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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2014, High School Biology

  Question 23: Open-Response  
Sharks typically reproduce sexually. A particular female shark, however, gave birth in a zoo despite having no recent contact with a male shark.
  1. Identify the type of cell division that produces eggs and sperm in animals such as sharks.
  2. Describe what normally happens during fertilization in animals such as sharks. Be sure to identify the end product of fertilization.
Female sharks can store sperm after mating and then wait to fertilize their eggs. Scientists investigated whether the female shark in the zoo did this.
  1. Describe how DNA analysis can determine if the shark reproduced using stored sperm or if she reproduced asexually. Be sure to include the source(s) of DNA being analyzed and the results of the analysis in your answer.
  2. Explain why sexual reproduction is important for the long-term survival of shark species.

Scoring Guide and Sample Student Work
Select a score point in the table below to view the sample student response.

ScoreDescription
4 The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of how meiosis and fertilization result in offspring that are genetically different from their parents and how sexual reproduction and genetic diversity are important to the long-term survival of a species. The response clearly identifies meiosis as the type of cell division that produces eggs and sperm and clearly describes what happens during fertilization. The response clearly describes how DNA analysis can determine if the shark reproduced using stored sperm or if she reproduced asexually and includes the source(s) of DNA being analyzed and the results of the analysis. The response also clearly explains why sexual reproduction is important for the long-term survival of shark species.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of how meiosis and fertilization result in offspring that are genetically different from their parents and how sexual reproduction and genetic diversity are important to the long-term survival of a species.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how meiosis and fertilization result in offspring that are genetically different from their parents and how sexual reproduction and genetic diversity are important to the long-term survival of a species.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how meiosis and fertilization result in offspring that are genetically different from their parents and how sexual reproduction and genetic diversity are important to the long-term survival of a species.
0 The response is incorrect or contains some correct work that is irrelevant to the skill or concept being measured.

Note: There are 2 sample student responses for Score Point 4.

High School Biology

Question 12: Ecology
Question 23: Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Question 32: Evolution and Biodiversity
Question 44: Genetics
Question 45: Anatomy and Physiology

Return to the MCAS 2014 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: April 2, 2012
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