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					2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

Compiled by Philip Vinogradov Centennial School District

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

Compiled by Philip Vinogradov Centennial School District

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

Nature of Science Practice. Mark your answers on both your test and your scantron sheet.

1. A B C

Which statement best compares scientific theories with scientific laws? Both theories and laws are important steps in the scientific method. Both theories and laws are irrefutable and final descriptions of nature. Both theories and laws are accepted to be true but are often refuted by new evidence.

D

Both theories and laws are accepted to be true and can be used to make predictions.

2.

The picture shows the results of pouring a blue liquid into a clear liquid and allowing the mixture to settle for 25 minutes. Compared to the clear liquid, the blue liquid is more —

A B C D

massive dense viscous soluble

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

3. Students tested three different types of laundry detergent to determine how effective they were at removing stains. The washing was done with the same washing machine set at the same water temperature. Each type of stain was on the same fabric and was the same size and shape. The students recorded the number of times the fabric had to be washed to completely remove each stain. The students had a null hypothesis: Detergents X, Y, and Z are equally effective at removing stains. Which conclusion is best supported by the data?

A B C D

Detergent X is more effective than both Y and Z at removing these stains. Detergent Y is more effective than both X and Z at removing these stains. Detergent X is more effective than Y at removing stains, but equal in effectiveness to Z. Detergent Z is more effective than X at removing stains, but equal in effectiveness to Y.

4. Students have observed a flock of birds near the school. They want to do an investigation that involves the birds. Which question is a testable question? A B C D Do these birds migrate south every winter? Why are the birds near the school? Do the birds like to eat only at one feeder? How many birds come to a feeder with sunflower seeds?

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

5. Which geometric shape is the most basic recurring element in the truss bridge?

A B C D

cube square trapezoid triangle

6. Boiling water can be used to sanitize dishes. The data above show how sanitizing time varies in different locations. Which inference is supported by these data? A B C D The boiling point of water is constant at higher altitudes. The boiling point of water is affected by elevation. Water takes longer to boil at Fort Davis than at sea level. Boiling water changes temperature at a faster rate at Corpus Christi than at higher elevations.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

7. The table shows the time it took trees of the same type and size to drop all of their leaves after being grown in different atmospheres. For the experiment to be valid, which of these must be a constant for all the trees? A B C D The height of all the trees during the entire experiment The amount of water available to all trees during the experiment The mass of fallen leaves collected from each tree The rate of photosynthesis in all trees during the experiment

The following hypothesis refers to iron in the topsoil found on an island formed from limestone.

Hypothesis: Much of the iron found in the topsoil of the island was carried from Africa by huge dust clouds.
8. Which study would most likely be used to investigate this hypothesis? A B C D Tracking dust clouds with satellite photos Determining the effects of iron on limestone Calculating erosion rates in African limestone mines Analyzing the content of comet dust clouds

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

9. Horses kept in stables sometimes chew on wood. This can lead to damage to the mouth and digestive system. The graph shows the results of a study of a medication that prevents horses from chewing on wood. From the graph, what inference can be made about the effectiveness of the product? A B C D Most horses like the medication. The medication is most effective between Days 4 and 5. Most horses will show improvement within 7 days. The effects of the medication are long lasting.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

10. The model above is set up to show how a lunar eclipse occurs. What is the greatest limitation of this model? A B C D The lightbulb is standing straight up instead of tilted on an axis. Comparative sizes and distances are inaccurate. The shadow is being cast in the wrong direction. The heat released is much less than that released by the sun

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2009 Science PSSA Practice
This is a short open-ended (SOE) question. It is worth two points. Use the diagram and table below to answer question 11

Grade 8

11. Answer parts A and B below about the movements of the objects in this star system.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice
This is a short open-ended (SOE) question. It is worth two points. 12. Answer parts A and B below about how a doctor uses microscopes.

Grade 8

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

13. The picture above shows four varieties of the same species of grass that grow in a prairie ecosystem. Which variety has the best chance of surviving a long period of dry weather? A B C D Variety 1 Variety 2 Variety 3 Variety 4

14. A small lake has an algae bloom, and the water is very green. Which change is most likely the cause of the algae growth? A B C D an increase in the amount of fertilizer used near the lake an increase in the amount of fresh water flowing into the lake an increase in the number of people fishing in the lake an increase in the number of boats using the lake

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

15. A grassland community is pictured above. Grasses are considered — A B C D secondary consumers primary consumers decomposers producers

16. Which of the following processes helps the body maintain chemical balance? A B C D Tears washing away dust from the eyes Rib bones protecting internal organs Hair growing faster in winter months Cells using sugar in the blood

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

17. The diagram shows several phases of the nitrogen cycle. Which of the following describes the most likely effect of removing some plants from the area by using chemical herbicides? A B C D The rate of erosion of rocks on the ground would be slowed. The flow of necessary nutrients would be disrupted. The ability of plants to complete photosynthesis would be increased. The infiltration of water into the ground would be halted.

18. The single-celled organisms shown above live in water. What is the main function of the structures identified by the arrows? A B C D Absorbing water Removing wastes Helping with motion Getting food

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

19. Which of the following explains this phenomenon? A B C D Competition Extinction Predation Speciation

20. Which statement correctly describes a water cycle process? A Evaporation can occur when water gains energy from the Sun and changes into water vapor. B Condensation can occur when liquid water molecules in clouds lose energy and fall to Earth. C Transpiration can occur when atmospheric water vapor gains energy and moves higher in the atmosphere. D Precipitation can occur when atmospheric water vapor loses energy and forms liquid water droplets.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

21. Which molecule in the equation represents food energy made by plants? A B C D Carbon dioxide Water Glucose Oxygen

22. In the food web above, which of the following organisms feeds on the largest variety of different producers?

A

B

C

D

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

23. Which of the following best represents stored potential energy? A B C D Air leaking from a flat tire Stress built up in a rock fault Heat given off by a forest fire Water flowing through a hose

24. When a DVD is read, laser light touches the DVD surface and is then measured at location A. What allows light to return to location A after striking the DVD surface? A B C D Conduction Refraction Magnification Reflection

25. Diesel fuel is used in the engines of machines and trucks. Which of these is the main energy transformation as the fuel is used by the engines? A B C D Electrical energy is converted to heat energy. Heat energy is converted to potential energy. Electrical energy is converted to kinetic energy. Chemical energy is converted to kinetic energy.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

26. The graph shows the movement of a car over time. What is the car’s average speed? A B C D 10 kilometers per hour 15 kilometers per hour 30 kilometers per hour 60 kilometers per hour

27. The graph shows how the momentum of a given mass changes during a period of motion. According to the information, what is the momentum in kg m/s at 2.75 seconds?

A C

170kgm/s 150kgm/s

B D

200kgm/s 225kgm/s

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

28. At which point on the roller coaster will the car have the greatest amount of kinetic energy? A B C D W X Y Z

29. The table shows properties of four liquids that are insoluble in water. If the four liquids are poured into an Erlenmeyer flask containing water, which liquid will form a layer below the water? A B C D liquid Q liquid R liquid S liquid T

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

30. Which letter in this model of a boron atom represents a neutron? A B C D W X Y Z

31. According to the periodic table, which of the following best represents a carbon atom?

A

B

C

D

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

32. A cosmetics company markets bottles of nail polish remover with the label shown above. A consumer group concluded that the claim that the acetone is 100% pure is false. What is the most likely reason the consumer group reached this conclusion? A B C D The acetone has probably dissolved some of the bottle. The group has found that other claims by the company are false. There are ingredients other than acetone in the nail polish remover. Pure acetone is a flammable liquid, as stated on the label.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

33. Death Valley, one of the driest places on Earth, is located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Which statement correctly explains why the east side of these mountains is so much drier than the west side? A Since weather systems generally move from east to west in the United States, as an air mass reaches the mountains, it rises and cools, and its moisture condenses and precipitates.

B

Since weather systems generally move from east to west in the United States, as an air mass reaches the mountains, it rises and warms, and its moisture evaporates and precipitates.

C

Since weather systems generally move from west to east in the United States, as an air mass reaches the mountains, it rises and cools, and its moisture condenses and precipitates.

D

Since weather systems generally move from west to east in the United States, as an air mass reaches the mountains, it rises and warms, and its moisture evaporates and precipitates.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

34. This picture shows a small section of a solar power plant. Which of these decreases the energy production at such power plants?

A B C D

Cloudy skies Ozone in the air Hot weather Low humidity

35. The transfer of carbon that results from burning fossil fuels will most likely affect Earth in the future by — A B C D raising the average global temperature reducing evaporation rates of ocean water decreasing the total mass of plant life making air transparent to ultraviolet light

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

36. The picture shows sand used to make a model of a galaxy. In the model, each grain of sand best represents — A B C D a comet a black hole an asteroid a star

37. Heavy rains in an aquifer’s recharge zone cause rivers and streams to flood. How will this most likely affect the aquifer? A B C D The total water volume will increase. The outflow from natural springs will decrease. The water level in the aquifer will decrease. The rate of water use by humans will increase.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

38. The photographs above show how a change in climate is affecting the size of Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park. Which of the following best explains the change in the glacier between 1910 and 1997? A B C D Higher average temperatures Higher frequency of earthquakes Higher total precipitation Higher rates of wind erosion

39. In the Picture of the quarry above, which is the youngest rock layer? A B C D Layer Z Layer W Layer Y Layer X

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

40. At the quarry, soil was removed to get to the rock layers underneath. Which part of the environment was probably least affected by this soil being removed? A B C D Air Groundwater Runoff water Plants

41. In spring 2003 a natural rock outcropping in New Hampshire called the Old Man of the Mountain collapsed. Which of the following most likely loosened the rock and caused it to fall? A B C D Heat turning sedimentary rock into metamorphic rock Water freezing and thawing inside cracks in the rock Volcanic activity producing pressure at the rock’s base Oxygen reacting with iron on the surface of the rock

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Grade 8

42. The diagram shows the orbit of the moon around Earth. Between which two points will the moon appear to change from a new moon to a quarter moon? A B C D Q and R R and S S and T T and Q

43. Two unknown metallic-looking minerals appear gray in color. They are of equal size, yet one is heavier than the other. One unknown mineral is hematite and the other is galena. According to the characteristics listed in the table, which explanation is correct for mineral samples of equal size? A B C D Galena is the heavier mineral because it is less dense than hematite and weighs more. Galena is the heavier mineral because it is more dense than hematite and weighs more. Hematite is the heavier mineral because it is less dense than galena and weighs more. Hematite is the heavier mineral because it is more dense than galena and weighs more.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice Science Scenarios

Science Scenario

Always skip ahead, preview the questions, and then read the information, highlighting parts that will help you answer questions. Work through this example in small groups, then share as a class.

Use the information presented below to answer questions 44-47.

Six metal weights are available for the tests; each weight has the same volume and mass. The strength of the electromagnet is measured by counting the number of metal weights that can be suspended from the rod like a chain. A description of the functions of the device’s switches is below.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Science Scenario

44. Which sequence correctly shows the energy conversions that allow the testing device to attract a metal weight with magnetic properties? A B battery (chemical to heat)  wire coil (heat to magnetic)  metal weight (magnetic to frictional) battery (chemical to electrical)  wire coil (electrical to magnetic) metal weight (magnetic to mechanical) C battery (electrical to magnetic)  wire coil (magnetic to heat) metal weight mechanical) D battery (electrical to mechanical)  wire coil (mechanical to magnetic)  metal (magnetic to gravitational) weight (heat to

45. Students attempted to use the device and the weights in an investigation. None of the metal weights were attracted to the electromagnet when they were placed near it. The students made sure that the power indicator light was on, then they tried every switch combination. Which system modification and test are necessary to solve the design fl aw in the experimental setup? A B C D Use copper metal weights and test the batteries. Use a copper rod and test the batteries. Use smaller metal weights and test the original weights and the smaller weights with a bar magnet. Use a larger iron rod and test the original metal weights with a bar magnet.

46. Which statement correctly describes the forces acting on the metal weights when the system design prevented them from being attracted to the electromagnet? A The balanced magnetic and gravitational forces were insufficient to overcome the inertia of the metal weight. B The balanced frictional and gravitational forces were insufficient to overcome the momentum of the metal weight. C The unbalanced frictional and gravitational forces were insufficient to overcome the inertia of the metal weight. D The unbalanced magnetic and gravitational forces were insufficient to overcome the momentum of the metal weight.

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2009 Science PSSA Practice

Science Scenario

47. The power switch is on. Which procedure will best determine the type of circuit that makes an electromagnet? A Set switch 1 to S. Change switches 2 and 3 to every combination. Observe the motion of the metal weights. B Set switch 1 to P. Change switches 2 and 3 to every combination. Observe the motion of the metal weights. C Set switch 2 to a constant setting. Change switches 1 and 3 to every combination. Observe the motion of the metal weights. D Set switches 2 and 3 to constant settings. Change switch 1 from P to S. Observe the motion of the metal weights.

Compiled by Philip Vinogradov Centennial School District

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