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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2015, High School Biology

  Question 12: Open-Response  
The distribution of the recolonizing organisms on Kilauea changed over time.
  1. In your Student Answer Booklet, graph the distribution of the types of organisms present for year 1 and year 9 after the eruption. Include the scale and the labels for the axes on your graph. Clearly label year 1 and year 9, or make a key for your graph.
  1. Explain how immigration and competition changed the community structure from year 1 to year 9.
The community continued to change after year 9 of this study.
  1. Describe the expected distribution of the five original types of organisms on Kilauea in another 20 years. Explain your reasoning.

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 changes in population size and biodiversity occur. The response includes an accurate graph, clearly explains how immigration and competition changed the community structure, and clearly describes and explains the expected distribution in another 20 years.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of how changes in population size and biodiversity occur.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how changes in population size and biodiversity occur.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how changes in population size and biodiversity occur.
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: Anatomy and Physiology
Question 44: Genetics
Question 45: Evolution and Biodiversity

Return to the MCAS 2015 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: August 24, 2015
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