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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2016, High School Intro Physics

  Question 12: Open-Response  
The graph below shows the relationship between distance and time for a sound wave moving through a liquid.
Graph title is Distance versus time for a sound wave. The x-axis title is Time, s and ranges from zero to five in increments of one. The y-axis title is Distance, m and ranges from zero to seven thousand and five hundred in increments of one thousand and five hundred. The graph is a straight line from point zero zero to point five seven thousand and five hundred.
  1. Calculate the speed of the sound wave. Show your calculations and include units in your answer. 
     
  2. Copy the graph onto the grid in your Student Answer Booklet. On your graph:
    • Label the line you copied "liquid."
    • Draw a line labeled "gas" to represent how this sound wave would travel through a typical gas.
    • Draw a line labeled "solid" to represent how this sound wave would travel through a typical solid.
  1. Explain your reasoning for the placement of the new lines (gas, solid) you drew in part (b).
     
  2. Identify one property or characteristic of a sound wave that remains the same when it moves from a liquid into a gas or a solid.

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 the speed of mechanical waves and how mechanical waves generally move faster through a solid than through a liquid and faster through a liquid than through a gas. The response correctly calculates the speed of the sound wave and correctly graphs and explains the lines to represent sound moving through a solid and a gas. The response also correctly identifies a property or characteristic that remains the same when a sound wave moves from a liquid to a solid or a gas.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of the speed of mechanical waves and how mechanical waves generally move faster through a solid than through a liquid and faster through a liquid than through a gas.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of the speed of mechanical waves and how mechanical waves generally move faster through a solid than through a liquid and faster through a liquid than through a gas.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of the speed of mechanical waves and how mechanical waves generally move faster through a solid than through a liquid and faster through a liquid than through a gas.
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 Intro Physics

Question 12: Waves and Radiation
Question 23: Electromagnetism
Question 32: Motion and Forces
Question 44: Heat and Heat Transfer
Question 45: Motion and Forces

Return to the MCAS 2016 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: April 30, 2010
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