E T S Praxis Series

Middle School Content Knowledge (0146/5146)

Skip Navigation

Sample Test Questions

Current section: Multiple Choice > Questions

This test is available via paper delivery or computer delivery; other than the delivery method, there is no difference between the tests. The test content is the same for both test codes.

To illustrate what the computer-delivered test looks like, the following sample question shows an actual screen used in a computer-delivered test.

Here is the same sample question as it would appear on a paper-delivered test:

Which of the following is the capital of the United States?

  1. New York, NY
  2. Washington, DC
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Los Angeles, CA

For the purpose of this guide, sample questions are provided as they would appear in a paper-delivered test.

Sample Test Questions

The sample questions that follow illustrate the kinds 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 statements below is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the one that is best in each case.

I. Literature and Language Studies

  1.  
    1. Early twentieth-century studies of spoken Native American languages proved otherwise.
    2. That flexibility was evidenced, in part, by the complexity and range of Native American oral literature.
    3. Linguists once believed that peoples without an elaborate written literature had no more than a few hundred words in their vocabulary.
    4. Each language studied contained at least 20,000 words.
    5. In addition to copiousness, the spoken languages were found by linguists to be as flexible as languages with a written tradition.

    Which of the following represents the best ordering of the sentences above into a coherent paragraph?

    1. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    2. 3, 1, 4, 5, 2
    3. 3, 2, 1, 5, 4
    4. 5, 3, 2, 4, 1

Questions 2-4 are based on the following excerpt from Thousand Pieces of Gold, by Ruthanne Lum McCunn.

Polly laid her forehead against the cold pane of glass. Outside a meadowlark sang, its haunting melody reminding her of the three robins she had saved after Mr. Grostein's cat had killed the birds' mother.

At first, they were content to fly around her room, but soon they began pecking at the window, demanding to be let out. So Charlie built a cage for them, and Polly hung the cage on a tree outside. But their cries tore at her, and finally she opened the door, letting them fly where they pleased. Then one day Mr. Benson, the butcher, came to the saloon and handed her a cigar box with three stiff bodies crusted with blood.

He was sorry, he said. He knew how much the birds meant to her, and he had reprimanded his clerk severely. But the way they hovered, demanding scraps, had been annoying, and if she had kept them in the cage Charlie had made for them, his clerk would not have killed them.

Charlie had told her the same thing, and she had tried to explain why, even though she mourned the birds' deaths, she did not regret leaving them uncaged. But he had not understood. Then how could she make him understand her own need to escape the cage that held her?

  1. The central analogy presented in the passage suggests which of the following?

    1. Mr. Benson understood better than Charlie how Polly felt about the birds.
    2. Polly would prefer to be free, even if she suffered as a result.
    3. Polly had at one time been imprisoned but had managed to escape.
    4. Charlie was correct in believing that the birds were better off caged than free.
  2. The narrative suggests that Polly feels her relationship with Charlie is

    1. new and fragile
    2. loving but argumentative
    3. caring but flawed
    4. frivolous and demeaning
  3. Which of the following best describes Polly's mood as it is presented in the passage?

    1. Hostile
    2. Self-recriminating
    3. Disinterested
    4. Pensive
  4. ə abut ə kitten ər further a back ā bake ä cot, cart
    aύ out ch chin e less ē easy g gift i trīp ī life
    j joke ŋ sing ō flow ό flaw όi coin th thin th this
    ü loot ύ foot y yet few furious zh vision

    According to the pronunciation guide above, which of the following words would be represented as "tə -’päg-rə -fē"?


    1. Telepathy
    2. Typographer
    3. Topography
    4. Telegraphic
  5. Freewriting, brainstorming, clustering, and idea mapping are most important during which stage of the writing process?

    1. Prewriting
    2. Drafting
    3. Revising
    4. Proofreading

II. Mathematics

  1. Which of the following is a way to find 420 percent of 39.7 ?

    1. The fraction with numerator thirty nine point seven and denominator forty two.
    2. (0.42)(39.7)
    3. (4.2)(39.7)
    4. (420)(39.7)

  2. Question 8 includes an illustration that shows intersecting vertical and horizontal lines. Each line includes 14 hash marks along its length. The intersection of the lines occurs at the 8th hash mark of the horizontal line (starting from the left) and the 9th hash mark of the vertical line (starting from the top) The vertical line is the y-axis. The horizontal line is the x-axis. In the upper-left portion of the diagram is a right triangle, labeled A, B, and C at each of its points. Vertically, the triangle runs along the y-axis from the 2nd hash mark to the 6th hash mark. Horizontally, the triangle runs along the x-axis from the 5th hash mark to the 7th hash mark. A square that is 1 hash mark by 1 hash mark is located inside the triangle at bottom-right.

    Which figure below results if right triangle ABC above is flipped (reflected) across the y-axis and then turned (rotated) clockwise about point C by 90 degrees?


    1. The four possible answers to Question 8 are all diagrams that have intersecting vertical and horizontal lines and hash marks identical to the lines described in the question. In answer A, the triangle has been flipped into the upper-right portion of the diagram. Vertically, the triangle runs along the y-axis from the 6th to 8th hash marks. Horizontally, the triangle runs along the x-axis from the 9th to 13th hash marks. The 1 by 1 square is at the top-left of the triangle.


    2. The four possible answers to Question 8 are all diagrams that have intersecting vertical and horizontal lines and hash marks identical to the lines described in the question. In answer B, the triangle has been flipped into the bottom-right portion of the diagram. Vertically, it runs along the y-axis from the 11th to 13th hash marks. Horizontally, the triangle runs along the x-axis from the 9th to 13th hash marks. The 1 by 1 square is at the top-left of the triangle.


    3. The four possible answers to Question 8 are all diagrams that have intersecting vertical and horizontal lines and hash marks identical to the lines described in the question. In answer C, the triangle spans the top-right and bottom-right portions of the diagram. Vertically, it runs along the y-axis from the 7th to 11th hash marks. Horizontally, the triangle runs along the x-axis from the 10th to 12th hash marks. The 1 by 1 square is at the top-left of the triangle.


    4. The four possible answers to Question 8 are all diagrams that have intersecting vertical and horizontal lines and hash marks identical to the lines described in the question. In answer D, the triangle is in the top-left portion of the diagram. Vertically, it runs along the y-axis from the 8th to 11th hash marks. Horizontally, the triangle runs along the x-axis from the 10th to 12th hash marks. The 1 by 1 square is at the top-left of the triangle.

  3. If a3 · b2 · a4 · b3 can be written as a7b5, then 23 · 34 · 22 · 33 can be written as

    1. 25 · 37
    2. 45 · 97
    3. 612
    4. 3612
  4. In a certain office, the average (arithmetic mean) weekly salary of the 6 computer operators is $367, and the average weekly salary of the remaining 4 office workers is $382. What is the average weekly salary of the 10 office staff members?

    1. $370
    2. $373
    3. $375
    4. $377
  5. On an achievement test taken by a large group of people, Bill scored at the 70th percentile with respect to the test-score distribution for the group. This information implies that

    1. Bill got 70% of the test correct
    2. 70 scores were lower than Bill's score
    3. 30% of the scores were higher than Bill's score
    4. Bill's score was approximately one standard deviation above the mean test score for the group
  6. What is the units digit of 343?

    1. 1
    2. 3
    3. 7
    4. 9

III. History/Social Studies


  1. ESTIMATED POPULATION OF
    AMERICAN COLONIES, 1630 AND 1750
    1630 1750
    New England
     White Inhabitants 1,796   349,029
     Black Inhabitants 0   10,982
    Middle Colonies
     White Inhabitants 340   275,723
     Black Inhabitants 10   20,736
    Southern Colonies
     White Inhabitants 2,450   309,588
     Black Inhabitants 50   204,702
    Total
     White Inhabitants 4,586   934,340
     Black Inhabitants 60   236,420

    Which of the following is a correct statement supported by the chart above?

    1. Religion was a powerful force opposing slavery in the American colonies.
    2. Slavery grew rapidly throughout the American colonies despite restrictions on the slave trade.
    3. Southern landholders preferred the labor of indentured servants to slave labor.
    4. By 1750, the southern colonies had become demographically distinct from the other colonies.
  2. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government."

    — Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, 1848

    The excerpt above is from a major declaration of which of the following movements?

    1. Abolitionism
    2. Revivalism
    3. The women's rights movement
    4. The public school movement

  3. A diagram shows an oval positioned horizontally, with the Sun positioned about one-third of the way from the left edge and halfway between the top and bottom edges. The area between the sun and the left edge is shaded between two angles of about 45 degrees each. The point where the top angle meets the left edge is labeled P. The point where the bottom angle meets the left edge is labeled P1. The area between the sun and the right edge is shaded between two angles of about 20 degrees each. The point where the top angle meets the right edge is labeled P1. The point where the bottom angle meets the right edge is labeled P.

    The diagram above of the second law of Johannes Kepler illustrates that Kepler believed that

    1. the Earth was the center of the universe and the Sun revolved around the Earth
    2. the language of mathematics could describe the movements of the planets
    3. planetary motion was random and not subject to human understanding
    4. there were only four planets in the Solar System

  4. A time line shows the Hohenzollen rulers of Prussia, beginning with Frederick the First who ruled from 1701 to 1713. Frederick William the First ruled from 1713 to 1740. Frederick the Second (the Great) ruled from 1740 to 1786. Frederick William the Second ruled from 1786 to 1797; and Frederick William the Third ruled from 1797 to 1840.

    The timeline above of the Hohenzollern rulers of Prussia is misleading primarily because it

    1. omits essential information about each ruler
    2. omits other events of historical importance
    3. lists only male rulers of the Hohenzollern dynasty
    4. spaces the reigns, not the years, equally
  5. European interest in the Middle East grew significantly in the twentieth century primarily because

    1. Europe became interested in settling part of its growing population in the Middle East
    2. many European countries began hiring guest workers from the Middle East
    3. the Middle East became a significant producer of a critical natural resource that Europe sought
    4. the Middle East became a large potential market for European goods
  6. Which of the following resulted from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal?

    1. All large banks were nationalized.
    2. The United States Supreme Court gained two new justices.
    3. The national government grew in size, scope, and responsibility.
    4. Decisions about welfare spending were entrusted to the states.

IV. Science

  1. Some human traits are carried by genes on the Y chromosome. A man will transmit these traits to

    1. one-half of his male offspring only
    2. one-half of his female offspring only
    3. all of his male offspring
    4. all of his female offspring
  2. "Shooting stars" that appear in the night sky are most likely to be

    1. particles of exploding stars
    2. comets passing near the Earth
    3. meteors passing into the Earth's atmosphere
    4. northern or southern lights caused by magnetic storms on the Sun
  3. A chlorine compound is added to swimming pools in order to

    1. monitor the pH of the water
    2. add color to the water
    3. soften the water by precipitating harmful chemicals
    4. destroy bacteria through an oxidation reaction
  4. Which of the following methods of producing electricity contributes most of the incidence of acid rain in North America?

    1. Generators that use windmills
    2. Nuclear generators that utilize fission
    3. Power plants that burn fossil fuels
    4. Hydroelectric power plants
  5. Two campers want to bake potatoes in a fire. Both wrap their potatoes in aluminum foil. One camper, however, sticks a large nail through her potato.

    Which of the following is most likely to happen after the potatoes are placed in the fire?

    1. Both potatoes will cook at the same rate.
    2. Neither potato will cook because the foil will reflect the heat.
    3. The potato with the nail will cook faster because heat will be conducted into the potato.
    4. The potato with the nail will cook more slowly because heat will be conducted out of the potato.
  6. Which of the following statements is true of hurricanes but not of tornadoes?

    1. They form only over warm oceans.
    2. They have very high winds.
    3. They may cause great property damage.
    4. They may cause human fatalities.