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Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (0511)

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English Language Arts

  1. The following is an Iroquois poem entitled "Darkness Song."


    We wait in the darkness!
    Come, all ye who listen,
    Help in our night journey:
    Now no sun is shining;
    Now no star is glowing;
    Come show us the pathway:
    The night is not friendly;
    She closes her eyelids;
    The moon has forgot us,
    We wait in the darkness!

    In the context of the poem, the phrase "She closes her eyelids" (line 8) most likely refers to the

    1. refusal of the speaker's companion to keep walking
    2. twinkling of the stars in the night sky
    3. darkness of the night sky
    4. setting of the sun behind the forest

Questions 2–3 are based on the following passage from Elizabeth Bowen's novel The Death of the Heart.

    On a footbridge between an island and the mainland a man and woman stood talking, leaning on the rail. In the intense cold, which made everyone hurry, they had chosen to make this long summerlike pause. Their oblivious stillness made them look like lovers—actually, their elbows were some inches apart; they were riveted not to each other but to what she said. Their thick coats made their figures sexless and stiff as chessmen: they were well-to-do, inside bulwarks of fur and cloth their bodies generated a steady warmth; they could only see the cold—or, if they felt it, they only felt it at their extremities . . . Ice pushed down the channel under the bridge, so that while they talked their reflections were constantly broken up.

  1. An acquaintance of yours argues that Elizabeth Bowen portrays the wealthy people described in this passage as unaffected by the experiences of people around them. Which of the following, taken from the paragraph above, could your acquaintance best use to support his/her argument?

    1. "In the intense cold, which made everyone hurry, they had chosen to make this long summerlike pause"
    2. "they were riveted not to each other but to what she said"
    3. "Their thick coats made their figures sexless and stiff as chessmen"
    4. "Ice pushed down the channel under the bridge"
  2. The man and woman in the passage are described primarily in terms of which of the following?

    1. Their personality traits and family histories
    2. Their body language and clothing
    3. The content of their conversations
    4. The expressions on their faces
  3. The following passage is from "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin.

    These boys . . . were growing up with a rush and their heads bumped abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities. They were filled with rage. All they really knew were two darknesses, the darkness of their lives, which was now closing in on them, and the darkness of the movies, which had blinded them to that other darkness, and in which they now, vindictively, dreamed, at once more together than they were at any other time, and more alone.

    The author uses images of a "low ceiling" and "darkness" in order to portray life experiences that are

    1. limitless
    2. empty
    3. restricted
    4. fulfilling
  4. The following excerpt is from a speech by William Safire.

    Is the decline of the written word inevitable? Will the historians of the future deal merely in oral history? I hope not. I hope that oral history will limit itself to the discovery of toothpaste and the invention of mouthwash. I don't want to witness the decomposing of the art of composition, or be present when we get in touch with our feelings and lose contact with our minds.

    It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes that, in contrast to oral history, the written word is

    1. able to convey emotions more accurately
    2. a more intellectual exercise
    3. doomed to describe mundane historical events
    4. already obsolete


Month Record Low (degrees Fahrenheit)
January –31
February –25
March –14
April 11
May 22
June 31
July 39
August 32
September 22
October 12
November –6
December –19

  1. The monthly record low temperatures, in degrees Fahrenheit, for Tannersville, Pennsylvania, are given in the table above. What is the range of the record low temperatures for Tannersville? (The range is the difference between the highest and the lowest number in a set of values.)

    1. 8
    2. 12
    3. 62
    4. 70

Questions 7–8 are based on the pie chart below.

  1. The pie chart is divided into five pieces: Lodging 39 percent; Transportation 27 percent; Food 22 percent; Publicity 7 percent; and Insurance 5 percent. The Total Budget is shown as 12 thousand dollars.

    How much money was budgeted for transportation for the school trip?

    1. $2,700
    2. $2,810
    3. $3,060
    4. $3,240
  2. Which of the following is closest to the fraction of the total budget that was budgeted for food and lodging combined?

    1. 12
    2. 35
    3. 23
    4. 710

Question 9 refers to the following diagram.

  1. A diagram for Question 9 shows the dimensions of Ann's living room to be 12 feet by 18 feet.

    Ann plans to place a continuous wallpaper border on the walls of her living room, shown above. Each roll cost $6.47, and no partial rolls are sold. If each roll of border is 8 feet long, what is the minimum amount Ann can spend on rolls of border to complete her project?

    1. $45.29
    2. $51.76
    3. $103.50
    4. $174.69
  2. To make 36 five-inch pancakes, mix 4 1/2 cups of water with two pounds of pancake mix.

    When Mark goes shopping at the Food Warehouse, he often buys food in large quantities in order to save money. A problem that sometimes arises is that large packages give directions for making food for large groups. Last week he brought home pancake mix with the directions shown above. If Mark wants to make 10 five-inch pancakes, how many cups of water should he use?

    1. 4120 cups
    2. 134 cups
    3. 112 cups
    4. 114 cups

Citizenship and Social Sciences

Question 11 refers to the following quote.

New York newspaperman John L. O'Sullivan is credited with coining the term Manifest Destiny, ". . . the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions . . ."

  1. The idea of Manifest Destiny was used in the United States primarily to justify which of the following?

    1. The emancipation of slaves
    2. The expansion of slavery in the Western states
    3. The creation of trade barriers
    4. The acquisition of Indian, Mexican, and Canadian lands
  2. According to the United States Constitution, the President is given the power to do which of the following?

    1. Impeach judges
    2. Pass laws
    3. Coin money
    4. Veto bills

  3. For Question 13, a diagram shows a timeline of events, beginning in 1845 and ending in 1865. The events along the timeline are the Compromise of 1850; the Dred Scott Decision in 1857; the beginning of the Civil War in 1861; a blank space signifying an event in 1863; and Lincoln's assassination in 1865.

    Which event could be inserted into the blank space on the timeline above?

    1. California gold rush
    2. Grant becomes President
    3. Emancipation Proclamation
    4. The South surrenders at Appomattox

  4. Question 14 contains four views of the globe. Map 1 shows Africa, Europe and most of Asia. Map 2 shows North and South America. Map 3 shows eastern portions of Asia and all of Australia. Map 4 shows Antarctica.

    Egypt is located in which of the regions shown in the maps above?

    1. Map 1
    2. Map 2
    3. Map 3
    4. Map 4
  5. Which of the following is an effect of inflation?

    1. Consumer buying power decreases.
    2. Consumer buying power increases.
    3. Interest rates generally decline.
    4. Exports increase.

  6. Question 16 is accompanied by photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Question 16 is accompanied by photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

    Which of the following is true for both Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, shown above?

    1. They based their movements for social change on Christian faith.
    2. They led mass movements based on nonviolent civil disobedience.
    3. They believed in achieving their goals by any means necessary.
    4. They urged their followers to cooperate with the rules laid down by established authorities.


  1. Homeostasis in a living organism is regulated by feedback. This process is most similar to which of the following?

    1. An electric light switch
    2. An escalator between floors of a store
    3. The thermostat on a central heating system
    4. The gas pedal on an automobile
  2. According to some scientists, Earth's average surface temperature is rising because of an enhanced greenhouse effect. An increase in the atmospheric concentration of which of the following gases is considered to be primarily responsible for this temperature increase?

    1. Helium
    2. Nitrogen
    3. Sulfur dioxide
    4. Carbon dioxide
  3. Which of the following food chains would provide a human with the largest percentage of energy that was captured and stored by the primary producer?

    1. Water grass → insect → frog → fish → human
    2. Plankton → shrimp → tuna → human
    3. Grass → cow → human
    4. Corn → human
  4. A scientific experiment was conducted to determine the effect of a newly developed synthetic growth hormone, PGH, on pea seedlings. One group of seedlings was treated with PGH while another group of the same variety was left untreated. All environmental conditions were kept the same for both groups of seedlings. Data collected over 10 days are provided in the table below.

    Average Height (cm)
    Time (days) Treated Group Untreated Group
    1 3.0 2.5
    3 3.6 3.0
    4 4.7 3.9
    5 5.6 4.6
    7 6.2 5.0
    9 6.9 5.4
    10 7.4 5.8

    Based on the results of this experiment, which of the following is the best conclusion about the effect of PGH?

    1. PGH can be used to stimulate growth in many different agricultural crops.
    2. PGH is as effective as natural growth factors in pea plants.
    3. PGH can be used to increase the yield of peas per acre for this variety of peas.
    4. PGH stimulates growth in seedlings of this variety of peas.
  5. During the nineteenth century, some bird species, such as starlings, were introduced into the United States from Europe. Since then they have spread throughout the country and become a nuisance, or pest species, especially in urban areas. They often drive native birds out of their habitats. Factors that have contributed to the starling's success in the United States most likely include all of the following EXCEPT

    1. appropriate locations for nesting
    2. suitable range of temperatures
    3. an abundance of natural predators
    4. availability of a variety of food sources