Earth Science and Evolution Practice Questions

Updated on Sep 26, 2011

Review these concepts at: Earth Science and Evolution Study Guide

Practice Questions

1. The earliest evidence in sedimentary rocks for the presence of liquid water on Earth comes from rocks dated around how many billion years ago?

a. 1 billion years ago

b. 2 billion years ago

c. 3 billion years ago

d. 4 billion years ago

2. Which is the best statement about the areas covered by the continents and the oceans over time, starting with the early Earth?

a. Continental area grew, and ocean area grew.

b. Continental area shrank, and ocean area grew.

c. Continental area grew, and ocean area shrank.

d. Continental area shrank, and ocean area shrank.

3. The first great rise in atmospheric oxygen in Earth's atmosphere occurred when?

a. 1 billion years ago

b. 2 billion years ago

c. 3 billion years ago

d. 4 billion years ago

4. Evidence for the rise in Earth's oxygen is found in which one of the following?

a. fossilized soils

b. fossilized bones

c. fossilized water

d. fossilized air

5. On average, and ignoring the influence of humans, what did carbon dioxide levels do during Earth's history?

a. increased

b. stayed the same

c. decreased then increased

d. decreased

6. The fact that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by an impact from space was discovered when geologists measured the elements in a clay layer that was formed at the time of the mass extinction. The geologists found what in this clay layer?

a. unusually low amounts of iridium

b. unusually high amounts of iridium

c. unusually low amounts of cesium

d. unusually high amounts of cesium

7. Which of the following is NOT true?

a. Dinosaurs evolved after land plants.

b. Land plants came after the Cambrian explosion.

c. Complex cells evolved after land plants.

d. Land plants came before mammals.

8. In the recipe for evolution, the step in which only the most fit survive is called which of the following?

a. inheritance

b. distribution

c. selection

d. variation

9. Which modern country contains the crater (buried under sediments) formed by the impact that caused the K-T mass extinction?

a. Brazil

b. China

c. Ghana

d. Mexico

10. Evolution has been taking place for how long? (Choose the earliest correct date.)

a. 3.5 billion years

b. 13.7 billion years

c. 540 million years

d. 65 million years


1. d. 4 billion years ago

2. c. continental area grew and ocean area shrank

3. b. 2 billion years ago

4. a. fossilized soils

5. d. decreased

6. b. high amounts of iridium

7. c. complex cells evolved after land plants

8. c. selection

9. d. Mexico

10. a. 3.5 billion years

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