Middle Grades Social Science  5 to 9 

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Competencies and Skills and Blueprint

The test design below describes general testing information. The blueprints that follow provide a detailed outline that explains the competencies and skills that this test measures.

Test Design

table describing the format of the test, including test time, number of questions, and required passing score
Format Computer-based test (CBT)
Number of Questions Approximately 80 multiple-choice questions
Time 2 hours and 30 minutes
Passing Score A scaled score of at least 200


Competencies, Skills, and Approximate Percentages of Questions

Pie chart of approximate test weighting outlined in the table below.

table describing the competencies, skills, and approximate percentage of each competency's weight toward overall test score
Competency Approximate Percentage of Total Test Questions
1 Knowledge of history 33%
2 Knowledge of geography 25%
3 Knowledge of civics and government 25%
4 Knowledge of economics 10%
5 Knowledge of social science curriculum and instruction 7%

Competencies and Skills

Competency 1—Knowledge of history
  1. Identify major historical events and how they are related by cause and effect.

  2. Analyze examples of primary source documents for historical perspective.

  3. Identify cultural, political, social, economic, and technological contributions made by civilizations in Africa, the Americas, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe, and Oceania.

  4. Relate major historical events and movements to physical and human geographic factors.

  5. Identify significant historical leaders and events and their influence on world civilizations.

  6. Analyze the causes and effects of exploration, settlement, and growth in Africa, the Americas, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe, and Oceania.

  7. Identify individuals, ideas, and events that have influenced economic, cultural, social, and political institutions in the United States.

  8. Identify immigration and settlement patterns that have shaped the history of Florida.

  9. Identify significant individuals, events, and social, cultural, political, and economic characteristics of different periods of Florida history.

Competency 2—Knowledge of geography
  1. Identify essential themes and elements in geography and the terms associated with them.

  2. Interpret maps and other graphic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.

  3. Use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments.

  4. Analyze the factors (e.g., topographic, environmental, economic) that influence the selection of a location for a specific activity (e.g., industrial and urban development, agriculture, transportation).

  5. Interpret statistics that show how places differ in their human and physical characteristics.

  6. Identify cultural, political, economic, sociological, and technological characteristics that define, link, or divide regions.

  7. Identify ways in which people adapt to an environment through the production and use of clothing, food, and shelter.

  8. Evaluate the effects of human activity and technology on the environment.

  9. Identify physical, cultural, social, economic, and political reasons for the movement of people in the world, nation, or state.

  10. Analyze factors contributing to the level of economic development in various geographic regions.

  11. Identify examples of interdependence between regions of the world.

Competency 3—Knowledge of civics and government
  1. Identify the structure, functions, and purposes of government.

  2. Identify major concepts, content, and purposes of the U.S. Constitution and other historical documents.

  3. Compare and contrast the various political systems in the world (e.g., monarchy, parliamentary system, federal republic, democracy, totalitarianism).

  4. Identify the characteristics of the U.S. electoral system and the election process.

  5. Identify the major structures and functions of federal, state, and local governments in the United States.

  6. Analyze relationships between social, cultural, economic, and political institutions and systems.

  7. Identify the tenets (e.g., rule of law, innocent until proven guilty), institutions, and processes of the U.S. legal system.

  8. Identify major U.S. Supreme Court cases and their impact on society.

  9. Evaluate the goals, conduct, and consequences of U.S. foreign policy.

  10. Identify features and concepts of international relations (e.g., United Nations, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Red Cross, Organization of American States, European Union).

  11. Identify the rights and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen in society.

Competency 4—Knowledge of economics
  1. Analyze the effects of scarcity on the choices made by governments and individuals.

  2. Compare and contrast the characteristics of various economic systems.

  3. Identify the role of markets in decisions affecting production, distribution, and consumption.

  4. Evaluate factors to consider when making consumer decisions.

  5. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of various kinds of credit.

  6. Identify factors involved in global economic interdependence and trade between nations.

  7. Identify the purposes and effects of various types of taxes.

Competency 5—Knowledge of social science curriculum and instruction
  1. Identify the interdisciplinary relationships of the social sciences.

  2. Apply nontextbook resources (e.g., technology, media, community) for use in social science instruction.

  3. Identify how social science content can be integrated with other areas of the curriculum.

  4. Identify various assessment strategies for the social sciences.

  5. Select strategies for teaching the social sciences to differentiated populations.

  6. Identify strategies for teaching the use of social science resources (e.g., primary source documents, charts, maps, graphs).