The Praxis Study Companion. Sociology.

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1 The Praxis Study Companion Sociology

2 Welcome to Welcome to The Praxis Study Companion Prepare to Show What You Know You have been working to acquire the knowledge and skills you need for your teaching career. Now you are ready to demonstrate your abilities by taking a Praxis test. Using The Praxis Series Study Companion is a smart way to prepare for the test so you can do your best on test day. This guide can help keep you on track and make the most efficient use of your study time. The Study Companion contains practical information and helpful tools, including: An overview of the Praxis tests Specific information on the Praxis test you are taking A template study plan Study topics Practice questions and explanations of correct answers Test-taking tips and strategies Frequently asked questions Links to more detailed information So where should you start? Begin by reviewing this guide in its entirety and note those sections that you need to revisit. Then you can create your own personalized study plan and schedule based on your individual needs and how much time you have before test day. Keep in mind that study habits are individual. There are many different ways to successfully prepare for your test. Some people study better on their own, while others prefer a group dynamic. You may have more energy early in the day, but another test taker may concentrate better in the evening. So use this guide to develop the approach that works best for you. Your teaching career begins with preparation. Good luck! Know What to Expect Which tests should I take? Each state or agency that uses the Praxis tests sets its own requirements for which test or tests you must take for the teaching area you wish to pursue. Before you register for a test, confirm your state or agency s testing requirements at How are the Praxis tests given? Praxis tests are given on computer. Other formats are available for test takers approved for accommodations (see page 31) 2

3 Welcome to What should I expect when taking the test on computer? When taking the test on computer, you can expect to be asked to provide proper identification at the test center. Once admitted, you will be given the opportunity to learn how the computer interface works (how to answer questions, how to skip questions, how to go back to questions you skipped, etc.) before the testing time begins. Watch the What to Expect on Test Day video to see what the experience is like. Where and when are the Praxis tests offered? You can select the test center that is most convenient for you. The Praxis tests are administered through an international network of test centers, which includes Prometric Testing Centers, some universities, and other locations throughout the world. Testing schedules may differ, so see the Praxis Web site for more detailed test registration information at www. ets.org/praxis/register. 3

4 Table of Contents Table of Contents The Praxis Study Companion guides you through the 10 steps to success 1. Learn About Your Test...5 Learn about the specific test you will be taking 2. Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Become comfortable with the types of questions you ll find on the Praxis tests 3. Practice with Sample Test Questions Answer practice questions and find explanations for correct answers 4. Determine Your Strategy for Success Set clear goals and deadlines so your test preparation is focused and efficient 5. Develop Your Study Plan Develop a personalized study plan and schedule 6. Review Smart Tips for Success Follow test-taking tips developed by experts 7. Check on Testing Accommodations See if you qualify for accommodations that may make it easier to take the Praxis test 8. Do Your Best on Test Day Get ready for test day so you will be calm and confident 9. Understand Your Scores Understand how tests are scored and how to interpret your test scores Appendix: Other Questions You May Have

5 Step 1: Learn About Your Test 1. Learn About Your Test Learn about the specific test you will be taking Sociology (5952) Test Name Test Code 5952 Time Number of Questions 120 Format Test Delivery Sociology 2 hours Test at a Glance Selected-response questions Computer delivered Approximate Approximate Content Categories Number of Percentage of Questions Examination V IV VI III I II I. Sociological Perspective and Methods 24 20% of Inquiry II. Culture, Socialization, and Social 30 25% Organization III. Social Stratification 18 15% IV. Deviance and Conformity 18 15% V. Social Institutions 18 15% VI. Demography and Social Change 12 10% About This Test The Praxis Sociology test measures whether entry-level 6-12 sociology educators have the standards-relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities believed necessary for competent professional practice. The test covers the field of sociology as defined by the American Sociological Association and includes the major topics of sociological perspectives and methods of inquiry; culture, socialization, and social organization; social stratification; deviance and conformity; social institutions; and demography and social change. All questions are selected response. This test may contain some questions that will not count toward your score. 5

6 Step 1: Learn About Your Test Topics Covered Representative descriptions of topics covered in each category are provided below. I. Sociological Perspective and Methods of Inquiry 1. Understands the major theoretical perspectives of sociology (e.g., functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interactionism) a. Distinguishes sociology from other social sciences b. Describes and applies the three major theoretical perspectives (i.e., functionalism, symbolic interactionism, and conflict ) c. Compares and contrasts the three major theoretical perspectives 2. Knows the contributions made by major figures in sociology (e.g., Émile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber) a. Identifies major contributors in sociology (e.g., Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, and Karl Marx) b. Describes the contributions made by major figures in sociology 3. Understands methods of scientific inquiry in the social sciences a. Defines and applies key concepts of scientific inquiry in the social sciences (e.g., scientific method, hypotheses, dependent variable, and independent variable) 4. Understands various research methods in the social sciences (e.g., case study and experiment) a. Explains common research methods in the social sciences (e.g., survey, experiment, and case study) b. Compares and contrasts common research methods in the social sciences c. Critiques common research methods 5. Understands basic statistical terminology (e.g., mean and standard deviation) a. Defines basic statistical terms b. Applies appropriate statistical measures to research (e.g., mean and standard deviation) II. 6. Knows the standards for research ethics a. Identifies standards for ethical research 7. Understands the relationship between theory and research a. Describes the relationships among theory, research, and method Culture, Socialization, and Social Organization A. Culture 1. Understands the basic concepts of culture (e.g., norms, values, and language) a. Defines culture and its basic concepts b. Explains how basic elements of culture affect human behavior (e.g., social interaction) 2. Understands how ethnocentrism, global culture, subcultures, and countercultures affect a society s cultural diversity a. Defines ethnocentrism, global culture, subcultures, and countercultures b. Explains how ethnocentrism, global culture, subcultures, and countercultures affect a society s cultural diversity 3. Knows the major cross-cultural differences relating to gender and socialization a. Defines gender socialization b. Explains the role of gender in society c. Recognizes major cross-cultural differences in gender socialization B. Socialization 1. Understands the major theories of the self and socialization (e.g., Mead and Cooley) a. Defines the concepts of the self and socialization b. Describes and applies the theories of Mead and Cooley regarding the self and socialization 2. Knows the types of socialization (e.g., primary and anticipatory) a. Identifies the types of socialization (e.g., primary and anticipatory) 6

7 Step 1: Learn About Your Test 3. Understands the agents of socialization (e.g., family and school) a. Identifies and describes the primary agents of socialization and their functions (e.g., family and school) b. Compares and contrasts the functions of the primary agents of socialization C. Social Organization 1. Understands different forms of interactions (e.g., conflict, cooperation, and exchange) a. Identifies different forms of interactions (e.g., conflict, cooperation, and exchange) b. Compares and contrasts different forms of interactions 3. Knows the major theories of interaction (e.g., dramaturgical and symbolic interaction) a. Describes the major theories of interaction (e.g., dramaturgical and symbolic interaction) 3. Understands the building blocks of organization (e.g., roles/statuses, institutions, and networks) a. Recognizes the major building blocks of organization (e.g., roles/statuses, institutions, and networks) b. Explains how individuals fill roles and occupy statuses within organizations and institutions c. Compares and contrasts the building blocks of organization III. Social Stratification 1. Understands the concept of social class in terms of wealth, income, education, occupation, and lifestyle a. Describes the concept of social class b. Explains how differences in wealth, income, education, occupation, and lifestyle form social classes 2. Understands the concepts of power, prestige, and status a. Defines the concepts of power, prestige, and status b. Explains how power, prestige, and status relate to social stratification 3. Understands the causes and impacts of inequality, prejudice, and discrimination (e.g., race and gender) a. Defines inequality, prejudice, and discrimination (e.g., race and gender) b. Identifies examples of inequality, prejudice, and discrimination c. Explains the causes and consequences of inequality, prejudice, and discrimination 4. Knows aspects of global stratification a. Describes the concept of global stratification among countries b. Identifies examples of global stratification (e.g., highly developed countries and lessdeveloped countries) 5. Knows theoretical perspectives of stratification (e.g., functional and conflict) a. Identifies theoretical perspectives of stratification (e.g., functional and conflict 6. Knows the concept of social mobility (e.g., horizontal and vertical) a. Defines social mobility (e.g., horizontal and vertical) b. Distinguishes between horizontal, vertical, intergenerational, and intra-generational mobility c. Describes social mobility in different stratification systems, such as class, caste, and estate 7

8 Step 1: Learn About Your Test IV. Deviance and Conformity 1. Understands the sociological concepts and terms associated with deviance (e.g., positive deviance, subculture, and stigma) a. Defines the sociological concept of deviance and associated terms (e.g., positive deviance, subculture, and stigma) b. Applies the concepts and terms associated with deviance to social behavior 2. Understands the theoretical perspectives of deviance (e.g., functionalism and social control) a. Describes theoretical perspectives of deviance (e.g., functionalism and social control) b. Defines the terms associated with the theoretical perspectives of deviance (e.g., primary and secondary deviance) c. Applies the theoretical perspectives to examples of deviant behavior 3. Understands social problems contributing to crime a. Defines crime and social problems b. Identifies social problems contributing to crime c. Explains how social problems contribute to crime 4. Knows the relationship between the criminal justice system and society a. Defines the functions of criminal justice systems within society V. Social Institutions 1. Knows marriage patterns, residential patterns, and patterns of descent a. Identifies marriage patterns, residential patterns, and patterns of descent (e.g., matrilineal descent and monogamy) 2. Knows about stages of and major transitions in family life (e.g., courtship, marriage, and divorce) a. Defines stages of family life and major transitions in family life (e.g., courtship, marriage, and divorce) 3. Knows about alternate family forms (e.g., single parents and singlehood) a. Recognizes the diversity of family forms (e.g., single parents and singlehood) 4. Knows the defining characteristics of major world religions (e.g., Christianity and Islam) a. Identifies the defining characteristics of major world religions 5. Knows how religion and society influence each other (e.g., secularization and fundamentalism) a. Explains the relationship between religion and society (e.g., secularization and fundamentalism) 6. Is familiar with various types of religious organization (e.g., sect and church) a. Defines terms describing various types of religious organization (e.g., church, sect, and cult) 7. Knows the functions of schools (e.g., socialization and cultural innovation) a. Identifies the functions of schools (e.g., socialization and cultural innovation) 8. Knows the evolution of schooling and social inequality (e.g., access to higher education and inequality among schools) a. Recognizes how schooling and social inequality affect each other (e.g., access to education and inequality among schools) 9. Knows major models of power in society (e.g., populist and power elite) a. Describes the characteristics of the pluralist and power elite models of power 8

9 Step 1: Learn About Your Test 10. Knows major types of individual power and authority (e.g., traditional and charismatic) a. Recognizes the differences between power and authority b. Describes the traditional, charismatic, and rational-legal types of individual authority 11. Knows major types of political systems (e.g., monarchy and totalitarianism) a. Identifies major types of political systems (e.g., democracy, monarchy, and totalitarianism) 12. Knows the major turning points in economic development (e.g., the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution) a. Describes the major turning points in economic development (e.g., the development of agriculture, the Industrial Revolution, and postindustrialism) 13. Understands the defining characteristics of major economic systems (e.g., capitalism and socialism) a. Defines capitalism, socialism, and communism b. Compares and contrasts the characteristics of capitalism, socialism, and communism 14. Knows about the nature of work in the postindustrial society (e.g., labor unions, corporations, and competition) a. Describes the nature of work in the postindustrial society (e.g., rise of service sector, transnational corporations, labor unions, and information technology) 15. Is familiar with sociological perspectives on health and illness a. Identifies sociological perspectives on health and illness (e.g., the concept of health disparities, sick role, and public versus private organization of health care) 16. Knows about the effect of the media on work, the family, and peer relationships in society a. Describes the effect of the media on work, the family, and peer relationships 17. Knows the impact of new technology on work, the family, and peer relationships in society a. Recognizes the impact of technological innovations on work, the family, and peer relationships 18. Knows the relationship between media and culture a. Describes the relationship between media and culture VI. Demography and Social Change 1. Understands theories, causes, and consequences of social change a. Recognizes causes of social change (e.g., external, internal causes, technology, and social movements) b. Applies major theories (e.g., functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism) to social change c. Explains the role of collective behavior and social movements in social change 2. Knows concepts associated with urbanization (e.g., the evolution of cities, the rural turnaround, and suburban-urban decline) a. Identifies key concepts associated with urbanization (e.g., the evolution of cities, suburban-urban decline, gemeinschaft, and gesellschaft) 3. Knows the major concepts and processes associated with globalization (e.g., global economy and communication) a. Defines globalization b. Recognizes the major concepts and processes associated with globalization (e.g., global economy and communication) 4. Understands demographic processes (e.g., death rate, birth rate, and migration) a. Recognizes basic demographic processes b. Explains and applies the concepts of death rate, birth rate, and migration 9

10 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions 2. Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Become comfortable with the types of questions you ll find on the Praxis tests The Praxis Series assessments include a variety of question types: constructed response (for which you write a response of your own); selected response, for which you select one or more answers from a list of choices or make another kind of selection (e.g., by clicking on a sentence in a text or by clicking on part of a graphic); and numeric entry, for which you enter a numeric value in an answer field. You may be familiar with these question formats from taking other standardized tests. If not, familiarize yourself with them so you don t spend time during the test figuring out how to answer them. Understanding Computer-Delivered Questions Questions on computer-delivered tests are interactive in the sense that you answer by selecting an option or entering text on the screen. If you see a format you are not familiar with, read the directions carefully. The directions always give clear instructions on how you are expected to respond. For most questions, you respond by clicking an oval to select a single answer from a list of options. However, interactive question types may also ask you to respond by: Clicking more than one oval to select answers from a list of options. Typing in an entry box. When the answer is a number, you may be asked to enter a numerical answer. Some questions may have more than one place to enter a response. Clicking check boxes. You may be asked to click check boxes instead of an oval when more than one choice within a set of answers can be selected. Clicking parts of a graphic. In some questions, you will select your answers by clicking on a location (or locations) on a graphic such as a map or chart, as opposed to choosing your answer from a list. Clicking on sentences. In questions with reading passages, you may be asked to choose your answers by clicking on a sentence (or sentences) within the reading passage. Dragging and dropping answer choices into targets on the screen. You may be asked to select answers from a list of options and drag your answers to the appropriate location in a table, paragraph of text or graphic. Selecting options from a drop-down menu. You may be asked to choose answers by selecting options from a drop-down menu (e.g., to complete a sentence). Remember that with every question you will get clear instructions. Perhaps the best way to understand computer-delivered questions is to view the Computer-delivered Testing Demonstration on the Praxis Web site to learn how a computer-delivered test works and see examples of some types of questions you may encounter. 10

11 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Understanding Selected-Response Questions Many selected-response questions begin with the phrase which of the following. Take a look at this example: Which of the following is a flavor made from beans? (A) Strawberry (B) Cherry (C) Vanilla (D) Mint How would you answer this question? All of the answer choices are flavors. Your job is to decide which of the flavors is the one made from beans. Try following these steps to select the correct answer. 1) Limit your answer to the choices given. You may know that chocolate and coffee are also flavors made from beans, but they are not listed. Rather than thinking of other possible answers, focus only on the choices given ( which of the following ). 2) Eliminate incorrect answers. You may know that strawberry and cherry flavors are made from fruit and that mint flavor is made from a plant. That leaves vanilla as the only possible answer. 3) Verify your answer. You can substitute vanilla for the phrase which of the following and turn the question into this statement: Vanilla is a flavor made from beans. This will help you be sure that your answer is correct. If you re still uncertain, try substituting the other choices to see if they make sense. You may want to use this technique as you answer selected-response questions on the practice tests. Try a more challenging example The vanilla bean question is pretty straightforward, but you ll find that more challenging questions have a similar structure. For example: Entries in outlines are generally arranged according to which of the following relationships of ideas? (A) Literal and inferential (B) Concrete and abstract (C) Linear and recursive (D) Main and subordinate You ll notice that this example also contains the phrase which of the following. This phrase helps you determine that your answer will be a relationship of ideas from the choices provided. You are supposed to find the choice that describes how entries, or ideas, in outlines are related. Sometimes it helps to put the question in your own words. Here, you could paraphrase the question in this way: How are outlines usually organized? Since the ideas in outlines usually appear as main ideas and subordinate ideas, the answer is (D). 11

12 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions QUICK TIP: Don t be intimidated by words you may not understand. It might be easy to be thrown by words like recursive or inferential. Read carefully to understand the question and look for an answer that fits. An outline is something you are probably familiar with and expect to teach to your students. So slow down, and use what you know. Watch out for selected-response questions containing NOT, LEAST, and EXCEPT This type of question asks you to select the choice that does not fit. You must be very careful because it is easy to forget that you are selecting the negative. This question type is used in situations in which there are several good solutions or ways to approach something, but also a clearly wrong way. How to approach questions about graphs, tables, or reading passages When answering questions about graphs, tables, or reading passages, provide only the information that the questions ask for. In the case of a map or graph, you might want to read the questions first, and then look at the map or graph. In the case of a long reading passage, you might want to go ahead and read the passage first, noting places you think are important, and then answer the questions. Again, the important thing is to be sure you answer the questions as they refer to the material presented. So read the questions carefully. How to approach unfamiliar formats New question formats are developed from time to time to find new ways of assessing knowledge. Tests may include audio and video components, such as a movie clip or animation, instead of a map or reading passage. Other tests may allow you to zoom in on details in a graphic or picture. Tests may also include interactive questions. These questions take advantage of technology to assess knowledge and skills in ways that standard selected-response questions cannot. If you see a format you are not familiar with, read the directions carefully. The directions always give clear instructions on how you are expected to respond. QUICK TIP: Don t make the questions more difficult than they are. Don t read for hidden meanings or tricks. There are no trick questions on Praxis tests. They are intended to be serious, straightforward tests of your knowledge. Understanding Constructed-Response Questions Constructed-response questions require you to demonstrate your knowledge in a subject area by creating your own response to particular topics. Essays and short-answer questions are types of constructed-response questions. For example, an essay question might present you with a topic and ask you to discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated. You must support your position with specific reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading. Take a look at a few sample essay topics: Celebrities have a tremendous influence on the young, and for that reason, they have a responsibility to act as role models. We are constantly bombarded by advertisements on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, on highway signs, and the sides of buses. They have become too pervasive. It s time to put limits on advertising. Advances in computer technology have made the classroom unnecessary, since students and teachers are able to communicate with one another from computer terminals at home or at work. 12

13 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Keep these things in mind when you respond to a constructed-response question 1) Answer the question accurately. Analyze what each part of the question is asking you to do. If the question asks you to describe or discuss, you should provide more than just a list. 2) Answer the question completely. If a question asks you to do three distinct things in your response, you should cover all three things for the best score. Otherwise, no matter how well you write, you will not be awarded full credit. 3) Answer the question that is asked. Do not change the question or challenge the basis of the question. You will receive no credit or a low score if you answer another question or if you state, for example, that there is no possible answer. 4) Give a thorough and detailed response. You must demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. However, your response should be straightforward and not filled with unnecessary information. 5) Reread your response. Check that you have written what you thought you wrote. Be sure not to leave sentences unfinished or omit clarifying information. QUICK TIP: You may find that it helps to take notes on scratch paper so that you don t miss any details. Then you ll be sure to have all the information you need to answer the question. For tests that have constructed-response questions, more detailed information can be found on page 5. 13

14 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 3. Practice with Sample Test Questions Answer practice questions and find explanations for correct answers Sample Test Questions The sample questions that follow illustrate the kinds of questions on the test. They are not, however, representative of the entire scope of the test in either content or difficulty. Answers with explanations follow the questions. Directions: Each of the questions or statements below is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the one that is best in each case. 1. The population pyramid of a population that has had a slightly larger birth rate than death rate for several generations will most likely have which of the following shapes? (A) Wider at the top than in the middle (B) Wider at the bottom than at the top (C) Bulging in the middle (D) Having parallel sides 2. A researcher mailed 1,000 questionnaires to members of a labor union and received 300 back. Most of those who returned the questionnaires indicated that they were dissatisfied with the union. Results based only on the returned questionnaires are most likely contaminated by (A) response rate bias (B) researcher bias (C) confusing correlation and causation (D) statistical regression 4. The concept of political culture refers to the (A) way that cultural products, such as novels or paintings, reflect the political ideologies of their creators (B) basic beliefs and orientation toward politics that are shared widely by the members of a culture (C) political beliefs and attitudes shared by people in public offices (D) ideological biases of the mass media 5. Which of the following sociological perspectives views society as a system of interdependent and coordinated parts? (A) Functionalism (B) Conflict theory (C) Symbolic interactionism (D) Role theory 6. Seven people standing silently while waiting for a bus at a bus stop is an example of which of the following? (A) A primary group (B) A secondary group (C) An aggregate (D) A social category 3. From the perspective of labeling theory, which of the following would be the most important factor in the development of a deviant identity by an individual? (A) Escaping punishment for deviant behavior (B) Being rewarded for deviant behavior (C) Having the individual s deviant behavior observed by others (D) Belonging to a group that approves of and encourages deviant behavior 7. Which of the following best describes the practice of placing the blame for the problems of a society on one particular group? (A) Ethnocentrism (B) Stereotyping (C) Scapegoating (D) Institutionalization 14

15 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 8. Which of the following best describes the definition of poverty used by the United States government? (A) It specifies the poverty line at a level set in the 1960s and adjusted since to reflect inflation. (B) It includes the value of government services, such as Medicaid or public housing, when setting the poverty line. (C) It is based on the concept of relative deprivation, and the poverty line changes as the distribution of income changes. (D) It is based on the concept of lifestyle, and the poverty line varies according to the needs of the individual. 9. Charles Cooley s theory of the looking-glass self emphasizes (A) the manner in which young children come to a realization that they have a separate identity (B) the difficulty one experiences in seeing oneself as others do (C) how one s self-concept is based on one s perception of how others see one (D) how one s self-concept is heavily influenced by one s physical appearance 10. Someone who gains a higher (or lower) social position than he or she was born into has experienced (A) absolute poverty (B) relative poverty (C) vertical mobility (D) horizontal mobility 12. Robert and Tanya are married and live with their three children. Their family unit is called (A) a family of orientation (B) a nuclear family (C) an extended family (D) a communal family 13. Religious organizations such as the Church of Norway, Islam, the Church of England, and the Church of Greece have which of the following characteristics in common? (A) They are cultures as well as churches. (B) They practice separation of church and state. (C) They exclude women as clergy. (D) They are monotheistic. 14. Which of the following is consistent with results of current research conducted in the area of gender roles and the workplace? (A) In about a quarter of households with children, men stay home with the children so their wives can work. (B) Most women believe that there is equal opportunity today between men and women in career choice, advancement, and income. (C) Most men believe that women should be homemakers because men earn more money. (D) Most men married to working women do not share housework and childcare obligations equally with their working wives. 11. Children who are still sucking their thumbs when they enter kindergarten are often subject to teasing and ridicule for this behavior. What type of social sanction is applied in this instance? (A) Formal positive sanction (B) Formal negative sanction (C) Informal positive sanction (D) Informal negative sanction 15

16 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 15. According to W. E. B. Dubois, progress for African Americans in the aftermath of slavery (A) depended on the small group of African Americans receiving the same thorough and extensive education as the most talented White Americans were able to access (B) involved their use of skills they already had from farming, domestic work, and labors of rural life rather than being forced to learn new skills in the late 1800s (C) required that they be trained and prepared as craftspeople and service employees so they could become immediately self-sufficient (D) required them to move to large cities where they would be accepted as equals in government, religion, and education 16. A sociologist is conducting research on institutional power relations at a local hospital. The sociologist is on staff at the hospital for several weeks, recording data as field notes. This method of research is called (A) experimentation (B) secondary data analysis (C) participant observation (D) survey administration 17. Which of the following groups or organizations can be identified as having the characteristics of a bureaucracy? (A) An extended or consanguine family, including all the relatives by blood, marriage, or adoption (B) The government of a large city (C) A book club in which books are chosen by members who take turns alphabetically to lead discussion (D) The volunteers who gather annually to clean the neighborhood 18. Statistics about rural, suburban, and urban patterns of development and mobility are almost always reported based on a geographical area labeled as Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). What constitutes an MSA? (A) It includes only the 10 largest cities in the United States. (B) It is composed of at least one central city with a population of at least 50,000 and it surrounds densely urbanized counties. (C) It is an area that experiences strong storms at least 50 percent of the year. (D) It is a large city with a population of at least 1 million and is immediately surrounded by suburbs. 19. Which of the following is the most important agent of socialization in early childhood? (A) A preschool provider (B) A peer group (C) The mass media (D) The family 20. The concept of gemeinschaft developed by Ferdinand Tönnies describes basically the same relational characteristics as (A) organic solidarity (B) mechanical solidarity (C) gesellschaft (D) anomie 21. Millions of immigrant children who entered the United States learned English and the duties of citizenship while attending public schools in the communities in which they settled. This is an example of which of the following sociological concepts? (A) Acculturation (B) Collective behavior (C) Social stratification (D) Social mobility 16

17 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 22. Giselle graduated from college with high honors in management. She was recruited immediately following college by a large corporation and accepted a position in junior management. She quickly advanced to middle management. Ten years later Giselle was still in a middle-management position and had witnessed junior male colleagues promoted over her. Which of the following is a phenomenon that is most likely to explain Giselle s lack of promotion? (A) Glass ceiling (B) Old boys network (C) Underemployment (D) Glass elevator 23. Émile Durkheim believed the primary focus of sociology should be which of the following? (A) Social action (B) Social facts (C) Class relations (D) Cultural dynamics 24. The term sociology was coined in the early 1800s by which of the following? (A) Auguste Comte (B) Robert K. Merton (C) Karl Marx (D) Émile Durkheim 25. A major car accident occurs. One man stops his car and starts helping people. After seeing him stop, others also stop and start helping. Which of the following theories best explains the scenario? (A) Convergence (B) Emergent-norm (C) Contagion (D) Value-added 26. A new highway extends from a major city though an area used for farmland. Which of the following is most likely to happen as a result? (A) Farmers will increase the acreage under production. (B) The city will evolve into a multiple nuclei model. (C) Suburbanization will develop because the time it takes to commute to the city has been decreased. (D) People from the countryside will move to the city, depopulating the farmland region. 27. Which of the following statements most closely corresponds with differential association theory? (A) If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, I suppose you would too. (B) You should be proud to be a part of this organization. (C) If the door is closed, try the window. (D) Once a thief, always a thief. 28. David is a supervisor at a local business that manufactures recreational vehicles. It is his job to recommend workers he supervises for raises and promotions. Although Roberta and Stephanie have the most seniority among the workers on his crew, he always recommends less experienced men for promotions because he thinks the work in the higher-level positions is too physically taxing for women. David s behavior is an example of (A) discrimination but not prejudice (B) prejudice but not discrimination (C) discrimination that could turn into prejudice D) both prejudice and discrimination 29. Equilibrium theories of social change emphasize (A) globalization (B) stability and the structure of society (C) secularism and mechanization (D) industrialization 17

18 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 30. Which of the following social phenomena is the result of the demographic episode known as the baby boom? (A) The growth of child-centered industries in the 1950s and 1960s (B) The increase in time spent watching television (C) Economic inflation during the 1980s (D) Decreased family size 18

19 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions Answers to Sample Questions 1. The best answer is (B). A long-term pattern of larger birth rate than death rate would produce greater numbers of people in the younger age categories than in the older age categories. Not only would the population of the society increase, but also the population pyramid would be increasingly broad at its base. 2. The best answer is (A). The researcher cannot assume that persons responding to the questionnaire are representative of the whole sample. In fact, one would expect just the opposite, that those responding to the questionnaire differ significantly on relevant variables (e.g., dissatisfaction with the union) from those not responding. 3. The best answer is (C). From the labeling theory perspective, a deviant identity results from the detection and labeling of deviant behavior. Much deviance is unobserved, well concealed, or so occasional that it is not labeled as deviant. According to labeling theory, persons whose nonconformity is of this type will likely escape being labeled or considering themselves deviant. A person whose deviance is observed and who is labeled deviant, however, will face restricted options and may be forced into a deviant lifestyle. 4. The best answer is (B). Social scientists use the concept of political culture as a particular aspect of the broader concept of culture. Culture is defined as a design for living or orientation toward life. Thus, political culture is seen as an orientation or set of basic beliefs about politics that is held widely by persons in a society and that influences the approaches taken by that society to issues of politics and governance. 5. The best answer is (A). Functionalists tend to view society as a set of interrelated structures and institutions performing functions in a system. The emphasis is on stability and consensus. 6. The best answer is (C). A group of people waiting for a bus is merely a collection of individuals. They do not necessarily share any common trait or characteristic other than the chance occurrence of waiting for the bus together. They are thus an aggregation of separate individuals. 7. The best answer is (C). Scapegoating is the practice of placing blame for the troubles of a society on an individual or group. 8. The best answer is (A). The United States government defines poverty according to a level that was set in the early 1960s based on what was then perceived to be a poverty level income. The poverty line has been adjusted since to reflect inflation, but not economic growth. 9. The best answer is (C). The looking-glass self theory refers to the interactive process by which individuals develop a sense of self. It posits that individuals develop a self-image through imagining how others perceive them; the others, in effect, act as a mirror for them. 10. The best answer is (C). Vertical mobility is the movement up or down in the social hierarchy, resulting in a change of class. For example, vertical mobility occurs when a factory worker undergoes training and enters a professional career. Horizontal mobility is a change in social status occurring without a change of class, such as a change in occupation that does not result in a change in power or economic status. Poverty is not relevant to this definition. 11. The best answer is (D). Formal sanctions are rewards or punishments that are applied by a social authority; examples include awarding a prize or imposing a fine. Informal sanctions are spontaneous responses to an individual s behavior with little or no influence of authority, such as praise or ridicule. Positive sanctions involve rewards for approved behavior, and negative sanctions involve punishments for behavior that violates social norms or customs. In this case, informal negative sanctions (teasing and ridicule) are being imposed as a result of children s violation of developmental norms (sucking their thumbs in kindergarten). 12. The best answer is (B). A nuclear family is made up of parents and their children. Extended families include additional relatives, communal families include nonrelatives, and the term family of orientation refers to the family in which an individual is born and raised. 13. The best answer is (D). All of the organizations listed are monotheistic. Each of the other options is not true for all organizations listed. 14. The best answer is (D). Of the options given, the only one consistent with research findings is that in families in which both parents work, women have the majority of responsibility for housework and child care. 19

20 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 15. The best answer is (A). W. E. B. Dubois believed that education was extremely important in giving African Americans better opportunities and improving their social status in a White-dominated society. None of the other options are consistent with Dubois writings. 16. The best answer is (C). The example provided demonstrates participant observation, a method in which the researcher participates to some extent in the situation being studied. 17. The best answer is (B). Large city governments have the characteristics of a bureaucracy, including hierarchical organization, rules and regulations, impersonality, formal written communications, specialization of tasks, and technical legitimacy required for appointment or advancment in positions. 18. The best answer is (B). The answer provides the Census Bureau definition of MSA. 19. The best answer is (D). The family is the most important primary agent of socialization from infancy through preschool. (A) is not correct because, although important in the socialization process, the preschool provider is secondary to the family during early childhood. (B) is not correct because the peer group as an agent of socialization becomes important during middle and late childhood. Some controversy exists about the effect that mass media has on socialization, but, in any event, it is not the primary agent of socialization during early childhood. Thus, (C) is not correct. 20. The best answer is (B). Gemeinschaft refers to a type of social organization in which people are closely tied by kinship and tradition. Durkheim s concept of mechanical solidarity includes social bonds based on common sentiments and shared moral values, which is an aspect of his description of traditional rural life. (A) and (C) are not correct both are similar concepts developed by Durkheim (organic solidarity) and Tönnies (gesellschaft). (D) is not correct because anomie is Durkheim s term for a condition in which society provides too little moral guidance to individuals. 21. The best answer is (A). Acculturation is the process by which the members of an immigrant population incorporate norms and values from a receiving culture into their own. (B) is not correct because collective behavior refers to an activity that is undertaken by a large group of people at one time. The behavior is often controversial or dangerous. (C) and (D) are not correct because they refer to a person s social status or change in social status. 22. The best answer is (A). The term describes the barrier that, although not a visible barrier, prevents women from succeeding in their careers. (B) is not correct because it refers to informal social networking that can occur among men. (C) is not correct because underemployment is when people are not employed at jobs that do not make full use of their skills. (D) is not correct because the term refers to the rapid rise of males into management positions of traditionally femaledominated occupations, such as nursing. 23. The best answer is (B). Durkheim established that society had structure and function, and recognized that a society is more than the individuals who compose it. He defined sociology as the study of social facts, not (A), (C), or (D). 24. The best answer is (A). Auguste Comte coined the term sociology. Merton, Marx, and Durkheim were influential sociologists but are not credited with being first to use the term sociology. 25. The best answer is (B). The emergent-norm theory was developed by Ralph Turner and Lewis Killian and describes the norms in a collective as developing as the group forms. For example, in the scenario, the norm of stopping to help others was developed after the first man stopped to help and then others followed along. 26. The best answer is (C). When there is quicker and easier access to an urban, industrialized area, people often move outside of the city and commute to work, and suburbanization occurs. 27. The best answer is (A). Differential association theory indicates that people learn deviant behavior, such as jumping off a bridge, by associating with others who do it. 20

21 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 28. The best answer is (D). Prejudice involves making prejudgments about people based on certain characteristics. In the scenario, David is acting with prejudice because he prejudges women in his belief that they are not capable of the physical work. Discrimination is when someone takes action against someone else based on a prejudice. In the scenario, David does not promote the two senior women because of his prejudice, so his behavior is an example of prejudice and discrimination. 29. The best answer is (B). The equilibrium theory of social change emphasizes change in small increments and stability. 30. The best answer is (A). The baby boom occurred at the end of the Second World War. Many children were born as veterans returned home, and this in turn caused an increase in childrelated industries. 21

22 Step 4: Determine Your Strategy for Success 4. Determine Your Strategy for Success Set clear goals and deadlines so your test preparation is focused and efficient Effective Praxis test preparation doesn t just happen. You ll want to set clear goals and deadlines for yourself along the way. Otherwise, you may not feel ready and confident on test day. A helpful resource is the Strategies for Success video, which includes tips for preparing and studying, along with tips for reducing test anxiety. 1) Learn what the test covers. You may have heard that there are several different versions of the same test. It s true. You may take one version of the test and your friend may take a different version a few months later. Each test has different questions covering the same subject area, but both versions of the test measure the same skills and content knowledge. You ll find specific information on the test you re taking on page 5, which outlines the content categories that the test measures and what percentage of the test covers each topic. Visit testprep for information on other Praxis tests. 2) Assess how well you know the content. Research shows that test takers tend to overestimate their preparedness this is why some test takers assume they did well and then find out they did not pass. The Praxis tests are demanding enough to require serious review of likely content, and the longer you ve been away from the content, the more preparation you will most likely need. If it has been longer than a few months since you ve studied your content area, make a concerted effort to prepare. 3) Collect study materials. Gathering and organizing your materials for review are critical steps in preparing for the Praxis tests. Consider the following reference sources as you plan your study: Did you take a course in which the content area was covered? If yes, do you still have your books or your notes? Does your local library have a high school-level textbook in this area? Does your college library have a good introductory college-level textbook in this area? Practice materials are available for purchase for many Praxis tests at Test preparation materials include sample questions and answers with explanations. 4) Plan and organize your time. You can begin to plan and organize your time while you are still collecting materials. Allow yourself plenty of review time to avoid cramming new material at the end. Here are a few tips: Choose a test date far enough in the future to leave you plenty of preparation time. Test dates can be found at Work backward from that date to figure out how much time you will need for review. Set a realistic schedule and stick to it. 22

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