Study Guide

Field 215: Agricultural Education
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Each multiple-choice question has four answer choices. Read each question and its answer choices carefully and choose the ONE best answer.

During the test you should try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will NOT be penalized for choosing an incorrect response.

Objective 0001
Understand the foundations of work and the career development process.

1. A recent high school graduate is applying for a position as a salesperson at a nursery. The graduate intends to include a résumé listing contact information, academic qualifications, and work experience. Which of the following should also be included in a cover letter accompanying the résumé?

  1. a summary of the graduate's personal qualities and how they would apply to the requirements of the position
  2. a statement summarizing the graduate's need for a job and reasons for applying at this company
  3. a brief analysis of the company, its successes and failures, and its need for highly motivated employees
  4. a brief discussion of the graduate's requirements, such as minimum salary, benefits, and advancement opportunities
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
When a manager is reviewing the résumés of applicants for a position, one of the most important considerations is the "fit" between the applicant and the job. This includes things like prior work experience (e.g., Has the applicant succeeded at meeting the requirements of similar jobs?), educational background (e.g., Does the applicant have the background knowledge to do the job?), and the applicant's personal qualities and character (e.g., Is the applicant hardworking and reliable?). Including a summary of one's personal qualities in a cover letter shows that the applicant not only has reviewed the personal qualities necessary to succeed at the job but also possesses these qualities, and is likely to earn the applicant additional consideration for the position.

Objective 0002
Apply principles for developing and implementing a comprehensive agricultural education program and organizing and managing facilities for agricultural education.

2. Community business leaders can best support a school's agricultural education program by providing:

  1. input into classroom management.
  2. grants to hire additional teachers.
  3. full-time employment for students.
  4. resources and educational opportunities.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Community business leaders can be a major resource in many ways for a school's agricultural education program. Local business leaders can provide direct support in the form of grants or other types of funding, or donation of specific items that would otherwise be difficult for the program to afford. Cultivating connections with local business leaders can also enhance the educational opportunities available to the students; for example, a business might allow onsite field trips by a class, or provide Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) opportunities, mentoring opportunities, apprenticeships, or internships for individual students.

Objective 0003
Understand how to plan, deliver, and evaluate instruction based on knowledge of the subject matter in the field of agriculture; student organizations; student, community, and industry needs; curriculum goals; and findings of educational research.

3. Which of the following approaches is likely to be most effective for assessing students' performance in agricultural laboratory experiences?

  1. multiple-choice questions
  2. observational checklists
  3. oral examinations
  4. written peer reviews
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
Agricultural laboratory experiences usually involve the performance of several steps correctly and in a certain, predefined order. Evaluating students' performance by observing them as they work has the advantage of not disturbing them during the exercise and also allows the teacher to evaluate their ability to follow directions and make decisions. A checklist of important tasks that must be completed successfully during the experience helps the teacher identify the steps that students take to complete the assignment, if they complete necessary tasks successfully, and if steps are completed in the correct order. A checklist also helps in spotting mistakes and can be used to show students where they may have gone wrong in completing the task.

Objective 0004
Understand the process of reading, and apply knowledge of strategies for promoting students' reading development in the agricultural education classroom.

4. An agriculture teacher would like to promote students' ability to identify key vocabulary, main ideas, and supporting details in informational texts. The teacher could best achieve these goals by providing the students with explicit modeling and practice in which of the following strategies?

  1. using visualization during reading
  2. making text-to-self and text-to-world connections
  3. annotating texts during reading
  4. identifying common text organizational structures
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
Annotating a text requires students to use various means (e.g., sticky notes, highlighting, notes in the text's margins) during reading to identify the text's key ideas and details, including the author's argument and claims, as well as the text's important vocabulary and evidence. Text annotation also supports students' participation in text-based collaborative discussions and enhances their comprehension and retention of essential text content.

Objective 0004
Understand the process of reading, and apply knowledge of strategies for promoting students' reading development in the agricultural education classroom.

5. An agriculture teacher wants to teach students how to use visualization as a strategy to improve their comprehension of a content-area text. The teacher begins by explaining that visualization is used to create a mental picture of an object or concept described in a text. Which of the following steps should the teacher take next in teaching this strategy?

  1. using think-aloud to model the strategy while reading a section of the text aloud to students
  2. having students read the text silently then point to a key illustration or other essential graphic in the text
  3. asking students to read the text and analyze how the author uses graphic features to support comprehension
  4. reading aloud a section of the text to students and prompting them to make a detailed drawing of the text's main idea
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
To promote students' reading comprehension and concept development in the content-area classroom, content-area teachers need to be aware of and teach students how to use various reading comprehension strategies, such as visualization. Essential components of effective reading instruction include explicit explanation, teacher modeling or demonstration, guided practice, and independent practice. In this scenario, the teacher has already explained what visualization is. The next step in the lesson should be to model for students how to apply visualization to a section of text. Think-aloud is an effective strategy for modeling a new reading strategy.

Objective 0005
Understand agricultural business management principles and practices.

6. Remote sensing systems in agriculture have been most effective in enhancing which of the following areas of crop management?

  1. determining optimal soil tillage approaches
  2. assessing the effects of crop rotation schedules
  3. predicting regional weather patterns
  4. targeting precise applications of nutrients
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Remote sensing has become a major component of modern agricultural systems. Remote sensing involves monitoring one or more variables (e.g., moisture content of the soil, plant color and health) from a central location outside the field that is being monitored. For example, sensors in a field could transmit data about soil moisture to a central computer, while satellite images could be used to assess the rate of growth, leaf pigmentation, and overall health of a crop. These data may be used to determine if nutrient deficiencies are present and allow precise targeting of fields or sections of fields for nutrient application, thus eliminating excessive applications of nutrients and the additional financial and environmental costs that this entails.

Objective 0006
Understand agricultural business marketing principles and practices.

7. Which of the following best describes the use of a loss-leader strategy in marketing at a nursery?

  1. advertising an item at a very low price, but stocking only a few of the items and persuading customers to buy a higher-priced similar item instead
  2. offering items that are overstocked, damaged, or nearing the end of their season of peak sales at reduced prices to customers
  3. selling one or several items at a below-cost price to entice customers to shop at the nursery and perhaps buy other items at regular prices
  4. discounting below cost all items for a limited time in order to familiarize customers with the products and services offered by the nursery
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
A loss-leader strategy is a marketing strategy used to encourage potential customers to visit a retail outlet. For any business, the first step in the selling process is getting potential customers to visit a store or Internet site. A loss-leader strategy relies on advertising a popular item at a price below the cost to the business of growing, manufacturing, or wholesale purchasing of the item. The purpose is to get customers to come to the store, where they may see and purchase other items that are not discounted, resulting in an overall profit for the business.

Objective 0007
Understand the effects of economic factors and government policies on agriculture.

8. Which of the following developments most significantly boosted the production of corn and corn-based products in the Midwest?

  1. the phasing out of sugar subsidies and the consequent increased use of high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener
  2. the acceptance by the European Union and other trading partners of genetically modified corn as safe
  3. the increase in corn imports by poorer countries due to the recession of 2008, which drove up wheat prices
  4. the increase in use of ethanol made from corn and mixed with gasoline in the United States and other countries
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
In the early part of this century, ethanol began to be added to gasoline, usually at a rate of 10%. In 2007, the federal government passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which mandated that 36 billion gallons of fuel be produced from renewable resources by 2022. Most gasoline sold in the U.S. contains 10% ethanol to help meet these standards. Most U.S. ethanol is produced from corn, and the increased demand has driven corn prices up and led to an increase in acreage devoted to producing corn for conversion to ethanol.

Objective 0008
Understand anatomy, physiology, reproduction, and genetics of plants.

9. Which of the following are the primary products of the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis?

  1. CO2 and ADP
  2. water and oxygen
  3. ATP and NADPH
  4. chlorophyll and nitrogen
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
The light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis take place in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts. Energy from the sun energizes electrons, which are then captured and transported by the electron carrier molecules, ATP and NADPH. In the light-independent reaction or Calvin cycle, the energized electrons are used to form carbohydrates from carbon dioxide molecules.

Objective 0009
Understand characteristics, uses, production, and management of agronomic crops.

10. Which of the following pests generally causes the most damage to soybean crops in the Midwest?

  1. soybean aphid
  2. green stinkbug
  3. soybean thrips
  4. seedcorn beetle
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
The soybean aphid and its primary host, buckthorn, are exotic pests which were introduced from Asia, probably from Japan. Soybean aphids were first identified in Wisconsin in 2000, but probably were present in small numbers somewhat earlier. Both aphids and buckthorn have since spread rapidly, and the soybean aphid is considered to be a major pest in areas of the United States where soybeans are grown. Soybean aphids may reduce crop yields through their feeding activities and also carry viruses, such as the soybean mosaic virus.

Objective 0010
Understand characteristics, uses, production, and management of horticultural crops.

11. Which of the following practices is likely to be the most practical and effective in preventing contamination of fruits and vegetables with pathogens such as Listeria or E. coli?

  1. harvesting fruits and vegetables during cool morning hours and lowering temperatures to just above freezing in processing facilities
  2. using only chlorinated water for irrigation
  3. providing facilities for and enforcing worker hygiene in the field and processing facilities and ensuring cleanliness of processing equipment
  4. employing a program for randomly inspecting fruits and vegetables
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
Listeria is a common soil bacteria, certain strains of which can cause serious symptoms or death in infected humans. Most outbreaks of Listeria occur from animal manures used as fertilizer or, more commonly, when the bacteria contaminates equipment used in a processing plant. Many E. coli infections are benign, but certain strains can cause serious illness or death. E. coli may be spread from fecal contamination through contact with manures, unwashed hands of infected workers, or processing equipment. For most pathogens, including E. coli and Listeria, ensuring adequate hygiene during growth, harvesting, and processing of fruits and vegetables is the best preventative measure to avoid contamination.

Objective 0011
Understand types, characteristics, and uses of domesticated animals.

12. Holsteins are the most common breed of dairy cow in the United States primarily for which of the following reasons?

  1. Milk production per cow is greater in Holsteins than in other breeds.
  2. Holsteins are more resistant to major cattle diseases than other breeds.
  3. Butterfat content is higher in Holstein milk than in that of other breeds.
  4. Holsteins are smaller, more tractable, and easier to handle than other breeds.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
Holstein-Friesian (often called just Holsteins in the U.S.) are a large, black-and-white breed of dairy cow that originated in Holland, Denmark, and Northern Germany. They are the world's highest producing dairy animals, although butterfat content may be lower than that of some other breeds of cattle, such as the Jersey. In Europe, distinct lines of Holsteins have emerged, and the breed is often used for meat production as well as dairy production. In the U.S., the Holstein is primarily a dairy cow and is the most common animal in dairying operations due to its superior milk output.

Objective 0012
Understand the anatomy, physiology, reproduction, and genetics of animals.

13. Which of the following statements best describes how the long bones of young animals grow and develop?

  1. Bone cells proliferate outward from a growth plate located in the center of the shaft.
  2. Cartilage forming the joint surface of the bone is replaced by bone and new cartilage forms on top.
  3. Bone cells located throughout the shaft of the bone divide, causing uniform growth throughout the bone.
  4. Cartilage forms and is turned into bone at a growth plate between the bone's shaft and its epiphyses.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Young animals, including birds and reptiles, grow by adding bone to the ends of the long bones of the body. At each end of a bone, such as the tibia, is a growth plate that separates the shaft of the bone (or diaphysis) from its articular surface, known as the epiphysis. The growth plate is made up of hyaline cartilage. On the epiphyseal side of the plate, new cartilage is formed, while on the diaphysial side, cartilage is transformed into bone, thus lengthening the bone. Eventually proliferation of new cells slows and ceases and the growth plate disappears, fusing the shaft and epiphysis of the bone and leaving behind a line called the epiphyseal line marking the location of the growth plate.

Objective 0013
Understand principles and practices of animal production.

14. Which of the following practices would most significantly increase the likelihood of contamination of hamburger with E. coli bacteria?

  1. using meat from cattle that have been fed animal by-products
  2. mixing meat from different cattle in the production process
  3. holding cattle in large numbers in crowded pens prior to harvest
  4. using breeds of cattle that are more susceptible to infection by the bacteria
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
Contamination of beef with E. coli bacteria most often occurs from fecal contamination during the slaughtering and processing of cattle. Some contamination is almost unavoidable, but certain practices, such as not properly cleaning processing equipment, exacerbate the problem. Surface contamination of steak or roasts is often less of a problem since the surface is usually exposed to high heat during cooking. However, grinding meat into hamburger spreads bacteria throughout the product. Since the interior of a hamburger does not always reach a high enough temperature to kill the bacteria, eating undercooked hamburgers can be a source of infection. Moreover, most hamburger is made by mixing and grinding scraps that are left over from the butchering process. This means that the meat from many cows may be mixed into a single batch of hamburger so that a single contaminated piece of meat may contaminate a whole batch of ground beef and the equipment that is used to grind it.

Objective 0014
Understand the uses, principles of operation, and maintenance of agricultural machinery and technology.

15. In a four-stroke internal combustion engine, the opening and closing sequence of the intake and exhaust valves is controlled most directly by the:

  1. crankshaft.
  2. alternator.
  3. camshaft.
  4. piston.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
The camshaft of an internal combustion engine is a rod of metal to which lobes (called cams) are attached. As the rod rotates, the lobes push against the valves of the engine. When a cam rotates away from a valve, springs attached to the valve close it. In this way, the intake and exhaust valves of the engine open and close in the proper sequence, controlled physically by the camshaft.

Objective 0015
Understand agricultural structures and construction processes.

16. Each side of a gabled roof has a run of 8 feet and a rise of 6 feet. What is the minimum length of each rafter?

  1. 9 feet
  2. 10 feet
  3. 11 feet
  4. 12 feet
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
Calculating the run of the length of the rafter when the run and rise of the roof is known is a simple matter of applying the Pythagorean theorem, with the rafter considered as the hypotenuse of a right triangle. The Pythagorean theorem is a2 × b2 = c2 where a and b are the legs of the triangle (i.e., the run and rise) and c is the hypotenuse. Therefore, in this case 82 × 62 = 100, and the minimum length of each rafter is the square root of 100, or 10 feet.

Objective 0015
Understand agricultural structures and construction processes.

17. A reciprocating saw would be the most appropriate tool for which of the following tasks?

  1. cutting compound miters to join two pieces of molding
  2. cutting a hole in plywood sheathing to install a window
  3. making complex curved cuts in a small, flat piece of light metal
  4. ripping a half-inch strip from a 12-foot-long 2" × 10" pine board
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
A reciprocating saw has a toothed blade that protrudes from a socket located at the front of the saw. When the saw is turned on, the blade moves back and forth in a straight line. The saw is particularly useful for rough cutting holes in already existing walls. After drilling a hole through the wall or sheathing, the saw is inserted and the reciprocating action allows the operator to cut a hole of any size or shape. This saw is also very useful for cutting in tight corners where a circular blade would not be able to fit.

Objective 0016
Understand characteristics, components, and properties of soil.

18. A soil test on a field indicates that the soil has a pH value of 5.2. A farmer plans to plant corn in the field one year and then soybeans the following year. For optimum growth of these crops, the farmer should add which of the following to the field?

  1. chelated iron
  2. aluminum sulfate
  3. peat moss
  4. limestone
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Soil pH is a measure of the acidity/alkalinity of the soil. A pH of 7 is neutral. Studies have shown that corn and soybeans grow best when the pH of the soil is a slightly acidic 6-6.5. A pH of 5.2 will result in a slower crop growth and lower yields for these crops. Soil pH can be raised by adding limestone as a soil amendment. Limestone also adds calcium to the soil. Usually dolomitic or high-magnesium limestone is used as this adds magnesium as well as calcium to the soil.

Objective 0016
Understand characteristics, components, and properties of soil.

19. Which of the following plant nutrients plays a crucial role in regulating carbon dioxide uptake in plants by regulating the opening and closing of the stomata during photosynthesis?

  1. potassium
  2. phosphorus
  3. calcium
  4. iron
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
The stomata of a plant are pores used for gas exchange and are located on the undersides of the plant's leaves. Stomata open when struck by light in order to take in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, and close during the hours of darkness to reduce transpiration and conserve water. Open and closing of the stomata are controlled by the guard cells surrounding the opening. When struck by light they take up water by osmosis and become turgid. This causes them to pull apart, opening the stoma. The guard cells take up water and swell when they contain high concentrations of potassium ions, so it is ultimately the movement of potassium ions into and out of the guard cells that controls the opening and closing of the stomata.

Objective 0017
Understand principles and practices of agricultural and natural resources management.

20. Salinization of soils is most likely to occur in which of the following circumstances?

  1. Crop residues are incorporated into the soil in wetter-than-normal years.
  2. Poorly drained soils are irrigated over several years in semiarid or arid areas.
  3. Fog from the ocean or lakes regularly moves inland and covers farmland near the coast.
  4. Soils are left uncovered after cropping in areas with high annual rates of precipitation.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
Most water, even rainwater, contains some dissolved salts. Irrigation water, especially if it is recycled, often contains high salt levels from chemical fertilizers used on the crops. When water evaporates from the soil or is released through transpiration, the salts are left behind. Over time, they can accumulate in the soil, causing salinization of the soil. Plants growing in highly salinized soils have much lower efficiency at taking up water and grow poorly. In areas with high rainfall, salinization is less of a problem than in arid areas because the salts are flushed from the upper regions of the soil and leached below the root zone of the plants or even into the groundwater. In arid areas (where irrigation is most likely), salinization is a major problem because salts are not flushed from the soil and may even form a whitish crust on the soil surface. These soils have very low productivity and are difficult to treat to restore productivity.