing the warm air
to rise and cool.
3) Cold air contains more dust than warm air does.
4) Cold air contains more water vapor than warm air
107. Which abbreviation indicates a warm air mass that
contains large amounts of water vapor?
108. Which atmospheric condition will cause the greatest
amount of evaporation from the surface of a lake?
1) calm, dry, cold
3) calm, moist, hot
2) moist, cold, windy
4) dry, hot, windy
109. Condensation will most likely occur in a given volume
The air mass located over point
most likely originated
of air when the air is
1) saturated and contains no condensation nuclei
1) northern Atlantic Ocean 3) Gulf of Mexico
2) saturated and contains condensation nuclei
2) central part of Canada
4) Pacific Northwest
3) unsaturated and contains no condensation nuclei
4) unsaturated and contains condensation nuclei
111. Which map correctly shows the wind directions of the
113. The map below shows a low-pressure system located
high-pressure and low-pressure systems?
over an area in the south-central United States.
In the next few days, because of the prevailing winds,
the air mass will probably move toward the
114. Which weather station model represents a location where
a thunderstorm is occurring?
112. A cool breeze is blowing toward the land from the ocean
on a warm, cloudless summer day. This condition is
most likely caused by
1) a high-pressure system over the land
2) a hurricane approaching from the ocean
3) a cold front that is slowly approaching the land from
4) the air temperature being higher over the land than
over the ocean
115. The two thermometers below show the dry-bulb and wet-
bulb temperatures of the air.
What is the approximate dewpoint temperature of the air?
: gradient = change in field value / change in distance
: gradient = 3C / 3m
- Lack of contour lines indicates a relatively flat
area. - The stream shows meanders. - The contour lines are
spaced far apart.
- Contour lines bend upstream where they cross a
stream. They bend east along Jones Creek. - Water flows from
higher to lower elevations, and Jones Creek is higher in elevation
on the east side of the map.
86. Allow credit for 20 or 21 or 22 years.
87. The length of a planet’s season increases with increasing
distance from the Sun.
- tilt of Earth’s axis - parallelism of Earth’s axis
- Earth’s revolution around the Sun