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Contemporary's GED Social Studies
Kenneth Tamarkin
Jeri W. Bayer

Science, Technology, and Society

GED Practice Quiz


Choose the one best answer to each question. When you have finished the quiz, click on Submit Answers to receive feedback and results. You may also choose to e-mail your results to your instructor.

Questions 1 and 2 refer to the following quotations.

"[Machines] tend to relieve the workman either from niceties of adjustment which exhaust his mind and fatigue his eyes, or from painful repetition of effort which distort or wear out his frame."

—Andrew Ure

"Each week, automation eliminates between 40,000 and 50,000 jobs. . . . The loss of nearly two and a half million jobs each year, when nearly 4,000,000 young people annually enter the job market, constitutes one of the more serious problems confronting American society."

—Franklin D. Mitchell and Richard O. Davies


Over which of the following statements would the authors of the two quotations most likely disagree?
Need a Hint?
A)Industry fills needs and wants.
B)Most people require jobs to live.
C)Human health is of primary value.
D)Automation has had a tremendous impact on society.
E)Automation is a great boon to workers.

Which of the following household machines best fits Ure’s description?
Need a Hint?
A)clothes dryer
C)sewing machine

Questions 3 and 4 refer to the following graph.

<a onClick="'/olcweb/cgi/pluginpop.cgi?it=jpg:: ::/sites/dl/free/0809222299/45402/09A.jpg','popWin', 'width=NaN,height=NaN,resizable,scrollbars');" href="#"><img valign="absmiddle" height="16" width="16" border="0" src="/olcweb/styles/shared/linkicons/image.gif"> (33.0K)</a>


Based on the above graph, which of the following statements is most accurate?
Need a Hint?
A)The number of trade workers decreased between 1870 and 1920.
B)More workers were in manufacturing than in any other area of the 1920 economy.
C)Between 1910 and 1920, the number of farmers increased.
D)The number of construction workers decreased between 1870 and 1910.
E)The number of mining workers grew more between 1910 and 1920 than during any other decade.

Which of the following conclusions can you draw from the information on the graph?
Need a Hint?
A)Industrial growth was greater than agricultural growth.
B)The Industrial Revolution had not yet come to America.
C)The number of industrial jobs decreased, while the number of agricultural jobs increased.
D)During a later period of time, mining jobs would probably equal agricultural jobs.
E)Industrial jobs paid lower wages than agricultural jobs.

Question 5 refers to the following information.

The USSR launched Sputnik, the world’s first human-made satellite, in October 1957. This feat, plus the public perception that the United States was falling behind the Soviet Union’s technological knowledge, led to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958. Congress set aside large sums for the agency to compete in a "space race." President John F. Kennedy’s "New Frontier" program included the declaration that an American would be on the moon by the end of the 1960s.


Without Sputnik, Kennedy’s prediction of an American on the moon in the 1960s would not have come true.

Which of the following statements supports this conclusion?
Need a Hint?
A)The USSR shared its technology with the United States.
B)The debate over Sputnik brought Congress to a standstill.
C)Kennedy’s "New Frontier" program was patterned after the Soviet Union’s space program.
D)U.S. agents obtained the blueprints for Sputnik.
E)Sputnik spurred Congress to create NASA.

Airplanes are the only contact that some natives in New Guinea have with Western civilization. Since the "strange birds" bring food, medicine, tobacco, and alcohol, they have, in effect, ushered in a millennium—a period of prosperity for the tribe. Not surprisingly, however, this sudden appearance of cargo is also a source of some consternation to the natives. Thus, they have developed a cargo cult that explains the arrival of the supplies in terms of their existing beliefs, of which ancestor worship is an important part.

What hypothesis does the above information best support?
Need a Hint?
A)People tend to explain confusing events in terms of their existing beliefs.
B)Ancestor worship is an important element of Western civilization.
C)The natives of New Guinea probably will develop a sacred bird cult.
D)Western civilization greatly altered the existing beliefs of natives.
E)Prosperity tends to destroy the beliefs of primitive people.

Question 7 refers to the following cartoon.

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© Tribune Media Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.


Which of the following summarizes the cartoon’s meaning?
Need a Hint?
A)Bush is going to raise import tariffs in order to win votes.
B)Bush has no intention of ever lifting import tariffs.
C)Bush would rather further his political purposes than aid poor nations.
D)Bush does not believe in giving aid to poor nations.
E)Bush thinks that helping poor nations will win him votes.

As one energy source declines, another is developed to take its place. Four hundred years ago, wood was the major fuel in England. Because the trees were rapidly being cut down, many people at that time feared England would run out of an energy source. However, coal was developed as a substitute, and industry boomed. In the nineteenth century, the United States faced a shortage of whale oil, which was used for lighting. The petroleum industry developed to provide a new source of energy. As oil becomes scarcer today, atomic energy and solar power are being developed as alternative sources of energy.

Which of the following is an assumption stated in the paragraph?
Need a Hint?
A)Atomic energy and solar power are better than oil.
B)The world consumes far too much energy.
C)People always find alternatives when available energy sources appear threatened.
D)The United States prevented a major loss of forest by learning from England’s example.
E)One day, all natural energy sources will be exhausted.

Question 9 refers to the following cartoon.

<a onClick="'/olcweb/cgi/pluginpop.cgi?it=jpg:: ::/sites/dl/free/0809222299/45391/Cartoon8.jpg','popWin', 'width=NaN,height=NaN,resizable,scrollbars');" href="#"><img valign="absmiddle" height="16" width="16" border="0" src="/olcweb/styles/shared/linkicons/image.gif"> (302.0K)</a>
© The New Yorker Collection 1991 Mischa Richter from All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.


What does this cartoon imply about the influence of the media on the court system?
Need a Hint?
A)The media has no influence over the court system.
B)The media can help people understand what is happening in the courts.
C)If the media didn’t exist, the defendant would be found innocent.
D)The media helps the courts make better decisions about whether defendants are innocent or guilty.
E)The media hurts the court system’s ability to provide fair trials.

A serious problem in recent decades is the rapid rise in the use of illegal drugs throughout society. While alcohol has been America’s most abused substance, the abuse of other, harder drugs has had a sweeping impact on crime, productivity in the workplace, and U.S. relations with drug-exporting nations.

What is one reason why the government of a drug-exporting nation might not be eager to help U.S. efforts at drug control?
Need a Hint?
A)Its leaders also use the drugs they export.
B)Its leaders are unpatriotic.
C)All exports, even drugs, boost its economy.
D)They do not want to be responsible for importing goods from the United States in order to bring about balanced trade.
E)Drugs are an American problem.