Help with Tests

Chapter by Chapter Learning Objectives

  1. The Science of Biology
  2. Evolution and Ecology
  3. The Chemistry of Life
  4. Molecules of Life

Discover Magazine articles and other assigned readings.  Vocabulary words are highlighted in RED.

  1. Killer Fat
  2. The Hole Story
  3. Like Water on Mars
  4. Blinded by Science

Old Tests:  Test 1

Chapter 1.  The Science of Biology

After attending the lectures and completing the lab The Scientific Method, you should be able to

  1. name and give examples of the six kingdoms of life.
  2. give the genealogy of your own species, from kingdom to species level.
  3. list and give examples of the qualities shared by living things.
  4. define the levels of complexity of life, from molecules to ecosystems.
  5. be able to critique and evaluate the validity of a scientific study.
  6. follow the scientific process from hypothesis formation to conclusion using the case study of ozone depletion.  This includes
    hypothesis correlation
    null hypothesis alternative hypotheses
  7. summarize, using appropriate vocabulary, the science of ozone depletion.  This includes:
ozone, O3 chloroflurocarbons, CFCs
stratosphere ultraviolet rays

Chapter 2. Evolution and Ecology

After attending the lectures and completing the lab Evidence for Evolution, you should be able to


Chapter 3. The Chemistry of Life

  1. describe the structure of an atom (proton, neutron, electron, nucleus, orbits)
  2. interpret the notation   
  3. define the terms
    ion isotope radioisotope (radioactive isotope)
  4. recognize that there are three types of chemical bonds, including ionic, covalent (the strongest) and hydrogen (weak), and Van der Waals forces (the weakest).
  5. explain the special properties of water that are due to its hydrogen bonding,  This includes heat properties, density properties, cohesion, and solvent abilities.
  6. describe the concept of pH and the pH scale, including the terms acidic, basic, alkaline, and buffers..
  7. describe the phenomenon of acid precipitation.  What is the pH of clean rain water?  What is the average local pH of rainfall?

Chapter 4. Biological Molecules

After attending the lectures and completing the lab Identification of Biological Molecules, you should be able to

1)      explain, using examples, the formation of a macromolecule, or polymer, by a dehydration synthesis reaction.

2)      explain, using examples, the disassembly, or digestion of a macromolecule by a hydrolysis reaction.

3)      name the monomers used, functions of, and provide examples from each of the four major groups of macromolecules studied in this section.  This includes carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.

4)      pick out the sugar molecules from a list of organic molecules by their '-ose' endings.

5)      use the following terms properly








Fatty acid



Amino acids




Double helix


6)      distinguish between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids

7)      discuss the special nature of phospholipds and why they are excellent building materials for the membranes of cells.

8)      explain how more than 200,000 proteins in the human body can be made from only 20 amino acids.

9)      distinguish between the primary (1o), secondary (2o), tertiary (3o), and quaternary (4o) levels of protein structure.

10)   be able to explain why the shape of a protein determines its function.

11)   list the three components of nucleotides

12)   know what DNA and RNA stand for.  What does each do?

Critical Thinking Questions:

13)   A man on a very low-fat diet is trying to get his cholesterol down to zero.  Why is this an undesirable and impossible goal?

14)   What foods in your diet give you energy?  What foods supply your body with the materials for synthesizing its own lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates? 

15)   Go to the grocery store and read the labels on various margarines.  Do any of these use the term "hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated' unsaturated oil?  What is the difference between this margarine and a saturated fat?  To limit your saturated fat intake, which margarine would you choose?

Chapter 5.  Cells

After attending all the lectures and completing the lab Cells and Their Membranes, you should be able to

1)      explain how advances in microscope technology have allowed us to improve our knowledge of cells.

2)      compare and contrast cellular structure of prokaryotes and eukaryotes and give examples of each.

3)      explain why cells are small.

4)      describe the basic differences and similarities between typical plant and animal cells.

5)      describe the following structures and their functions:



Plasma membrane

Nuclear envelope






Golgi body







Central vacuole

Smooth E.R.

Rough E.R.

Cell wall


Endosymbiont theory

6)      define or briefly describe the following terms:

Cell theory


Surface area to volume ratio

Endomembrane system

describe the structure of the cell membrane/plasmalemma according to the fluid mosaic model.

2)      describe the ways in which materials enter and leave cells. Bee sure to include diffusion, osmosis, active transport, endocytosis, exocytosis, phagocytosis, pinocytosis, facilitated diffusion, etc.

3)      define or characterize the following terms:

Lipid bilayer

Concentration gradient

Net movement





Differentially permeable (=semipermeable)

Carrier molecules


4)      discuss the molecular collision theory that describes how all molecules are vibrating and colliding; how is this the driving force behind diffusion and osmosis?  What factors will cause diffusion to go faster or slower?

5)      discuss and describe the endosymbiont hypothesis and its implications in evolution.

6)      explain the role of glycoproteins and glycolipids in acting as cellular identification cards.

7)      distinguish between 'self' and 'non-self'.

Critical Thinking Questions:

1)      Fetal cells are considered more desirable for use in certain transplants than fully differentiated and developed tissues.  Why?  What are the possible ethical questions involved in using fetal cells?  Do you favor research in this area?

2)      Recently some animals have been engineered to make organs suitable for transplant into humans.  What do you think was changed in these animal's tissues to make them acceptable donors?  Is there a difference in using animals for donor organs as opposed to a food source? Why or why not?


Critical Thinking Questions

  1. A man's body is found floating in the Lackawanna River.  The water in the river has been tested and has the same osmotic concentration as human body fluids.  During the autopsy, it is discovered that the man's lungs are filled with water and the lung cells are swollen and enlarged. From the evidence presented, which of the following conclusions would be supported?

a.       The man drowned in the river.

b.       The man drowned in a fresh water swimming pool and was moved to the river.

c.       The cause of the death was not drowning.

d.       There is not enough information provided to draw any of these conclusions.

2. Infrequently individuals are born with cell organelles that do not function properly resulting in various disorders. Give an example of a disease that is caused by a malfunctioning organelle.

How Cells Work

After attending all the lectures and successfully completing the lab, Cells and Their Membranes, you should be able to



Cellular Respiration

After attending all the lectures you should be able to:

1)      write a general word equation that describes what goes o in cellular respiration.

2)      describe the structure of the organelle that is the most important part of the cell dealing with cellular respiration and energy production.

3)      discuss the several different metabolic pathways that cells might take to yield useful energy in the form of ATP, e.g., aerobic, anaerobic, alcoholic fermentation.

4)      define or characterize the following terms:





Metabolic pathway


Alcoholic fermentation


Electron transport chain

Lactic acid fermentation

Kreb's cycle

Oxygen debt

5)      describe which types of organisms use which type of metabolic pathway.  What type(s) are humans capable of carrying out?  Which pathway produces the most energy in the form of ATP molecules, and the least harmful byproducts?

6)      describe the differences in how an 'in-shape' athlete and a couch potato would produce and use energy if they were both running in a one mile race.

7)      describe how certain poisons like carbon monoxide and cyanide can kill

8)      discuss the structure of ATP, the only substance that you can use directly for energy.