FTCE Earth & Space Science Study Guide

FTCE Earth & Space 6-12 Science Exam Overview

The FTCE Earth and Space Science Exam is for candidates who wish to obtain teacher certification in that subject area for grades 6-12 in the state of Florida. Candidates taking this Florida Teacher Certification Exam might be in college, an established teacher seeking certification in additional areas, or someone looking to change careers. Whatever the candidate's background, this exam tests their knowledge of the Earth and Space Science subject deemed necessary for a beginner teacher in this content area.

FTCE Earth and Space Science Exam Format

The FTCE Earth & Space Science Exam is a computer-based test (CBT) with about 100 multiple-choice questions. Each of these selected response questions has four answers to choose from: A, B, C, or D. Test-takers have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete all of the questions on this FTCE test.

There are no scheduled breaks; test takers may leave to use the restroom if needed, but the clock will continue to run. Candidates will need to keep this in mind and plan accordingly on the day of the test in order to best use the time allotted to them.

Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.

Competencies Covered on the FTCE Earth & Space Science (008) Exam

There are 12 competencies covered on the FTCE Earth Space Science Exam, each worth a different percentage of the FTCE scores. The following subheadings will go into more detail on each competency with their percentage of the total score.

The Nature of Science

This is the largest competency, worth 16% of the exam's total score. It tests a candidate's ability to consider methods of scientific inquiry and evaluate scientific data. Other content includes scientific models used to detect nature patterns and what specific safety guidelines are required in a laboratory.

The Composition, Characteristics, and Structure of the Earth

This competency is worth 9% of the exam's final score. This section covers the characteristics of the layers of the Earth and the ways the planet's interior is investigated. Test-takers will need to be able to divide common minerals and rocks based on their physical and chemical properties, to know the difference between sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks, the rock cycle, and the products and processes within it.

Plate Tectonics and Related Processes

This competency is worth 9% of the total test score and covers the theory of tectonic plates and how it came to be. Test-takers should be able to classify various volcanoes and earthquakes, the differences between oceanic and continental crust (both physical and chemical aspects), seismic waves, and how tectonic plates affect climate.

Earth's Surface Processes

This competency is worth 8% of the Earth and Space Science Exam's total score. Candidates will need to have a thorough knowledge of physical and chemical weathering and how these effect the land. This section will also cover sedimentation, aquifers, the hydrologic cycle, and landforms/sedimentary deposits created by ice, wind, and water. Test-takers will encounter Florida-specific content in this section as well, such as where freshwater comes from and goes to and the state's geological features and the source of their production.

Mapping and Remote Sensing

This is the smallest competency at 4% of the total score and involves everything related to topographic and oceanographic maps, photographs, and satellite images. This section will also cover remote sensing technologies that are utilized in space science and on Earth, for example seismic survey, ground-penetrating radar, etc.

The Scope and Measurement of Geologic Time

This competency is worth 6% of the exam's total score. This section covers absolute and relative dating, big occurrences in Earth's history, and large events in Florida's geologic history. Test-takers will need to be able to interpret geologic cross sections by applying the principles of superposition, the law of original horizontality, and the principle of cross-cutting relationships. Lastly, this section will also cover how fossils and geologic evidence relate to reconstructing Earth's history.

The Characteristics and Management of Earth's Resources

This competency is worth 8% of the final score and assess examinee's knowledge of the characteristics of renewable/non-renewable resources and the way they are being handled. Also covered will be Florida's utilization and handling of different marine, geologic, and environmental resources. Test-takers will analyze both energy production technologies and the consequences humans choices have on the environment.

Oceans and Coastal Processes

This competency is worth 8% of the test score and includes components and geological aspects of the ocean and its coastal areas. Test-takers will need to understand the components of seawater, how water acts going through different movements in the ocean, and how human activity alters these areas.

Factors That Influence Atmospheric Conditions and Weather

This competency is worth 8% of the total score and delves into the topic of the atmosphere and how it is essential to life on this planet. Test-takers should review air masses, pressure systems, local and global winds, interpretation of weather maps, and how different geographic features affect local weather.

Earth's Climate Patterns

This competency is worth 9% of the exam and requires test-takers to know how different geographic factors add to climate in a certain area, what in Earth's history has caused climate changes, the effects of climate events such as monsoons, and how climate change is specifically affecting Florida's geographical makeup.

Astronomical Objects and Processes

This competency is worth 9% and covers objects in the solar system and their many characteristics. Test-takers will need to be able to classify characteristics, properties, and interpretations of subjects such as deep-space objects (galaxies, quasars, etc.), the Hertzsprung-Russel diagram, Earth-Moon-Sun system, physical properties of the sun, and the components of evolutionary theories concerning the universe.

Space Exploration

This competency is worth 6% of the exam's total score. This section covers topics such as contributors to the historical development of astronomy (i.e. Aristotle, Hubble, etc.), manned and unmanned space expeditions that proved significant, and the different methods used for the measurements of astronomical distances. Test-takers will also need to be able to discuss how Florida has been impacted by the space program.

FTCE Earth & Space Science Exam Registration

In order to register for the FTCE Earth and Space Science Exam, candidates will need to log in to their FTCE/FELE account, or create one. After agreeing to the testing policies they can select the test date, site, and time. FTCE test dates are available year-round.

The FTCE test cost is $150. Payment can be made with a debit, credit, or check card. Once registered, candidates have one year to schedule FTCE exam. After one year, candidates will have to register again.

According to the FTCE retake policy, the $150 fee applies yet again when retaking an FTCE test.

FTCE Earth & Space Science 6-12 Testing Policy

On the FTCE Earth & Space Science exam day, candidates must come to the respective FTCE testing locations with two forms of proper identification (driver's license, passport, student ID, social security card, etc.).

Tobacco products, weapons, and visitors are absolutely prohibited onsite. Personal items are absolutely not allowed in the testing room. There are secure storage areas provided to store any items such as cellphones, wallets, food/drink, jewelry, or watches.

FTCE Earth & Space Science (008) Exam Passing Scores

The passing score on this exam is a scaled score of 200 points. Test takers will receive an unofficial pass/non-pass status directly after testing. All official scores will be available on test takers' online accounts within four weeks of their FTCE test dates. A calendar of FTCE score release dates is available online for test takers to reference.

FTCE Earth & Space Science Study Guide

When preparing for the exam, candidates should be organized and systematic in their studying. A great way to do this is to use an FTCE Earth Space Science study guide. This way prospective teachers can be sure they understand all aspects of the test, from the test structure and content to all of the in-depth components of each competency. Along with the FTCE study guide, candidates can organize their studying with timed breakdowns per competency to prepare for each section.

Another resource is to ask others who have previously taken the Florida teacher certification what to expect. Gaining study tips from someone who has successfully passed this exam is an excellent way for candidates to add to their study plan.

FTCE Earth & Space Science Practice Test

Taking an FTCE Earth Space Science practice test is an extremely positive step for candidates to achieve an FTCE passing score or better. Sample questions on FTCE practice test show how the questions will be formatted, but will also be a good indicator of where the candidate is doing well, and what areas need more attention throughout the studying process. Test takers can also use the FTCE Earth Space Science 6-12 practice test to time themselves to get used to the pacing of the exam day.


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Exam Instructions:

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  1. Which sphere of Earth is the combined mass of water found on, under, and above the surface of the planet?

    • Correct Answer
  2. The San Andreas Fault is an example of a

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  3. Which theory unified all the puzzling data from early observations, accounted for the movement of the plates of the earth, and gave a mechanism for how the plates actually moved around?

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  4. Which of the following is an incorrect characteristic of seawater?

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  5. Which of the following is not considered a feature of an ocean basin?

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  6. What is the most prominent gas in Earth's atmosphere?

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  7. Walking on hot sand along the beach is an example of which mechanism of heat transfer?

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  8. In class, you are dissecting a frog to learn about anatomy. Your teacher asks you clean up your station. How do you clean up the tray?

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  9. Only about 1% of all the Earth's water is liquid and fresh and most of it is stored in

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  10. Which of the following is NOT a kind of precipitation in the hydrologic cycle?

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  11. Which is not a renewable resource?

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  12. What is a great way to help with non-renewable resources?

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  13. What is an example of catastrophism?

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  14. In relation to relative dating, which rule assumes that the oldest rock layers are furthest toward the bottom, and the youngest rock layers are closest to the top?

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  15. Jet streams are currents of fast moving air high in the atmosphere that can reach speeds up to 275 miles per hour. How is this created?

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