Copyright

Ch 15: MCAS STE Biology: Evolution & Biodiversity

About This Chapter

Let us help you review the theory of evolution and explore biodiversity. Use the self-assessment quizzes to assess your knowledge and prepare for the MCAS STE Biology exam.

MCAS STE Biology: Evolution & Biodiversity - Chapter Summary

The lessons in this chapter will examine the evidence supporting the theory of evolution and explain the factors involved in biodiversity. After completing this chapter you will have reviewed:

  • Theory of evolution
  • Evidence supporting evolution
  • How to define a species
  • Biodiversity
  • Process of natural selection and adaptation
  • Kinds of natural selection
  • Sympatric and allopatric speciation
  • Prezygotic and postzygotic barriers to speciation
  • Gene variation and random mutations
  • Artificial selection

Each of the lessons have been developed by professionals to effectively illustrate the material. Watch the video lessons and refer to the video transcripts for text-based learning. You will find a clickable timeline below each video you can use to return to a particular portion of the lesson if you'd like to review it. Take the self-assessment quiz at the end of each lesson to see how questions may appear on the MCAS STE Biology exam.

MCAS STE Biology: Evolution & Biodiversity - Chapter Summary

The MCAS STE Biology exam is a standardized test taken by high school students in Massachusetts. The exam assesses a student's level of educational mastery in biology as decided by the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework. The test is scored based on five main content areas. The information covered in this chapter prepares you for questions in the Evolution and Biodiversity content area, which account for 20% of the total score.

The MCAS STE Biology exam is one of four Science and Technology/Engineering exams taken by high school students in Massachusetts. The test is comprised of 40 multiple-choice questions and 5 open-ended responses. You will need a score of 220 or higher on one of the four STE exams to qualify for high school graduation.

11 Lessons in Chapter 15: MCAS STE Biology: Evolution & Biodiversity
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Theories of Evolution: Lamarck vs. Darwin

1. Theories of Evolution: Lamarck vs. Darwin

We'll look at the interplay between population genetics and environment. Are traits individually acquired or do entire populations evolve? The flying hamsters and a few other notable experiments will provide the answers.

Evidence for Evolution: Paleontology, Biogeography, Embryology, Comparative Anatomy & Molecular Biology

2. Evidence for Evolution: Paleontology, Biogeography, Embryology, Comparative Anatomy & Molecular Biology

There is much support for the theory of evolution. This evidence comes from a variety of scientific fields and provides information that helps us trace changes in species over time. In this lesson, we'll look at this evidence and explore how it supports the theory of evolution.

What is a Species? - Definition & Explanation

3. What is a Species? - Definition & Explanation

In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification. It most commonly refers to a group of physically similar organisms that can exchange genetic information and produce fertile offspring. Learn more in this lesson.

What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability

4. What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability

Imagine making a list of all of the species you have ever heard of; it would be an enormous list! There are many different species on this planet. This lesson will explore the diversity of species, as well as the different types of diversity and how diversity of life is essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Natural Selection & Adaptation: Definition, Theory & Examples

5. Natural Selection & Adaptation: Definition, Theory & Examples

How does natural selection help shape the amazing types of animals we witness around us? In this lesson, we'll explore adaptations and what they can tell us about a species' past evolution.

Natural Selection: Definition, Types & Examples

6. Natural Selection: Definition, Types & Examples

We'll take a look at the types of natural selection that can occur. From flying hamsters to moths, you'll start to grasp the different paths organisms can take as they respond to their changing environments over time.

Speciation: Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation

7. Speciation: Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation

Discover the definition of a species and learn more about how species split. Find out common terms related to the splitting of species and study what role polyploidy plays in the development of a species.

Prezygotic Reproductive Barriers & Speciation: Definition & Examples

8. Prezygotic Reproductive Barriers & Speciation: Definition & Examples

We may take for granted why animals choose to mate with other animals of similar appearance, but it's not that simple. There are actually biological barriers to reproduction that can prevent even seemingly closely related species from reproducing. This lesson looks at one such category of hindrances, prezygotic barriers, which make fertilization impossible.

Postzygotic Reproductive Barriers: Definition & Examples

9. Postzygotic Reproductive Barriers: Definition & Examples

Do flying hamsters represent a separate species from your run-of-the-mill hamsters? We'll get to the bottom of this by performing crosses between the two hamster types. You'll explore postzygotic reproductive barriers and their possibly tragic consequences.

Genetic Variability and Random Mutation

10. Genetic Variability and Random Mutation

Evolution is driven by variation among populations. The amount of variability determines how well a population can adapt to environmental changes, while random mutations can provide new variations that help a population adapt to unexpected changes.

Artificial Selection in Evolution

11. Artificial Selection in Evolution

Humans have been selectively breeding for desirable traits in plants and animals for a long time. This artificial selection allows for a lot of control in the breeding process but can also lead to unintended mutations within a population of organisms.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support