The Science Questions You Should Know Quiz
by Staff
Everyone should have a grasp on the basic processes that make our world tick. Take this quiz to see how good you are at answering some fundamental science questions. Don't worry — no rocket science knowledge is required.

Which direction does the needle of a compass point?

  • north
  • south
  • west

What is every object in our world made of?

  • solids
  • mass
  • matter

Newton's first law of motion states that an object in motion tends to what?

  • stay in motion
  • slowly decrease in speed
  • cause an equal and opposite reaction

About what percentage of Earth is covered by water?

  • 50 percent
  • 60 percent
  • 70 percent

The word habitat refers to what?

  • a large, open area
  • a place where an organism lives
  • a subset of a specific ecosystem

How many days does it take Earth to travel around the sun?

  • 365 days
  • 24 days
  • 132 days

When do the coldest temperatures generally occur?

  • shortly after sunrise
  • at 2 a.m.
  • just before sunrise

How many subatomic particles are in an atom?

  • two
  • three
  • five

About how long ago did modern humans first appear?

  • 200,000
  • 2 million
  • 12 million

What does the periodic table display?

  • elements according to their atomic numbers
  • the evolutionary time periods of life on Earth
  • the geologic layers that represent different eras of Earth's creation

What term describes a group of organisms and their physical environment?

  • niche
  • mutualism
  • ecosystem

If the pressure is the same, what kind of air has the greatest density?

  • hot
  • cold
  • humid

What are the abiotic factors of an environment?

  • the nonliving parts of an environment
  • the asymmetrical parts of an environment
  • the disappearing parts of an environment

How are synthetic chemicals different from so-called natural chemicals?

  • Natural chemicals are healthier.
  • They aren't different.
  • Synthetic chemicals tend to be more toxic.

Newton's third law of motion states that every action has what?

  • both motion and rest
  • an equal and opposite reaction
  • a consequence

How old are the oldest fossils found on Earth?

  • about 3.8 billion years
  • about 137 million years
  • about 82 million years

What does the nucleus of a cell contain?

  • DNA
  • organelles
  • lysosomes

According to cell theory, what are cells?

  • the building blocks of dark matter
  • the basic unit of life
  • the same for all mammals

What is the highest taxonomic rank in the widely-used Linnaean system of biological classification?

  • domain
  • kingdom
  • species

What is the first step of the scientific method?

  • state your hypothesis
  • identify the problem
  • test your hypothesis

What is all matter made of?

  • chemicals
  • minerals
  • solutions

In weather, what does the term "front" refer to?

  • the place where two air masses meet
  • a mass of hot, humid air
  • the opposite of "back"

What is the hottest layer of our planet?

  • core
  • mantle
  • crust

What type of galaxy is the Milky Way?

  • spiral
  • elliptical
  • irregular

Which characteristic do all mammals have?

  • simple teeth
  • large brains
  • hair

What makes something a poison?

  • its dose
  • its toxicity
  • its presence in snakes

What mineral is found in a saline solution?

  • potassium
  • sodium
  • calcium

What do mitochondria provide for an organism's body?

  • energy
  • protein
  • sugars

What happens to iron when it is exposed to oxygen?

  • It rusts.
  • It begins to bubble.
  • It converts slowly to magnesium.

What is the basic unit of a chemical element?

  • molecule
  • atom
  • mass