HiSET Science Practice Test

Try our free HiSET Science practice test.

Congratulations - you have completed .

You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.

Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%


Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
Humans can breed plants and animals to have useful traits. By selecting which animals are allowed to reproduce, humans can influence an organism’s genotype. What name did Darwin use to describe this process?

A
Natural selection
B
Hybridism
C
Survival of the fittest
D
Artificial selection
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Darwin used the term artificial selection to distinguish this process from natural selection. Natural selection is the process by which living things with beneficial traits tend to survive and reproduce more than individuals with other, less successful, traits. It is also known as survival of the fittest.

Artificial selection, on the other hand, is the reproduction of organisms with beneficial traits resulting from the influence of humans.
Question 2
The Big Bang theory is a model used to explain the:

A
Reason the universe was created
B
Beginning of life
C
Origin of the universe
D
Law of gravity
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The Big Bang theory is the most popular and widely accepted explanation for how the universe began. According to the Big Bang model, all of the current and past matter in the universe came into existence at the same time (about 13.8 billion years ago). At this time, all matter was compacted into a very small ball with infinite density called a singularity. Suddenly, the singularity expanded, and the universe as we know it began.
Question 3
Mariana jumped off her row boat into the lake. As she pushed her body forward the boat moved backwards. Which of Newton’s laws best describes the motion of Mariana and her boat?

A
Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation
B
Newton’s First Law of Motion
C
Newton’s Second Law of Motion
D
Newton’s Third Law of Motion
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Newton's laws of motion describe the relationship between an object and the forces acting upon it, and its motion in response to these forces.

Newton’s First Law of Motion states that objects in motion remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force; objects at rest stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. For example, if a ball is sitting on the floor, it will stay on the floor until someone kicks it.

Newton’s Second Law of Motion states that the acceleration of an object is equal to the net force acting on it divided by an object’s mass. For example, when you throw a ball, the harder you throw, the more the ball accelerates.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same force that Mariana used to push forward made the boat move backwards.
Question 4
Questions 4–5 are based on the following information.

A study was done to measure the effectiveness of an antibiotic on different bacteria. The antibiotic Vancomycin was tested on 3 types of bacteria: Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. Bacterial growth was measured at 3 different durations of time exposure to the antibiotic: 1 hour, 24 hours, and 7 days. The rate of bacterial growth was measured by bacterial colony size at each time interval. The data for each duration was calculated and compiled into the graph shown below. As a control, each bacteria species was also grown with no exposure to the antibiotic. This control culture was measured after 7 days.

 
Based on these results, Vancomycin is most effective against:

A
Enterococcus
B
Staphylococcus
C
Streptococcus
D
It is equally effective against Staphylococcus and Streptococcus.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). An effective antibiotic prevents the growth of bacteria. So, to determine which bacteria Vancomycin is most effective against, locate the bacteria with the smallest colony size across each exposure time. According to the chart, Streptococcus has the smallest colony size at all three durations.
Question 5
A study was done to measure the effectiveness of an antibiotic on different bacteria. The antibiotic Vancomycin was tested on 3 types of bacteria: Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. Bacterial growth was measured at 3 different durations of time exposure to the antibiotic: 1 hour, 24 hours, and 7 days. The rate of bacterial growth was measured by bacterial colony size at each time interval. The data for each duration was calculated and compiled into the graph shown below. As a control, each bacteria species was also grown with no exposure to the antibiotic. This control culture was measured after 7 days.

 
What are the independent and dependent variables in this experiment?

A
The independent variable is the duration of exposure to Vancomycin; the dependent variable is bacterial colony size.
B
The independent variable is the bacterial colony size; the dependent variable is the duration of exposure to Vancomycin.
C
The independent variable is the bacterial colony size; the dependent variable is the type of bacteria.
D
The independent variable is the duration of exposure to Vancomycin; the dependent variable is the type of bacteria.
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). An independent variable is a variable that is changed or controlled in a scientific experiment in order to test the effects on the dependent variable. In this case the researchers could control the duration of exposure and the type of bacteria. The dependent variable responds to the independent variable. It is called dependent because it "depends" on the independent variable.

In this case the bacteria colony size depends on the duration of exposure and the type of bacteria. In this study there are two independent variables and there is one dependent variable. The independent variables are the duration of exposure to Vancomycin and the type of bacteria used. The dependent variable is the bacterial colony size, which depends on length of exposure to the antibiotic.
Question 6
What is true of Meiosis?

A
It involves only one cell division
B
It is used to generate sex cells
C
It results in the formation of two diploid daughter cells
D
It produces genetically identical cells
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Meiosis is a process where a single cell divides twice to produce four daughter cells. These daughter cells are haploid, which means that they contain half the number of chromosomes of the parent cell. They are genetically distinct cells sex cells—sperm in males, eggs in females.
Question 7
Below is the chemical equation for photosynthesis:

Which of the following statements about photosynthesis is correct?

A
When 6 molecules of carbon dioxide are used, 1 molecule of oxygen is produced
B
When 1 molecule of water is used, 1 molecule of glucose is produced
C
When 6 molecules of water are used, 1 molecule of glucose is produced
D
When 1 molecule of glucose is produced, 12 molecules of oxygen are used
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The reactants are on the left side of a chemical equation and the products are on the right side. In photosynthesis, 6 molecules of carbon dioxide react with 6 molecules of water (in the presence of sunlight) to produce 1 molecule of glucose and 6 molecules of oxygen.
Question 8
Questions 8–9 are based on the following information.

In an ecosystem, producers convert the sun’s energy into a usable source for other organisms. Primary consumers eat the producers, secondary consumers eat primary consumers, and tertiary consumers eat secondary consumers. Some organisms eat more than one type of organism in the food web. Look at the food web below. Notice that the lion is both a scavenger and a secondary consumer. Thus, they may fill more than one role in the ecosystem.

 
Which of the following organisms fill more than one role in this ecosystem?

A
Giraffe
B
Hyena
C
Cheetah
D
Dung-rolling beetle
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The hyena is a primary consumer (eats grass), a secondary consumer (eats the zebra) and a scavenger (eats the dead wildebeest).
Question 9
In an ecosystem, producers convert the sun’s energy into a usable source for other organisms. Primary consumers eat the producers, secondary consumers eat primary consumers, and tertiary consumers eat secondary consumers. Some organisms eat more than one type of organism in the food web. Look at the food web below. Notice that the lion is both a scavenger and a secondary consumer. Thus, they may fill more than one role in the ecosystem.

 
If additional cheetahs were introduced into this ecosystem, shortly thereafter we would expect a decrease in the:

A
lion population
B
lion population
C
dung-rolling beetle population
D
hare population
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Arrows are pointing from hares and gazelles to cheetahs. This indicates that cheetahs eat hares and gazelles. Adding more cheetahs would quickly cause a decrease these populations. Predicting the long-term effects would be more challenging.
Question 10
How does the sun produce energy?

A
Nuclear fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium atoms.
B
Combustion of hydrocarbons.
C
Nuclear fission of uranium-235.
D
A chemical reaction between gases and oxygen.
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Nuclear fusion occurs as a result of the extreme temperature and pressure inside of the sun. Hydrogen atoms fuse together to form deuterium atoms which then fuse to form helium 3 and helium 4; the nuclear fusion of two hydrogen atoms gives off energy as it is an exothermic process.
Question 11
Which type of symbiotic relationship takes place when one member of the association benefits while the other is harmed?

A
Mutualism
B
Commensalism
C
Parasitism
D
Predation
Question 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Symbiosis is a close, long-lasting relationship shared by two or more different species. There are 3 major categories of symbiotic relationships:

Parasitism is a symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits while the other is harmed. For example, tapeworms are parasitic to humans because they consume nutrients from the human host, depriving the host of these nutrients.

Mutualism is a symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit from the relationship.

Commensalism is a symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits while the other is neither harmed nor helped.
Question 12
Questions 12–13 are based on the following information.

Hypothesis: If more energy is derived from renewable resources (wind, solar, and water) annually, there will be less energy derived from coal; therefore CO2 emissions will decrease annually.

Is this hypothesis supported by the data in the table?

A
The hypothesis is supported because: more energy is derived from renewable resources annually and less CO2 emissions accrue annually.
B
The hypothesis is supported because: more energy is derived from renewable resources annually and more CO2 emissions accrue annually.
C
The hypothesis is not supported because: less energy is derived from renewable resources annually and less CO2 emissions accrue annually.
D
The hypothesis is not supported because: more energy is derived from renewable resources annually and more CO2 emissions accrue annually.
Question 12 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Compare the trend in column 2, energy from renewable resources, with the trend in column 4, CO2 emissions. The hypothesis claims that as the percentage in column 2 increases, the value in column 4 decreases; it can be seen that the data do not support this hypothesis. While more energy is derived from renewable resources, a larger amount of CO2 emissions are accrued. Only answer choice (D) is accurate.
Question 13

The table below suggests that decreasing the percentage of coal used for energy annually correlates with an increase in CO2 emissions. Given that the processing of coal is the primary contributor to CO2 emissions in the US, which of the following statements may explain the trend shown in the data table?

A
Although the percentage of total energy derived from coal decreased annually from 1990–2010, the demand for energy and the population in the US increased at a rate greater than can be equilibrated with the decrease in percent of coal energy. Therefore, CO2 emissions have steadily increased.
B
Although the percentage of total energy derived from coal decreased annually from 1990–2010, the demand for energy and the population in the US decreased at a rate greater than can be equilibrated with the increase in percent of coal energy. Therefore, CO2 emissions have steadily increased.
C
The processing of coal must not be the primary contributor to coal emissions in the US.
D
Renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and water must emit more CO2 than the processing of coal.
Question 13 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Given that energy derived from coal is primarily responsible for the CO2 emissions, and that the amount of emissions increased as the percentage of coal energy decreased, the most likely explanation is that the overall energy demands also increased, resulting in a reduced percentage of coal energy, but an increased overall amount of coal energy required due to the increased population and larger energy demand.
Question 14
Mechanical advantage is a measure of the force amplification that is achieved by using a tool, mechanical device, or machine system. The formula for mechanical advantage is:

 
A crowbar can be used to remove a nail from a board. If the crowbar has a mechanical advantage of 8, and the a force of 40 Newtons is applied to it, what will be the output force?

A
5 Newtons
B
320 Newtons
C
0.2 Newtons
D
0.2 Newtons
Question 14 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The question provides the mechanical advantage and the input force. The first step is to plug these numbers into the equation:

To solve this, multiply each side by 40:
8 × 40 = x
x = 320
Question 15
Questions 15–17 are based on the following information.

In the 21st century, worker bees in bee colonies have been abandoning their queens and are deserting their hives in record numbers. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet—and one area that has been seriously affected is California’s Napa Valley. This issue became more commonly known when The National Agriculture Statistics Service reported in 2008 that only 2.44 million honey-producing hives were in the United States, down from 4.5 million in 1980.

There is no consensus among scientists as to what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder, though the USDA has undertaken a plan of action to stem the collapsing colonies involving several steps: survey and data collection; analysis of samples; hypothesis-driven research; mitigation and preventive action. The first findings from the USDA were published in 2009, and suggested factors such as pesticides, parasites, and pathogens may be possible causes, all of which have affected hives in Northern California.

One researcher has hypothesized that chemical pesticides are solely responsible for colony collapse disorder in Napa Valley. To test his hypothesis he is planning to run an experiment. He has obtained several healthy bee colonies and plans to expose them to pesticides while measuring the health of the colonies.
 
Which additional information would be the most useful in helping him design this experiment?

A
The types of pesticides that are used in Napa Valley.
B
The types of parasites that are present in Napa Valley.
C
The types of pathogens that are present in Napa Valley.
D
The types of pesticides that the USDA evaluated.
Question 15 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). In order to best support his argument that the pesticides are responsible for colony collapse, the researcher should expose the healthy bee colonies to the same pesticides used in Napa Valley. If he uses the same pesticides, as well as a control, and the colony exposed to the pesticide does collapse, then his hypothesis is well supported.
Question 16
In the 21st century, worker bees in bee colonies have been abandoning their queens and are deserting their hives in record numbers. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet—and one area that has been seriously affected is California’s Napa Valley. This issue became more commonly known when The National Agriculture Statistics Service reported in 2008 that only 2.44 million honey-producing hives were in the United States, down from 4.5 million in 1980.

There is no consensus among scientists as to what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder, though the USDA has undertaken a plan of action to stem the collapsing colonies involving several steps: survey and data collection; analysis of samples; hypothesis-driven research; mitigation and preventive action. The first findings from the USDA were published in 2009, and suggested factors such as pesticides, parasites, and pathogens may be possible causes, all of which have affected hives in Northern California.

One researcher has hypothesized that chemical pesticides are solely responsible for colony collapse disorder in Napa Valley. To test his hypothesis he is planning to run an experiment. He has obtained several healthy bee colonies and plans to expose them to pesticides while measuring the health of the colonies.
 
Suppose that his experiment finds that the pesticides used in Napa Valley do cause bee colonies to collapse. Over the next few years other researchers find very similar results, and these results are widely accepted as valid. At that point, the idea that pesticides cause colony collapse would be a:

A
scientific law
B
scientific theory
C
hypothesis
D
conclusion
Question 16 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that has been repeatedly tested, verified in accordance with the scientific method, and widely accepted as valid.
Question 17
In the 21st century, worker bees in bee colonies have been abandoning their queens and are deserting their hives in record numbers. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet—and one area that has been seriously affected is California’s Napa Valley. This issue became more commonly known when The National Agriculture Statistics Service reported in 2008 that only 2.44 million honey-producing hives were in the United States, down from 4.5 million in 1980.

There is no consensus among scientists as to what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder, though the USDA has undertaken a plan of action to stem the collapsing colonies involving several steps: survey and data collection; analysis of samples; hypothesis-driven research; mitigation and preventive action. The first findings from the USDA were published in 2009, and suggested factors such as pesticides, parasites, and pathogens may be possible causes, all of which have affected hives in Northern California.

One researcher has hypothesized that chemical pesticides are solely responsible for colony collapse disorder in Napa Valley. To test his hypothesis he is planning to run an experiment. He has obtained several healthy bee colonies and plans to expose them to pesticides while measuring the health of the colonies.
 
After the researcher's experiment finds that pesticides are causing bee colonies to collapse his assistant says, “If pesticides are causing colony collapse, then it is not being caused by parasites.” The assistant's statement is best described as:

A
a scientific theory
B
an observation
C
a hypothesis
D
a fact
Question 17 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. If pesticides cause colony collapse, it may be that parasites do not cause it. But this cannot be accepted as true unless it is tested. Parasites could also cause colony collapse.
Question 18
Questions 18–20 are based on the following information.

Students are researching families with one brown-haired parent and one red-haired parent to understand how recessive hair-color genes interact with dominant genes. They studied the offspring of a heterozygous brown-haired man (Bb) and a homozygous recessive red-haired woman (bb). Of their four children, three have brown hair and one has red hair. The students prepared the Punnett square that is shown below.
 
If the couple has another child, what is the probability that this child will have brown hair?

A
0%
B
25%
C
50%
D
75%
Question 18 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Heterozygous indicates two different genes for a hereditary characteristic. In this case, the man is heterozygous because he has one gene for brown hair (B) and one gene for red hair (b). The brown hair gene is dominant, so it is capitalized, and because it is dominant he has brown hair.

Homozygous indicates two identical genes for a hereditary characteristic. In this case, the woman has two genes for red hair (bb). The genes are in lower case since they are recessive. She only has genes for red hair, so she has red hair.

You can solve this type of problem by filling out a Punnett Square as shown below:

Children with the genes BB will have brown hair, but none of the children have this combination of genes.

Children with the genes Bb will also have brown hair (because B is dominant), and 2 out of every 4 children, or 50%, will have brown hair.

Children with the genes bb will have red hair, and 2 out of every 4 children will have red hair.
Question 19
Students are researching families with one brown-haired parent and one red-haired parent to understand how recessive hair-color genes interact with dominant genes. They studied the offspring of a heterozygous brown-haired man (Bb) and a homozygous recessive red-haired woman (bb). Of their four children, three have brown hair and one has red hair. The students prepared the Punnett square that is shown below.
 
The students then reviewed what would happen if the father had two copies of the allele for brown-hair (BB). In this scenario, the father would be described as:

A
Homozygous-dominant
B
Homozygous-recessive
C
Heterozygous
D
Hemizygous
Question 19 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). A person is homozygous-dominant, if they carry two copies of the same dominant allele.
Question 20
Students are researching families with one brown-haired parent and one red-haired parent to understand how recessive hair-color genes interact with dominant genes. They studied the offspring of a heterozygous brown-haired man (Bb) and a homozygous recessive red-haired woman (bb). Of their four children, three have brown hair and one has red hair. The students prepared the Punnett square that is shown below.
 
If both parents were heterozygous, what would be the probability of their next child having red hair?

A
0%
B
25%
C
50%
D
75%
Question 20 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). You should draw a new Punnett square to solve the probabilities. Since each parent is heterozygous, you know that each parent has one of each allele (Bb):

As shown above, 25% of the children will be homozygous-dominate (BB). They will have brown hair.

Two of the four squares indicate heterozygous (Bb). So another 50% of the children will also have brown hair, since the brown allele is dominant.

That leaves 25% as homozygous recessive (bb). They will have red hair.
Question 21
Multiple studies have supported the following two hypotheses:

I. Increasing the temperature of Solvent A allows all dissolvable solutes to dissolve faster.

II. Substance A is dissolvable in Solvent A, while Substance B is not.
 
Given these two hypotheses, which of the following is most likely to be true?

A
Substance A will dissolve faster in Solvent A at higher temperatures
B
Substance B will dissolve slower in Solvent A at higher temperatures
C
Substance B will dissolve slower than Substance A in Solvent A, regardless of the temperature of the solution
D
Substance A and Solvent A will not form a solution at any temperature
Question 21 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Substance A will dissolve faster in Solvent A at higher temperatures. This statement is true based on the transitive relation of the two hypotheses. As stated in hypothesis II, Substance B will not dissolve in Solvent A, regardless of the temperature. Substance A will dissolve in Solvent A, therefore the only possible choice is that Substance A will dissolve faster in Solvent A at higher temperatures, which is supported by hypothesis I.
Question 22
Questions 22–23 are based on the following information.

Which of the following is true about the frog?

A
It is a member of the salamandridae family.
B
It is a type of amphibian.
C
It is a non-vertebrate.
D
It is closer to most tetrapods than most newts.
Question 22 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). First assess the diagram provided. The circle, which encloses each of the other shapes, shows that tetrapods, frogs, and newts are all vertebrates. The triangle, which contains the rectangle, shows that frogs and newts are amphibians. The rectangle shows that newts are salamandridae.

Next, assess the answer choices.

The frog is not a part of the salamandridae family, as it is not inside of the rectangle.

The frog is inside of the vertebrate circle, so it is not a non-vertebrate.

It is not possible to conclude that it is closer to most tetrapods than most newts given the presentation of the information.

The frog is a type of amphibian due to its spot within the amphibian triangle.
Question 23

Which statement can be inferred about amphibians?

A
All amphibians are salamandridae, but not all salamandridae are amphibians.
B
Some amphibians are vertebrates, but not all amphibians are vertebrates.
C
Some salamandridae are amphibians, but not all amphibians are tetrapods.
D
All amphibians are vertebrates, but not all vertebrates are amphibians.
Question 23 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Use the diagram presented to assess each answer choice.

Not all amphibians are salamandridae, as the rectangle is inside of the triangle. Also, all salamandridae are amphibians because the rectangle is completely inside of the triangle.

All amphibians are vertebrates, not just some, so this answer is false.

All amphibians are tetrapods, so this answer is false.

All amphibians are vertebrates, as the triangle is inside of the circle, but not all vertebrates are amphibians, as the circle is not inside of the triangle. This is the only correct conclusion.
Question 24
As part of a study on how skin type and redness correlate when exposed to different amounts of UV light, a scientist set up an experiment to see how much redness occurred on various skin types. The scientist classified 100 people into six different categories of skin type, then exposed them to increasingly higher doses of UV light and recorded the level of redness that appeared on the skin.
 
Which is an independent variable and which is a dependent variable in this experiment?

A
An independent variable is the skin type; a dependent variable is the amount of UV light.
B
An independent variable is the redness; a dependent variable is the amount of UV light.
C
An independent variable is the amount of UV light; a dependent variable is the skin type.
D
An independent variable is the skin type; a dependent variable is the redness.
Question 24 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). In an experiment, scientists use both independent and dependent variables. An independent variable is the variable that is changed by the scientists in an experiment to test the effects on the dependent variable. A dependent variable is the variable being measured. In this study, the scientist controls two variables: the skin type and the UV light. The dependent variable is the level of redness on the skin.
Question 25
A cladogram is a diagram that organizes species into groups based on their similarities. It also shows evolutionary relationships among the groups.

Based on the information in this cladogram, which of these statements is true?

A
Watermelons are segmented
B
Lemons evolved from oranges
C
Tomatoes and oranges share a common ancestor
D
Watermelons and oranges are more closely related than tomatoes and watermelons
Question 25 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). After the evolution of small seeds, there were several more splits in the evolutionary branch, which led to the development of tomatoes, watermelons, oranges, and lemons.
Question 26
Information about the composition of ocean water is listed in the table below.

Which statement is supported by the data in this table?

A
There is more potassium in ocean water than magnesium.
B
If bromine was more highly concentrated, then it could be extracted for use in disinfectants.
C
There is more chlorine in ocean water than sodium and sulfur combined.
D
Carbon plays a small, but important role in the ecosystem of the ocean.
Question 26 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Use the presented information to evaluate each answer choice.

A direct comparison between potassium and magnesium (0.038% vs. 0.135%) shows that there is more magnesium in the ocean than potassium.

The use of bromine as a disinfectant is not related to the data presented.

Likewise, the importance of Carbon’s role in the ocean is not related to the data presented.

The amount of chlorine (1.9%) is greater than sodium and sulfur combined (0.0885%+1.05%=1.1385%).
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect. Get Results
There are 26 questions to complete.
List
Return
Shaded items are complete.
12345
678910
1112131415
1617181920
2122232425
26End
Return