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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2017, High School Biology

Download PDF Document  Question 12: Open-Response  
A population of S. epidermidis decreases the population sizes of other types of bacteria on the skin.
  1. Describe one way decreasing the population sizes of other bacteria on the skin helps the S. epidermidis population.
  2. Identify the process that S. epidermidis cells use to reproduce.
  3. Describe two similarities between the process that skin cells use for cell division and the process that you identified in part (b).
When S. epidermidis moves from the skin into the body, it behaves like an invasive species entering a new ecosystem.
  1. Will the S. epidermidis population size decrease, increase, or stay the same after the bacteria enter the body? Using your knowledge of invasive species, explain your answer.

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 cell reproduction is used to describe types of organisms and of the characteristics of invasive species. The response clearly describes one way decreasing the population sizes of other bacteria on the skin helps the S. epidermidis population. The response correctly identifies the process S. epidermidis cells use to reproduce and clearly describes two similarities between this process and the process that skin cells use for cell division. The response also clearly describes and explains how S. epidermidis population size will change after it enters the body when the bacteria behave like an invasive species.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of how cell reproduction is used to describe types of organisms and of the characteristics of invasive species.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how cell reproduction is used to describe types of organisms and of the characteristics of invasive species.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how cell reproduction is used to describe types of organisms and of the characteristics of invasive 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: Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Question 23: Ecology
Question 32: Anatomy and Physiology
Question 44: Genetics
Question 45: Evolution and Biodiversity

Return to the MCAS 2017 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: October 23, 2014
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