Scientific Method Test Study Guide
I.) Vocabulary: Define the following vocab words:
A. Variable: A factor that changes (remember there are 2 kinds- independent and dependent)
B. Control: The group that only has CONSTANTS (does not contain the experimental variable)(for comparison)
C. Constant: Things that remain the same in every set up in your experiment.
D. Independent Variable: The variable you manipulate. (CAUSES results)
E. Dependent Variable: The variable that changes as a result of your experiment (THE results)
F. Scientific Law: A scientific fact that cannot be disproven (often proven with math)
G. Theory: A hypothesis that has survived repeated testing (cannot be PROVEN but is accepted as true by most scientists)
H. Hypothesis: An educated guess that CAN BE TESTED
I. Quantitative: a description that includes a number (ex- I have 6 mice, the egg is 6 cm long)
J. Qualitative: describes the quality of an object (ex- color, condition, etc)
K. Inference: a “scientific opinion;” a description that includes a prediction or opinion
L. Observation: describes just the facts- no opinion or prediction (what you can see, hear, touch, etc)
II.) Steps of Scientific Method:
Review the following steps. (Can you describe each of these and recognize a good one?)
1. Problem Statement
2. Observations before Experiment (research, etc)
5. Observations after Experiment (data, etc)
6. Draw Conclusions
III.) Describe the difference between observations and inferences:
Observations include ONLY the facts whereas inferences are the opinions and predictions you make
based on your observations.
IV.) Safety Rules- Review the following rules of science safety. Be able to recognize a statement that
describes an unsafe lab practice.
1. Always wear safety goggles during a lab.
2. Never point a test tube at yourself or another person.
3. Never smell a solution directly without your teacher’s permission.
4. Read and listen to all lab directions before beginning an experiment.
5. No horseplay or joking around during a lab.
6. Return all equipment to proper place.
7. Only use the eyewash station or safety shower when directed by teacher.
8. Tie back long hair and baggy clothes.
V.) Practice Questions
1. Jennifer placed a jar of pond water on a sunny windowsill in her room. One week later, the water
was green. She decided that algae was in the pond water and had reproduced. Which of the following
statements is an observation?
a. Light caused the algae to reproduce. c. Water turned green after one week.
b. Boiled pond water would not turn green. d. All of the above.
2. Caleb has created a new vitamin that he thinks will reduce the production of stress associated with
going to high school. He recruits 100 freshmen with a history of stress problems. He has 50 of them
(Group A) take the vitamin with breakfast. The other 50 (Group B) take a fake vitamin with breakfast.
Both groups were told that they were getting the new vitamin. At the end of the day, 30 freshmen in
group A reported having less stress and 8 freshmen in group B reported having less stress.
a. Which people are in the control group? The students who did not get the new vitamin
b. What is the independent variable? The new vitamin
c. What is the dependent variable? The symptoms experienced (less stress)
3. Name one qualitative observation about your shirt.
(color, texture, smell, etc)
4. Name one quantitative observation about your shoe.
(size, length, width, etc)
Use the key given to identify the following statements.
KEY: A. Problem (stated or implied)
C. Statement of observation (before or after experiment)
5. The students will get better test scores if they study for 30 min right before the test. (B)
6. Some animals can change color. (C)
7. If I open the faucet, then it will increase the flow of water. (B)
8. With yeast and fuel added to water, the drink was carbonated. (accept C or D)
9. I need a date for Friday night. (A)
10. If leaf color change is related to temperature, then exposing plants to low temperatures
will result in changes in leaf color. (B)