Study Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 020: Earth/Space Science

Test Overview

Table outlining the test format, number of questions, time, and passing score.
Format Computer-based test (CBT) and paper-based test (PBT)
Number of Questions 100 multiple-choice questions
Time
  • CBT: 2 hours 30 minutes*
  • PBT: up to 4 hours 30 minutes
    (up to 2 partial-session tests may be taken in one test session—test session information is on your test's information page)
Passing Score 220

*Does not include 15-minute CBT tutorial

Test Objectives

Table outlining test content and subject weighting by sub area and objective.
Subarea Range of Objectives Approximate Percentage of Questions on Test
I Foundations of Scientific Inquiry 001–005 20%
II Physical and Historical Geology 006–010 20%
III Oceanography and Freshwater Systems 011–015 20%
IV Meteorology 016–020 20%
V Astronomy 021–024 20%
Pie chart of approximate test weighting, detailed in the table below.

Subarea I—FOUNDATIONS OF SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY

Objective 001—Demonstrate knowledge of principles and procedures for conducting scientific research.

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Objective 002—Apply knowledge of materials, methods, and equipment commonly used in earth/space science.

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Objective 003—Understand the nature and history of scientific thought and inquiry.

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Objective 004—Understand the relationship of earth/space science to contemporary, historical, technological, and societal issues.

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Objective 005—Demonstrate knowledge of the interrelationships among the life, physical, and earth/space sciences and among science, mathematics, and technology.

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Subarea II—PHYSICAL AND HISTORICAL GEOLOGY

Objective 006—Demonstrate knowledge of the structure, characteristics, and processes of the earth.

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Objective 007—Understand the causes and consequences of volcanism and earthquakes.

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Objective 008—Understand processes and consequences of weathering, erosion, and deposition.

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Objective 009—Demonstrate knowledge of the geologic time scale and the methods of relative and absolute dating.

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Objective 010—Understand the formation and use of geologic resources, and the relationship between the geosphere and human activities.

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Subarea III—OCEANOGRAPHY AND FRESHWATER SYSTEMS

Objective 011—Demonstrate knowledge of the physical components and processes of the marine system.

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Objective 012—Understand the distribution of freshwater and the processes involved in the hydrologic cycle.

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Objective 013—Apply knowledge of groundwater.

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Objective 014—Apply knowledge of freshwater systems.

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Objective 015—Understand the relationship between the hydrosphere and human activity.

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Subarea IV—METEOROLOGY

Objective 016—Understand the structure and characteristic features of the atmosphere and the atmospheric conditions and processes that affect weather and climate.

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Objective 017—Understand the formation of clouds, precipitation, and condensation.

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Objective 018—Understand the causes of different kinds of weather.

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Objective 019—Apply knowledge of the earth's climate systems and analyze the factors that influence climate.

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Objective 020—Understand the relationship between the atmosphere and human activity.

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Subarea V—ASTRONOMY

Objective 021—Understand the characteristics of the sun-earth-moon system.

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Objective 022—Recognize the components of the solar system.

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Objective 023—Understand stellar evolution and the formation of the universe.

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Objective 024—Demonstrate knowledge of the history of astronomy.

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