FTCE Social Science 6-12 Ultimate Guide2019-05-03T20:12:14+00:00

FTCE Social Science 6-12: Ultimate Guide and Practice Test

Preparing to take the FTCE Social Science 6-12?


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FTCE FTCE Social Science 6-12

FTCE Social Science 6-12 Quick Facts

The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) Social Science exam is required for Florida teachers who teach social sciences in grades 6-12. It is designed to measure a candidate’s knowledge of the sIX competencies to ensure a teacher is qualified to instruct students in this subject area.

Types of questions include command questions, questions over charts and graphs (graphic related questions), sentence completion questions, scenario questions and direct questions.  

Since the entire Social Science (6-12) Test is approximately 120 questions, you can break down the number of questions by the weight of each competency:

  • Geography (10% = approximately 12 questions)
  • Economics (15% = approximately 18 questions)
  • Political Science (15% = approximately 18 questions)
  • World History (25% = approximately 30 questions)
  • U.S. History (25% = approximately 30 questions)
  • Social Science Methodology (10% = approximately 12 questions)

Given a test time of 2 hours and 30 minutes and 120 questions, you have about 1.25 minutes to answer each question. The test is timed, and at any point, you can see the time remaining on the test. So, pace yourself and monitor the time.  We recommend going through the entire test and answering every question you are reasonably certain about. Then go back and address the questions you were unsure of.




The number of questions answered correctly is converted to something called a “scale score.” A scaled score of at least 200 is required to pass.

For the Social Science (6-12) test, test takers must answer roughly 74% of the questions correctly to pass the test. For a 120-question test, this equivalates to approximately 89 questions answered correctly. These numbers may vary slightly based on the number of questions and the difficulty of the test, which may vary slightly from test to test as there is more than one version.  

Study time:

In order to feel prepared for the test, plan to spend several weeks studying. It is helpful to create a schedule for yourself ahead of time by breaking down the test topics into different weeks. This way, you will know you have enough time to study each topic covered on the test.

What test takers wish they would’ve known:

You may encounter a series of “test questions” which exam writers may incorporate into the test as practice questions which may or may not later be added to the test as a regular question.  So do not be alarmed if you come across a question that you feel may not be worded well or doesn’t make sense. Do your best to answer it correctly, but it’s possible this is just a test question that will not count toward your score.  

Don’t spend too much time on a question you don’t know and risk losing valuable time on future questions that you would know.  You risk running out of time if you allow more difficult questions to occupy too much of your time and don’t allow yourself enough time to read every question.  

Information and screenshots obtained from http://www.fl.nesinc.com/studyguide/FL_SG_obj_037.htm

Exam Content


This exam has 6 competencies:

  • Geography (10%)
  • Economics (15%)
  • Political Science (15%)
  • World History (25%)
  • U.S. History (25%)
  • Social Science Methodology (10%)

The Social Sciences encompass several academic disciplines that all center around society and the dynamics of human relationships. Social Sciences include the study of both U.S. and world history with the intent of better understanding the past to plan for the future. The study of geography examines physical features of the Earth and its landscape and analyzes population growth and movement and its effects on competition for resources and land use.  Political Science focuses on government practice and politics at all levels. Economics focuses on the widespread manufacturing and distribution of goods or services for financial gain. The study of society and social phenomena are paramount for us to gain a better understanding of what human beings require to function and thrive.

So, let’s talk about Geography first.


This competency includes about 12 multiple-choice questions which make up about 10% of the entire exam.

This section tests your knowledge of the six essential elements of geography and the application of those elements as it pertains to spatial relationships. You will also process information as it relates to maps and location. You will determine how humans and nature can impact Earth’s terrain and the future trajectory of various geographic regions. Geography analyzes the impact of humans on Earth as well.  

Let’s talk about some concepts that you will more than likely see on the test.

Six Essential Elements of Geography

The 6 Essential Elements of Geography include:

  • The World, in spatial terms- This element puts human and physical systems in geographical context. Examples include absolute location (latitude and longitude or 123 Main St.) and relative location (“1 hour south of the border”, “a block from downtown”).
  • Human Systems– This element considers the impact of humans on other humans in the population, which in turn shapes that region’s economy, resource availability, culture and politics.
  • Physical Systems– This element (also known as “Physical Geography”) includes the effects of glaciers, hurricanes, the atmosphere, the climate, etc. on Earth’s terrain. It explains how Earth’s physical systems shape Earth’s terrain and how these systems interact with various plant and animal life which inhabit the region.
  • Places/Regions– Consider geographers division of the world into hemispheres, or regions. These divisions are all characterized by natural, physical characteristics or by the people who inhabit the area. These characteristics can establish a culture unique to an area.
  • Environment/Society– Consider the effects of human behavior on the Earth. How does a factory emitting harmful chemicals into the air impact the society as a whole? How does a community who establishes a green approach to recycling impact the Earth? This element of geography considers location and the impact on Earth and its geography. It further considers how humans adaptations to these changes can impact the environment- like the building of dams and canals, etc.  
  • Uses of Geography– This element of geography focuses on utilizing past experiences to prepare for the future. Geographical characteristics have largely impacted wars, the spread of disease, and the demise of entire cultures or populations. Understanding geography helps us to interpret the past, plan for the present, and prepare for the future.   

ErosionErosion is the gradual wearing away, diminution or diminishing of topsoil, or the uppermost component of a surface. This typically occurs as a result of some force acting upon it, like wind, water, etc. Consider a rocky shoreline for instance, which has waves crashing into it all day, every day. Over a period of time, the rocky cliffs of the shoreline will wear down and began eroding. This impacts the geography of shorelines across the globe. Both natural and manmade factors can contribute to erosion. Something as simple as soil utilized by farmers for farming can suffer erosion following excessive rainfall, which leads to flooding and runoff of topsoil. This impacts major farming industries. One of the greatest examples of this is the Dust Bowl that occurred in the 1930s. Farmers over plowed the Great Plains, displacing native soil and grasses. These features played a vital role in preserving moisture. The stripped away soil, paired with drought conditions and windy prairie conditions, were a recipe for agricultural turmoil. During drought season, the soil became dust. The drought conditions, wind, and soil erosion of the Dust Bowl damaged agriculture across American and Canadian prairies for almost a decade.  


This competency includes about 30 multiple-choice questions which make up about 25% of the entire exam.

These questions test your knowledge of basic geography concepts, including physical, environmental, and human geography themes and elements.

Here are some concepts you should know.

Apennine Mountains

The Apennine Mountains, or the “backbone of Italy,” are one of two major mountain ranges in Italy. The Apennine Mountains range north to south along the Italian peninsula. The range is approximately 20 miles wide at its narrowest and 120 miles wide at the center. Its highest peak is the “Great Rock of Italy,” or “Gran Sasso d’Italia,” at 9,554 ft. The eastern side of the range is very steep, while the western side is more rolling. Most early people settled along the western coast of Italy in one of three plains areas at the base of the Apennine Mountains:

  • The Tuscan Plains were very fertile for farming.
  • The Latium Plains, where Rome was located along with the hub of the Roman Empire’s trade business.
  • The Campanian, where Italy’s best harbor was.

The Apennine Mountains also served as a natural barrier to protect against outside attacks. It made it difficult to cross from one side of the Italian peninsula to the other, which helped protect Ancient Rome.  


Hinduism is a major religion that is practiced by approximately 15% of the world. Hinduism is practiced in greatest numbers in Asia, with India containing the most highly concentrated area of Hindus.

Hinduism began in India by the ancient people who settled around 1500 BCE. Unlike the other major world religions, Hinduism does not have a single founder. Hinduism is based on the Vedas, which are the sacred texts and teachings of the Aryans.

Hinduism is:

  • Polytheistic, or a religion of many gods
  • Led by priests who come from the Brahmin caste in temples all over the world

Hindus believe that:

  • God is inside every being, not in a far away heaven
  • Dharma is a person’s moral and religious duties
  • Karma is how you get back what you give to the universe (what goes around comes around)
  • An individual’s soul is “reborn” through reincarnation after death; what an individual returns as depends on the deeds from their prior life or karma

Alexander Von Humboldt

Alexander Von Humboldt (1769-1859) was a German scientist whose studies laid the groundwork for what is known today as biogeography.  

Alexander Von Humboldt was born into a well-connected political family, but he chose to pursue his passion as a naturalist. Von Humboldt set out on a four month expedition throughout South America and discovered many different species of birds in the Amazon; he also discovered the Casiquiare Canal. He met many native tribes and documented all of his findings. His studies continued from South America, to Cuba, then to the United States.

Von Humboldt discovered, documented, and catalogued native species and features he observed throughout his expeditions, and due to this and the patterns he observed, he was the first to present the Pangea theory as it related to the Atlantic continents.   

Von Humboldt’s work became the catalyst for the specific fields of geography and meteorology. Von Humboldt believed there was a connection between all fields of science, as well as nature, and was the first to study them together, rather than separate from one another.


This competency includes about 18 multiple-choice questions which make up about 15% of the entire exam.

This section tests your knowledge of understanding society’s need for the evolving process of manufacturing and distributing goods. Economics accesses how scarcity and opportunity cost impacts the availability and distribution of resources. This section also tests your understanding of the various types of economies and their associated advantages and disadvantages.    

Let’s talk about some concepts that you will plausibly see on the test.

Opportunity Cost

Opportunity cost is the quantifying or qualifying of the value of something that must be given up in order to achieve value from something else that often times, would not be achieved without foregoing some sort of less desirable loss. Simply put, the opportunity cost is the value of something given up to acquire something with greater potential. For example, if a company manufactures a product that requires plastic containers for distribution, they can manufacture those containers themselves, or outsource the job to a third party. If a third party has a storage solution that is not plastic, but more environmentally friendly, they may choose to exercise opportunity cost and utilize the more environmentally friendly (yet more costly) alternative storage solution. While their profit margins may not be as great, they may stand to gain the support of more “green” customers or realize some other financial relief from taking a more environmentally friendly approach. Note that opportunity costs are not always financial or quantifiable benefits. Opportunity cost exists anytime one solution prevails over another and there are gains and losses associated with declining the alternative choice.  

Consider your day today.  You are likely to encounter a choice you made today in which you exercised analysis of opportunity cost.  

Types of Economies

In traditional economies, the pricing of goods and services is guided by history, tradition, beliefs, and customs. Essentially, the traditional economy is built around the way society runs. Simple in principle, this type of economy has roots in bartering for goods and is perhaps one of the oldest forms of economics. Today, you tend to see this type of economy in mostly third-world countries. As a result, it suffers from a lack of forwarding progression as it relates to more modern and advanced medicine and technology.    

In a command market, the government dictates what goods will be produced and sold. A central power controls everything and dictates for what, how and whom the economy will answer. If done so by non-corrupt leaders, it can distribute wealth more fairly, and utilize a region’s resources more equitably. The drawback to this type of economy is potentially forcing individuals into jobs they don’t want and a lack of motivation from those who carry out the duties of this style of market.

In a market economy, the market is left to dictate what, how and for whom fundamental questions. In market economies, the economy is driven by a combination of the desires of individuals and businesses with little to no room for government input. It essentially operates in the direct opposite fashion of a command market. The advantages of this type of market include an entrepreneurial driven environment, healthy investments in research, and a less competitive business atmosphere. The disadvantages of this type of market manifest themselves in low funding of social services, monopolies, and income inequalities.  

Political Science

This competency includes about 18 multiple-choice questions which make up about 15% of the entire exam.

This section tests your knowledge of the guiding principles of the Constitution.  This section also tests your knowledge of the functions of both local and state government, the ability to compare and contrast various political systems, and your ability to determine the guiding principles and associated results of foreign policy.  

Let’s talk about some concepts that you will likely see on the test.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was a collaborative effort initiated by Canada, the United States, and a handful of European Nations. It was initiated to offset Russia’s Soviet aggression during the Cold War. It inevitably provided a good forum for the United States to limit Russia’s expansions and functioned as a counterweight to Soviet advances. Nuclear testing in Russia was a major catalyst. The Korean War further strengthened NATO. The Warsaw Pact was a collective effort of various communist countries attempting to offset the NATO Alliance. NATO was essentially the United States’ first peacetime military alliance It was founded under a United Nations charter. Today, NATO has 29 members (countries) and is still dedicated to the security of the North Atlantic region.  

Branches of the Federal Government

The Constitution divides the federal government into 3 equal branches- the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch.  

As you may have guessed, the President of the United States, along with his Vice President and Cabinet, make up the Executive Branch. The President serves as both Head of State and Commander in Chief but acts with his Vice President and Cabinet to enforce legislation put in place by the Legislative Branch.  

Established in Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch, or Congress, is comprised of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The Constitution grants Congress the sole responsibility of enacting laws, initiating revenue bills, declaring war, impeaching officials like the President, and raising and appropriating funds to put laws, or bills, into action.  

The Judicial Branch is appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. The Judicial Branch interprets laws passed by Congress and ultimately decides whether or not they are Constitutional. The Judicial Branch operates with a system of district courts, courts of appeal, and the highest court, the Supreme Court.  

World History

This competency includes about 30 multiple-choice questions which make up about 25% of the entire exam.

This section tests your knowledge of early and ancient civilizations, understanding the major contributions of various eras which gave rise to significant contributions to society. You should also be able to identify the cause and outcome of major wars. This section also tests for understanding of major religions, the timeline of major eras, and the historical figures who left their footprint on society.  

Let’s look at some concepts that are likely to pop up on the test.


Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician and philosopher. During his time, most people attributed illnesses to “wrath of the Gods.” Hippocrates was the first to suggest that sickness had a natural cause that was not a result of superstition.  Hippocrates is credited with establishing the first School of Medicine. You might recognize the Hippocratic Oath as an oath many physicians take today before beginning their practice of medicine. Presently, this approach involves addressing a patient, their symptoms, and their habits and lifestyle choices before determining their course of treatment.   


Hinduism, an Indian religion, is one of the most widely practiced religions in the world. However, over 95% of the world’s Hindus reside in India. Hindus believe in a single deity, Brahman, who is the ultimate being. A Hindu priority is the “soul” and the belief that salvation ends the cycle of reincarnation. Another Hindu principle is the “what goes around, comes around” mentality. This causes people to believe actions on Earth impact their present lives as well as their future lives.  Hindus hold all living organisms in high regard and as such, tend to be vegetarians.  

The Renaissance

Following the end of the Middle Ages, around the late 14th century, the Italians declared an age of “rebirth.” In fact, the word Renaissance translates to “rebirth.”  The period was characterized by tremendous advancements in art, science, and literature. During this time came the invention of the printing press, emerging ideas of humanism, and a more modern approach to thinking and visualizing man’s place. The creation of the printing press allowed for the spread and distribution of ideas to all types of people. Some of the greatest painters and sculptors of all time dominated during the Renaissance, including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. William Shakespeare transformed literature as one of the most famous playwrights and writers of all time during the Renaissance. The end of the historical epoch came around the end of the 15th Century when European kings battled for rights to the wealthy Peninsula. The Catholic Orthodoxy also challenged the age of more radical, free-thinking.  

U.S. History

This competency includes about 30 multiple-choice questions which make up about 25% of the entire exam.

This section tests your knowledge of major wars like the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II, including what led to them and the end results. It tests your knowledge of major historical figures that shaped the outcome of the war, and the evolution of the world’s progress and history. You should be able to identify social, political, and economic characteristics of various, influential eras of the past, including the influence of immigration to specific areas.  

Here are some concepts that are likely to be part of the test.

The Battles of Lexington and Concord

The American Revolution was the battle for American independence that began in 1775 against the British Empire. In 1775, a majority of Americans were opposed to war as tensions grew amongst Great Britain’s North American Colonies. Armed conflict ended in an unlikely defeat when British General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington in 1781 in Yorktown.

The British Government attempted to increase revenue by taxing the American colonies. The citizens felt they were not treated as equal British subjects and that they were unjustly represented in British Parliament. The signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 severed the 13 American colonies ties to the British Crown and granted independence to these colonies. Shortly thereafter began the growing idea of nationalism that eventually led to Manifest Destiny.  

Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny was the widespread, expansionist belief in the 19th Century that settlers of North America were destined to spread across North America and inevitably govern the continent. Following American independence from Great Britain in the American Revolution, the unity brought about by newfound nationalism led to the desire for more territory. The idea was to move west toward the Pacific and “replace ignorance with civilization.” This movement was fueled by economic incentivization and a quest for American superiority.    

Ponce de Leon

Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer who is the first known explorer to reach the mainland that is now the United States, specifically Florida. In a European expedition to find gold, he landed in the southeast corner of what is now Florida.  He was appointed by the Spanish king as the first governor of Puerto Rico in earlier career expeditions. While he is credited as the one to advance Spanish colonization and discover Florida, native people had inhabited the area for some time and were aggressively resistant to the settling of European explorers there.  The opposition and uprising of local tribes and warriors in the area eventually led to his death in 1521 at the age of 61.  

Social Science Methodology

This competency includes about 12 multiple-choice questions which make up about 10% of the entire exam.

This section tests your knowledge of various social science disciplines and concepts. You are also expected to know the correlation amongst those disciplines and how they impact one another. This section also tests your understanding of primary versus secondary resources, their use, and your ability to recognize the most effective methodology for teaching the social sciences.  

Let’s talk about some concepts that are likely to be on the test.

Social Science Disciplines

Social Science Disciplines include:

  • Anthropology– This is the scientific study of humans and human behavior including their biology, language, culture, evolutionary history, etc.
  • Economics & Management– This is the scientific study of the production, distribution, utilization, and consumption of goods and/or services for the purposes of benefitting society and/or obtaining some form of financial gain by an entity.   
  • History– This is the in-depth study of the past utilizing written documents or artifacts for the purpose of linking the past to the future. Understanding and analyzing the tensions that led to war and agreements reached following major wars is important for us to learn from our past. It helps teach us how to avoid and navigate future conflict. It also gives us insight into how and why things work the way they do today, how we as a country got here, and how we succeed and thrive.  
  • Human Services– Think “Serving Society.”  While Human Services is a broad field, in all disciplines, its focus is to improve the quality of life for the population it serves. Human Services accomplishes this through charitable efforts, addressing social concerns, and assisting others for the purpose of bettering their community or organization.  
  • Sociology– This is the scientific study of society, including social problems, interactions, and relationships.
  • Psychology– This is the study of cognitive, emotional, and social impact on the mind and relationships. You could also consider it the study of the interaction of human systems.
  • Political Sciences– This is the study of politics, including ideas, laws, policy, strategies, diplomacy, and wars. This includes the study of local, international, global and diplomatic viewpoints.  

Primary versus Secondary Sources

A primary source provides a first-hand account of an event or experience. For example, an autobiography is a first-hand account of someone’s life written by the individual. A secondary source is information relayed secondhand by someone who did not experience or witness something first-hand. For instance, a biography is an account of someone’s life written by someone other than who the biography is about.  

Another example is scholarly publications of research. If the individual who conducted the experiment or participated in the experiment wrote the article, it is a primary source. If a group of researchers sit down to do an interview and tell someone else about the experiment, the interviewer then writes a secondary recollection of what they are told. This writing is a secondary resource.  

And that’s some basic info about the FTCE Social Science 6-12 exam.

Exam Content Practice Test

Question 1

Urbanization in the Florida Everglades region has affected the environment in which of the following ways?

  1. deteriorated water quality
  2. increased green space
  3. reintroduction of marsh lands
  4. introduction of several invasive species

Correct Answer: 1


  1. The redirection of water to Florida cities was necessary to support increased urbanization. This has led to deteriorated water quality.
  2. Increased urbanization has led to decreased amounts of green space.
  3. Urbanization has reduced the abundance of marsh land.
  4. While the wildlife in the Everglades has been dramatically impacted by urbanization, invasive species are not to blame.

Question 2

Which of the following is the best example for a teacher to use when showing the direct impact of human activities on the environment?

  1. mountain lakes resulting from glacier runoff
  2. an oasis in the desert
  3. destruction of an earthquake on urban environments
  4. irrigation channels in agricultural communities

Correct Answer: 4


  1. Glacier runoff is not a direct impact of human activity. This is a naturally occurring process.
  2. An oasis is not man-made.
  3. An earthquake is not caused by humans.
  4. Irrigation channels are created by humans to direct water flow to agricultural crops. This is the best example of the direct impact of humans on the environment.

Question 3

In China, the government determines which goods should be produced and at what quantities. This is an example of a:

  1. traditional economy.
  2. command economy.
  3. market economy.
  4. mixed economy.

Correct Answer: 2


  1. A traditional economy is based mostly on subsistence farming, in which most people produce food to feed only their own families. There is little to no trade and no industrialization.
  2. This is an example of a command economy, in which the government determines what is produced and how much is produced.
  3. In a market economy, what is produced and how much is produced is determined solely by the market. There are no pure market economies in the world today.
  4. In a mixed economy, what is produced and how much is produced is determined primarily by the market, with some government intervention.

Question 4

An anthropologist studies how the number of words a culture uses to describe colors affects the way its members see those colors. This is an example of:

  1. cultural anthropology.
  2. archaeological anthropology.
  3. linguistic anthropology.
  4. physical anthropology.

Correct Answer: 3


  1. Cultural anthropology is the study of human cultures in the recent past as well as in the present
  2. Physical anthropology is the study of biological traits and the identification of changes in those traits.
  3. Linguistic anthropology is the study of the similarities and dissimilarities and how these languages change over time.
  4. Archaeological anthropology is the study of ancient societies using items that they have left behind.

Question 5

Which of the following institutions is responsible for initiating tax law in the United States?

  1. the Executive Branch
  2. Congress
  3. the Federal Reserve
  4. the International Monetary Fund

Correct Answer:  2


  1. The Executive Branch must sign all legislation before it becomes law, but they do not initiate any laws.
  2. Congress is responsible for drafting and passing all legislation, including tax law, which must be signed by the president before it can come into effect.
  3. The Federal Reserve is responsible for managing the monetary policy of the United States but they do not regulate taxation.
  4. The International Monetary Fund handles global monetary fluctuations, not taxation in the United States.

Question 6

Billy is saving to buy a new phone. Billy’s friends invite him to go to dinner and a movie. He wants to go, but decides that saving his money for a new phone is more important. Billy’s choice best demonstrates which of the following?

  1. opportunity cost
  2. supply and demand
  3. scarcity of resources
  4. comparative advantage

Correct Answer:  1


  1. Opportunity cost is the concept that the cost of an activity is not the monetary loss a person receives, but rather what their time and efforts could otherwise have been dedicated to.
  2. Supply and demand is a model of price determination in any given market.
  3. Scarcity refers to the limitation of resources in a given scenario.
  4. Comparative advantage refers to the idea that a specific person, people, or geographic area has had an advantage in the production of a good or service.

Question 7

Capitalism is best defined by which of the following features?

  1. common ownership of the means of production
  2. one man, one vote
  3. equal distribution of wealth
  4. private ownership of the means of production

Correct Answer:  4


  1. Common ownership of the means of production is a key feature of communism, not capitalism.
  2. One man, one vote is a feature of democratic political systems but not economic systems like capitalism.
  3. Equal distribution of wealth is more characteristic of socialism and communism.
  4. Capitalism is an economic system defined by private ownership of the means of production as a way of generating economic profit.

Question 8

Mrs. Yarbrough wants to demonstrate to her students the difference in the standard of living between citizens of various countries. Which of the following metrics would be most useful to share with the students?

  1. percentage of government spending vs. charitable giving
  2. the growth rate of a population
  3. per capita gross domestic product
  4. per capita gross national product

Correct Answer:  3


  1. Government spending and charitable giving do not reflect the incomes and the cost of goods in a country.
  2. The growth rate of the population would not reflect a standard of living. Many times, very poor countries have high growth rates and developed countries have low growth rates.
  3. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation measures the economic output of a country; it is a monetary value of goods and services produced by a country.
  4. Gross national product (GNP) is the measure of all the citizens’ economic production of a country, regardless of where the citizens might live. Gross national product differs from gross domestic product because GNP accounts for citizens who live in other parts of the world and is not useful for measuring the output of a country’s economy.

Question 9

Which of the following most influenced the development of representative government in the United States?

  1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  2. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
  3. Democracy in America by Alexis Tocqueville
  4. Two Treatises of Government by John Locke

Correct Answer:  4


  1. The Communist Manifesto outlines the doctrine of communism–which is not a representative form of government.
  2. The Rights of Man was published in 1791. It was influential to the French Revolution, but because it was published after the forming of the U.S. government, it did not have an influence on the development of representative government in the U.S.
  3. Democracy in America was published in 1835 and is a commentary on American society through the eyes of the French writer, Alexis de Tocqueville.
  4. The Two Treatises of Government by John Locke was published in 1689 and had a significant influence on the development of representative government in the U.S. In the book, Locke states that the best government is a contract between the people and the government, establishing that the people should give power to the government and that the power of the government should come from the people and not a king or monarchy.

Question 10

Which of the following constitutional amendments prohibits the denial of voting based upon race, color, or previous servitude?

  1. the Thirteenth Amendment
  2. the Fifteenth Amendment
  3. the Nineteenth Amendment
  4. the Twenty-First Amendment

Correct Answer:  2


  1. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery.
  2. The Fifteenth Amendment prohibited the denial to vote based on race, color, or previous servitude.
  3. The Nineteenth Amendment prohibited the denial to vote based on sex.
  4. The Twenty-First Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, which prohibited the manufacturing or sale of alcohol.

Question 11

Which of the following are best defined as rights that are possessed by all individuals, regardless of place, time, or government jurisdiction?

  1. natural rights
  2. divine rights
  3. property rights
  4. Miranda rights

Correct Answer:  1


  1. Natural rights are seen as belonging to an individual with no requirement. They are traditionally seen as life, liberty, and property (or the pursuit of happiness). Natural rights, like natural law, extend beyond culture, society, or time period.
  2. Divine rights are the belief that certain individuals have God-given rights to rule (such as kings and queens) and to question or rebel against their rule would be a sin.
  3. Property rights refer to the right to own land and determine how to allocate resources on that land. They are determined by a government and have varied across location and historical time period.
  4. The Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona (1966) found that defendants had to be informed of their rights to consult an attorney for their testimony to be admissible in court. It led to the requirement of all law enforcement to read defendants their “Miranda Rights” while arresting them.

Question 12

The Great Compromise during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 resulted in which of the following agreements?

  1. the importation of African slaves being illegal ten years after the ratification of the Constitution
  2. the implementation of judicial review
  3. a bicameral legislative body
  4. the President serving in terms of four-year periods

Correct Answer:  3


  1. The Constitutional Convention protected the institution of slavery through Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution. In 1807, a new act was ratified to outlaw the importation of African slaves, though hereditary slavery continued.
  2. The idea of judicial review was a result of the Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison in 1803.
  3. The Great Compromise was a compromise between states in the formation of the Constitution. Larger states wanted more influence in Congress because they had more people that would be affected by federal laws; the smaller states were concerned the larger states, if given more delegates, would impose their will on the smaller states, rendering the smaller states powerless. The compromise was the creation of the Senate and House of Representatives with each state getting two seats in the Senate and the House of Representative delegates being allocated based on state population.
  4. The decision to have presidents serve a four-year term was relatively uncontroversial. It was believed that four years was a long enough term to accomplish presidential goals while avoiding the perception of an elected kingship.

Question 13

Which of the following is not a major component of modern Florida’s economy?

  1. oil
  2. agriculture
  3. tourism
  4. trade

Correct Answer: 1


  1. Oil is not a major component of Florida’s economy.
  2. Florida produces a massive amount of fruits and vegetables because of its long growing season.
  3. Florida has one of the largest tourism industries of all the states.
  4. With numerous ports, Florida has a huge trade economy.

Question 14

Which of the following groups of Europeans brought citrus to modern-day Florida?

  1. Dutch
  2. Spanish
  3. French
  4. British

Correct Answer: 2


  1. The Dutch hardly explored Florida.
  2. The Spanish explorers brought citrus seeds, such as oranges and lemons.
  3. While the French did explore Florida, they are not remembered for bringing citrus seeds.
  4. While Britain did control Florida for about 20 years, they are not remembered for bringing citrus seeds.

Question 15

Which of the following is the greatest impact of Alexander the Great’s military conquests?

  1. the spread of Hellenistic culture across the known world
  2. the intermarrying of Greek soldiers with natives throughout his empire
  3. the unification of military technologies
  4. the established contact with Eastern civilizations

Correct Answer: 1


  1. As Alexander conquered territories, he allowed the local governments to remain intact and introduced Greek culture to the area. He did not force the culture on the natives, but he allowed them to adopt what aspects of the culture they wanted. This resulted in the spread of Hellenistic (or Greek) culture across the areas he conquered. As a result, travelers could go from town to town and have an idea of the culture and language from one town to the next. The ease of travel and communication that accompanied the spread of Hellenistic culture encouraged an increase of trade and an exchange of ideas.
  2. The intermarrying of Greek soldiers with natives may have aided the spread of Hellenistic culture but in itself is not the greatest impact of Alexander the Great’s military conquests.
  3. The unification of military technologies was not the greatest impact of Alexander the Great’s military conquests.
  4. While it was one benefit, establishing contact with eastern civilizations was not the greatest impact of Alexander the Great’s military conquests.

Question 16

Which of the following is the greatest contribution of Greece to modern Western society?

  1. architecture
  2. military strategy
  3. democratic governance
  4. religion

Correct Answer: 3


  1. Although Greece is known for having fantastic monuments, architecture is not considered the greatest contribution of Greece to Western society.
  2. Military strategy is not considered the greatest contribution of Greece to Western society.
  3. The foundations of democracy began in the city-states of Greece, where male citizens were given an equal vote in legislative matters. The idea spread to the Roman Republic as citizens voted for their leaders. The political philosophy of Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato would later influence philosophers, including John Locke, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. While the other answer options are areas where Greece did influence Western society, the idea of democratic governance is by the far the greatest as the government creates and enforces laws.
  4. While Greek religion did influence Western society, it is not considered the greatest contribution of Greece to Western society.

Question 17

Which of the following best describes an important difference between Buddhism and Hinduism?

  1. Hinduism involves living your life in a way that leads to reincarnation into an improved social-economic level, while Buddhism involves finding happiness through rejecting attachments.
  2. In Hinduism, good deeds are believed to be rewarded in this life, while Buddhism teaches that rewards come in the afterlife.
  3. The goal of Buddhism is to reach enlightenment, but the goal of Hinduism is finding happiness through service to others.
  4. Hinduism teaches that hard work and good deeds can improve your status in this life, but Buddhism focuses on spiritual enlightenment through the study of spiritual teachings.

Correct Answer:  1


  1. Hinduism teaches that individuals are born into a socio-economic class and are required to stay in that class the length of their lives. Individuals can move up or down in a class only in their next lives, but moving up or down is determined by the actions in their current lives. The goal of Buddhism is to reach enlightenment, which requires the study of spiritual teachings and the renouncement of attachments, such as material wealth.
  2. In Hinduism, good deeds are rewarded in the next life; in Buddhism, enlightenment can be reached through study and renouncement of material wealth during life.
  3. Hinduism is not focused on happiness through service specifically, but on acting in a way that brings happiness, or status, in the next life.
  4. Individuals can move up or down in a class only in their next lives, but moving up or down is determined by the actions in their current lives.

Question 18

What is the most important consequence of the European crusades that sought to reclaim the Holy Lands in the name of Christendom?

  1. established trade with Asia
  2. reclaimed the city of Jerusalem and made it safe for Christians to pilgrimage there
  3. established the authority of the Roman Catholic Church
  4. reinforced the military strength of Byzantium

Correct Answer: 1


  1. The Crusades led to an established trade with Europe and Asia. This trade led to the knowledge of Ancient Greece and Rome to be reintroduced to Europe through Arab traders, igniting the Renaissance and Age of Exploration.
  2. Jerusalem was only under Christian rule for a short time.
  3. The Crusades did increase the power of the church, but not in the way or to the extent that they had hoped.
  4. The Crusades did not successfully reinforce the military strength of Byzantium.

Question 19

Which of the following is considered the beginning of the Scientific Revolution?


  1. Francis Bacon introducing the idea of the scientific method and experimentation using empirical evidence
  2. Copernicus putting forth the idea that the universe was heliocentric
  3. Isaac Newton defining the law of gravity
  4. Isaac Newton defining the Laws of Motion

Correct Answer:  2


  1. This was an important part of the Scientific Revolution, but it is not considered the starting event.
  2. When Copernicus wrote in his book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres that the universe was heliocentric, or sun-centered, rather than geocentric (Earth-centered), he sparked a new interest in science that is now considered the beginning of the Scientific Revolution.
  3. This was an important part of the Scientific Revolution, but it is not considered the starting event.
  4. This was an important part of the Scientific Revolution, but it is not considered the starting event.

Question 20

What settlement founded in the early 1600s was most influential for the future course of America?

  1. Quebec
  2. Saint Augustine
  3. Massachusetts Bay Colony
  4. Roanoke Colony

Correct Answer: 3


  1. Quebec was a French settlement and would later be an important settlement in the lands of modern-day Canada. Although Quebec is very influential in Canadian history, it is not significantly important in American history.
  2. St. Augustine was the oldest European settlement in the modern-day United States. It was founded by the Spanish in 1565 and was the first stone fort. St. Augustine is not an important settlement in the history of America because it was so far removed from many of the critical events in the nation’s history.
  3. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was one of the first colonies in New England. The colony would serve as the center for the Northern colonies for over a hundred years. Also, the democratic governmental structure of the colony established a democratic culture in the new American colonies.
  4. Roanoke Colony was a settlement attempt in the late 16th century. The inhabitants of the island mysteriously disappeared and with no record of what happened to them except the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree. To this day, historians are not sure of the fate of the Roanoke settlers.

Question 21

A social studies class is learning about the causes of the American Revolution. The teacher asks the students to find three reasons for the Revolution that are outlined in the Declaration of Independence. Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, which of the following is the highest level of thinking required for the assignment?

  1. analysis
  2. synthesis
  3. application
  4. knowledge

Correct Answer: 1


  1. Analysis is the ability to distinguish between material and concepts to understand structure and process. This is the correct answer because a student would need to analyze the Declaration and the concepts within it to understand the structure of the document and the claims for revolting against England.
  2. Synthesis is the ability to build and recognize patterns. This is a higher level than analysis, but skills at this stage would not be needed to analyze the Declaration of Independence. The students are just finding three reasons, not synthesizing this information into a pattern.
  3. Application is the ability to apply what was learned in a new, different situation. The student has not learned the concepts in the Declaration of Independence yet, but must review the document for reasons. Students need a higher skill than application to complete the teacher’s assignment.
  4. Knowledge is the lowest on Bloom’s Taxonomy, and is the ability to recall data or information. Students need a much higher skill than simply recalling data to complete the teacher’s assignment.

Question 22

One reason the American Revolution is significant in world history is because it:

  1. delayed the Industrial Revolution in Europe.
  2. ended British influence in the Western Hemisphere.
  3. set an example for future revolutions and constitutional governments.
  4. adopted reforms from the French Revolution.

Correct Answer: 3


  1. The Industrial Revolution did follow the American Revolution, but it is not thought to have been delayed by it.
  2. Following the American Revolution, Britain still had colonies further north in Canada.
  3. The American Revolution was one of the first successful revolutions where a colony gained independence from its parent country. Over the next hundred and fifty years, colonies in Asia, India, Africa, Central and South America would begin their own revolutions to gain independence. As the countries gained independence, many established constitutional governments that emulated the Constitution crafted by the Founding Fathers.
  4. The American Revolution helped influence the French Revolution, because French soldiers fought alongside American soldiers during the American Revolution.

Question 23

During the era of Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War, carpetbagger was a term usually associated with which of the following?

  1. a southerner migrating to the North in search of employment
  2. a northerner migrating to the South in the hopes of investing and capitalizing on economic opportunities after the Civil War
  3. a former slave migrating north in search of an improved socioeconomic life
  4. a southern plantation owner forbidding Union supporters from working on the plantation

Correct Answer: 2


  1. Carpetbaggers were northerners who moved south.
  2. The derogatory term refers to northern businessmen who moved south looking to capitalize on the South’s economy. Southerners thought “carpetbaggers” were vultures who exploited the plight of the South for their gain.
  3. Carpetbaggers were northerners who moved south.
  4. Carpetbaggers were northerners who moved south.

Question 24

Which of the following was the greatest contributing factor to the start of the Great Depression?

  1. WWII
  2. the election of Herbert Hoover
  3. political unrest following WWI
  4. the stock market crash in 1929

Correct Answer:  4


  1. WWII played a significant role in ending the Great Depression.
  2. Herbert Hoover was President when the Great Depression began, but his election is not considered the cause.
  3. Many issues and conflicts remained throughout the world following WWII, but they are not considered as significant of a factor as the stock market crash in 1929.
  4. The stock market crash in 1929 led to a worldwide economic downturn.

Question 25

Which of the following would be the most effective assignment to assess a student’s ability to analyze the digging of the Erie Canal on the development of the Midwest and New York?

  1. Participate in a play about life on a ship in the 19th century
  2. Prepare a report on the first European exploration of New York and the Great Lakes
  3. Trace a map and label the waterways that the Erie Canal joined
  4. Create a cause-and-effect flow chart about the Erie Canal

Correct Answer: 4


  1. While a play about life on a ship might provide the student with a new perspective of naval travel in the 19th century, it would not require the student to assess or analyze the impact of the Erie Canal.
  2. While a report on first European exploration might provide the student with a new perspective of European exploration and settlement in the 17th century, it would not require the student to assess or analyze the impact of the Erie Canal.
  3. Tracing a map and labeling the waterways will help the students understand which waterways the Erie Canal connected. This is a good first step in understanding the impact of the Erie Canal, but it does not require the student to analyze the impact of the Erie Canal.
  4. This is the best answer because the student must assess the causes of the Erie Canal and the effect, or impact, of the Erie Canal. Because the Erie Canal connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, the impact of the Erie Canal on the Midwest is substantial.
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