Praxis II Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 Subject Concentration: Social Studies (5157) Test Questions

1. How did Plato’s Theory of Forms most influence Christianity?
A. It held that what is most real and most good is outside the physical realm.
B. The theory described a cosmic conflict between ideal forms of good and evil.
C. It held that the form of the good formed a trinity with ideal forms of knowledge and reason.
D. The theory described Socratic reasoning as a means of redemption from sin.

2. How did Egypt’s geographical features most contribute to the stability of ancient Egyptian culture?
A. The Nile River regularly and predictably flooded, irrigating crops.
B. The expanse of the Nile River prevented Egyptians from settling elsewhere.
C. The Valley of the Kings divided Upper Egypt from Lower Egypt.
D. The Mediterranean Sea enabled contact between Egyptians and other ancient peoples.


3. How does the prevalence of ziggurats in ancient Mesopotamia illustrate a central factor of Mesopotamian culture?
A. Intended as lookouts, the number of ziggurats illustrates a Mesopotamian concern for security from invaders.
B. Used for stargazing, the number of ziggurats shows how Mesopotamian culture depended on astrology.
C. Dedicated to Mesopotamian rulers, the ziggurats illustrate the complete control Mesopotamian kings held over their subjects.
D. Structures dedicated to gods, the ziggurats illustrate the importance of religion in Mesopotamian culture.

4. Which of the following played the most influential role in the Spanish defeat of the Incas in the 16th century?
A. The scarcity of roads in the Incan Empire prevented the Incas from easily defending their cities.
B. Francisco Pizarro’s forces outnumbered the Incan warriors.
C. The centralized power structure of the Incan Empire left the Incas vulnerable after Atahualpa was captured.
D. New diseases introduced by the Spanish decimated the Incan army.

5. How did Charlemagne’s coronation as Holy Roman Emperor influence European politics?
A. It united much of Western Europe under a single ruler.
B. It strengthened papal authority regarding the right of political leaders to rule.
C. It made Catholicism the official religion throughout Charlemagne’s empire.
D. It led to Charlemagne’s renunciation of conquest by force.

6. In about 1428, the Mesoamerican city-states Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan formed a Triple Alliance. How did this influence Aztec history?
A. Texcoco and Tlacopan secretly conspired against Tenochtitlan, using the Alliance as a front.
B. Disagreements about strategy between the city-states weakened Aztec resistance to Spanish invaders.
C. The alliance agreed that each city-state would offer a specific number of human sacrifices each year.
D. The allied city-states joined forces to conquer other city-states, incorporating them into an Aztec Empire.

7. Which statement best describes the feudal society of Western Europe in the Middle Ages?
A. Religious institutions owned most of the land and leased portions to vassals.
B. Rulers granted land strictly on the basis of blood relationships.
C. Rulers granted vassals land in exchange for military and political service.
D. Feudalism shifted a spice-based economy to a land-based economy.

8. Which statement best describes the role of the Catholic Church in medieval Western Europe?
A. Powerful and wealthy, the Church was important to both poor and rich people.
B. The Church concerned itself mainly with the poorer members of medieval society.
C. Weakened by infighting about Church doctrine, the Church struggled to wield power.
D. The Catholic Church served as a neutral force between competing political leaders.

9. What effect did the Crusades have on Europe’s Jewish population?
A. Entire European Jewish communities were killed during the First Crusade.
B. Persecution of Jewish people declined as the Crusaders focused on Muslims.
C. Most Jewish traders and merchants profited through Crusades-related business.
D. To avoid persecution, some Jewish-only battalions fought in each Crusade.

10. During the 15th century, Johann Gutenberg invented a printing press with moveable type. How did his invention influence science?
A. It did not influence science; the printing of Gutenberg Bibles directed public attention away from science and toward reforming the Catholic Church.
B. It led to scientific advances throughout Europe by spreading scientific knowledge.
C. It influenced scientific advancement in Germany only, where Gutenberg’s press was based.
D. It did not influence science; though texts with scientific knowledge were printed, distribution of these texts was limited.

Praxis II Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 Subject Concentration: Social Studies (5157) Test Answer Key