E T S Praxis Series

Middle School Social Studies (0089)

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Sample Test Questions

Current section: Multiple Choice > Questions

The sample questions that follow illustrate the types of questions in the test. They are not, however, representative of the entire scope of the test in either content or difficulty. Answers with explanations follow the questions.

Directions: Each of the questions or incomplete statements below is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the one that is best in each case.

  1. "Rather than having to pay for costly fortifications, armies, and navies, this country enjoyed free protection provided by nature. Furthermore, for more than a century, British subjects manned and paid for the costly navy that policed and defended the Atlantic and provided this country cost-free added security."

    The country that benefited from the added security referred to above was which of the following?

    1. Germany
    2. Holland
    3. Sweden
    4. The United States
  2. The majority of immigrants who arrived in the United States before the Civil War came from

    1. Northern and Western Europe
    2. Southern and Eastern Europe
    3. Latin America and the Caribbean
    4. Asia and the Pacific Islands
  3. "They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one: they promised to take our land, and they took it."

    The statement above was most probably made by

    1. an African American
    2. a Greek American
    3. a Polish American
    4. a Native American

  4. Question 4 shows a map of the United States titled, 'Woman Suffrage Before the Nineteenth Amendment, 1920'. Each state is shaded or contains a date based on whether it had adopted equal suffrage, had partial woman suffrage, or did not have statewide woman suffrage in 1920. The map shows generally that Western states had equal suffrage; that Midwestern and New England states had partial suffrage; and that Eastern and Southeastern states had no statewide suffrage.

    All of the following conclusions about woman suffrage can be made on the basis of the map above EXCEPT:

    1. Between 1890 and 1920, many western states had granted women equal suffrage.
    2. Westward settlement inhibited the growth of equal suffrage up to 1920.
    3. In many states on the eastern coast, women were denied suffrage until the passage of the 19th Amendment.
    4. In some of the midwestern states, women had voting rights.
  5. For the greater part of the time humankind has existed on Earth, people have obtained their food by which of the following means?

    1. Hunting
    2. Gathering
    3. Agriculture

    1. I only
    2. III only
    3. I and II only
    4. I and III only
  6. In the nineteenth century, European powers carved up large regions with little concern for ethnic or cultural bonds, thus splitting some groups and forcing others to live alongside groups with whom they had little in common. All of the following countries experienced ethnic strife after independence EXCEPT

    1. Nigeria
    2. Egypt
    3. India
    4. Sudan
  7. According to the United States Constitution, the President has the power to

    1. negotiate treaties
    2. amend the Constitution
    3. impeach members of Congress
    4. raise and support an army
  8. Which of the following is most essential to the successful functioning of a democracy?

    1. Three branches of government
    2. Participating citizens
    3. Direct election of the head of government
    4. Federalism
  9. All of the following river valleys are densely populated EXCEPT the

    1. Yangtze
    2. Amazon
    3. Nile
    4. Indus

  10. Question 10 contains an illustration of a local map containing the following elements: four cities, three major highways, two secondary roads, and two rivers. City A is intersected by one major highway and is the western-most city on the map. Cities B and C are both northeast of City A, with City B west of City C. City B is intersected by three major highways and a river; City C is intersected by one major highway, one river, and one secondary road. City D is the southern-most city on the map and is directly south of City C. City D is intersected by two secondary roads.

    On the basis of the information given in the map above, which of the cities has the greatest potential for economic development?

    1. A
    2. B
    3. C
    4. D
  11. Workers in the United States widget industry (a small and specialized labor force) received a substantial increase in wages, making the hourly cost of their wages and benefits the highest for blue-collar workers in the U.S. and much higher than those of widget-producing workers in competing countries.

    The wage increase described above is most likely to result in an increase in the

    1. profits of widget companies in the United States.
    2. sales of products that are made with widgets in the United States.
    3. number of widgets imported into the United States.
    4. number of widgets sold in the United States.
  12. "I was adamant about getting fathers into the labor room and into the delivery room. I was insistent about fathers attending parenting classes. The only way I would take parents was as couples. I wrote an article for a family magazine and encouraged them to put a father holding a baby on the cover. Today we see fathers pushing baby strollers, carrying babies on slings. We see men doing commercials for diapers and showing tender loving care. There have been tremendous changes. It is no longer considered 'unmasculine' to be affectionate."

    The quote above is from a 1987 interview with an obstetrician who has been practicing medicine for decades. The changes mentioned by the obstetrician refer to changes in social

    1. regulations
    2. norms
    3. policies
    4. instincts
  13. The gross domestic product of a country is defined as the total

    1. output of goods and services sold in the country during a year.
    2. output of goods and services consumed in the country during a year.
    3. market value of all goods and services sold in the country during a year.
    4. market value of all final goods and services produced in the country during a year.
  14. Which of the following will increase the demand for teachers?

    1. Increasing the salaries of teachers
    2. Raising the retirement age for teachers
    3. Lowering the student-teacher ratio
    4. Consolidating school districts
  15. The guest-worker program in western Europe attracts workers primarily from

    1. the United States
    2. Latin America
    3. North Africa and Southwest Asia
    4. Australia and New Zealand
  16. A similarity between the cities of Varanasi (Banaras) in India and Mecca in Saudi Arabia is that both are

    1. capitals of countries formerly colonized by the English.
    2. destinations for vast numbers of religious pilgrims.
    3. financial centers for a large fraction of the world's economy.
    4. examples of modern urban planning.
  17. The Jakota Triangle is a region consisting of large cities, numerous exports, increasing consumption of raw materials, and global financial connections. Which of the following lists the principle countries of this region?

    1. France, Portugal, Spain
    2. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan
    3. Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica
    4. Iceland, Ireland, the United Kingdom
  18. Which of the following is an example of the constitutional system of checks and balances?

    1. A Supreme Court ruling that upholds a state law
    2. An interest group that lobbies Congress to reject proposed legislation
    3. A state that lobbies Congress for increased federal funding
    4. The impeachment and removal of a federal official
  19. Which of the following is involved in the appointment and confirmation process of federal judges in the United States?

    1. The president
    2. The chief justice of the Supreme Court
    3. The state governors
    4. The sitting judges on the United States Courts of Appeals
  20. In addition to the power of control over the budget, Congress can control or influence the bureaucracy by

    1. bringing public opinion to bear on an agency.
    2. holding investigations into the activities of an agency.
    3. ordering the president to reform an agency.
    4. making an agency report directly to Congress.
  21. A similarity between Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) and Miranda v. Arizona (1966) was that the rulings in both cases

    1. affirmed and protected civil rights under the Constitution.
    2. involved the rights of those accused of crimes.
    3. involved the issue of Jim Crow laws.
    4. tended to limit the power of the federal government.
  22. "Fellow citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? ... I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! ... This Fourth of July is yours, not mine."

    In the speech excerpted above, the African American leader Frederick Douglass expresses his sentiments about the

    1. triumph of freedom over slavery in the Civil War.
    2. gap between democratic ideals and the reality of slavery.
    3. horrors and injustices he personally experienced under slavery.
    4. relationship between republican ideals and Reconstruction actions.
  23. Which of the following was a charge made by Senator Joseph McCarthy about dangers facing the United States in the 1950s?

    1. There were a significant number of communists in positions of authority in the United States government.
    2. Most United States voters were sympathetic to the communists.
    3. The United States economy was threatened by cheap foreign imports.
    4. An increase in the rate of illegal immigration was threatening the stability of United States society.
  24. The greatest expansion of direct European colonial rule in Africa occurred in which of the following periods?

    1. 1450–1500
    2. 1750–1800
    3. 1850–1900
    4. 1900–1950
  25. Which of the following was an outcome of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 at the conclusion of the First World War, giving rise to tensions that would help lead to the outbreak of the Second World War?

    1. The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to give up land, population, and important resources.
    2. The Treaty of Versailles divided Germany into eastern and western states.
    3. The British gave control of Palestine to the Arabs living there.
    4. It was agreed to leave the Austrian Empire intact.
  26. Which of the following best summarizes the contributions of Muslim scholars to the development of science in the period circa 700–1400 C.E. ?

    1. They worked in isolation from the Chinese and Indian scholars of the same period.
    2. They made advances mostly in medicine and the life sciences.
    3. Most of their works became known to European scholars only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
    4. They preserved the scientific tradition of the ancient world and expanded it greatly by their own discoveries.