Section 3: Overview and Exam Framework TX PACT: Physical Science: Grades 6–12 (737)
|Exam Name||TX PACT: Physical Science: Grades 6–12|
|Time||4 hours total appointment time
|Number of Questions||125 selected-response questions|
|Format||Computer-administered test (CAT)|
The TX PACT: Physical Science: Grades 6–12 (737) exam is designed to assess whether a test taker has demonstrated the requisite knowledge and skills for admission to an educator preparation program. The 125 selected-response questions are based on the TX PACT: Physical Science: Grades 6–12 exam framework. Questions on this exam range from grades 6–12. Your final scaled score will be based only on scored questions.
Domains and Competencies
|Domain||Domain Title||Approx. Percentage of Exam|
|I||Nature of Science||8%|
|III||Electricity and Magnetism||11%|
|VI||Matter and Atomic Structure||10%|
|VII||Energy and Chemical Bonding||14%|
|IX||Stoichiometry and Solutions||11%|
The content covered by this exam is organized into broad areas of content called domains. Each domain covers one or more of the standards for this field. Within each domain, the content is further defined by a set of competencies. Each competency is composed of two major parts:
- The competency statement, which broadly defines what an individual should know and be able to do in order to perform effectively in a Texas-approved educator preparation program.
- The descriptive statements, which describe in greater detail the knowledge and skills eligible for testing.
Domain I—Nature of Science
Competency 001—Understand principles and procedures of scientific inquiry.
- Demonstrate knowledge of principles and procedures for designing and carrying out scientific investigations (e.g., generating and testing hypotheses).
- Recognize methods and criteria for collecting, measuring, organizing, analyzing, and presenting scientific data.
- Justify conclusions based on data analysis.
- Demonstrate knowledge of safety procedures and hazards associated with scientific investigations and the equipment and technology used.
- Apply appropriate mathematical procedures to solving problems in physics and chemistry.
Competency 002—Understand the history of science, its connections with other sciences, and the relationships among science, technology, and society.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of major scientific ideas, the contributions of eminent scientists, and the uses and limitations of models.
- Demonstrate knowledge of current major theories, models, and concepts in physics, chemistry, biology, and Earth and space science.
- Identify unifying themes, principles, and relationships that connect the different branches of the sciences.
- Analyze the interrelationships between science, technology, engineering, and society and how science and technology affect each other.
- Demonstrate scientific literacy by critiquing the coverage of science in the media.
- Analyze social, ethical, and economic issues associated with technological and scientific developments.
Competency 003—Understand motion in one and two dimensions.
- Use multiple representations (e.g., pictures, graphs, motion maps) to analyze the one-dimensional motion of a particle or an object.
- Solve problems involving constant acceleration.
- Apply properties of vectors to describe and analyze motion in two dimensions, including uniform circular motion and projectile motion.
- Solve problems involving motion in two dimensions, including uniform circular motion and projectile motion.
Competency 004—Understand forces as interactions and their effects on motion.
- Identify characteristics of Newton's laws in a variety of situations.
- Analyze free body diagrams.
- Use Newton's laws to solve problems involving force and motion, including problems involving gravitational, frictional, and elastic forces.
- Solve problems involving uniform circular motion, including satellite and planetary motion.
- Apply Newton's laws to solve problems involving systems of particles and the statics and dynamics of fluids.
Competency 005—Understand the conservation of energy and linear momentum.
- Apply principles of work, potential energy, kinetic energy, and power to solve problems.
- Apply the work-energy theorem to conservative and nonconservative systems.
- Analyze the relationships among force, impulse, and momentum.
- Solve problems involving elastic and inelastic collisions in one and two dimensions.
Competency 006—Understand simple harmonic motion and rotational dynamics.
- Use graphs and trigonometric functions to analyze characteristics of simple harmonic motion, such as amplitude, restoring force, frequency, and period.
- Analyze the characteristics of kinetic and potential energy for an object undergoing simple harmonic motion.
- Solve problems in rotational kinematics.
- Solve static and dynamic problems involving torques and forces.
- Analyze systems involving rotational energy and angular momentum.
Domain III—Electricity and Magnetism
Competency 007—Understand properties of the electric field.
- Analyze phenomena related to static electricity, such as the behavior of electroscopes, induced molecular polarization, and charging by induction.
- Describe electric forces and electric fields for various simple charge distributions.
- Describe the motion of a charged particle in a constant electric field.
- Demonstrate knowledge of electric potential energy and potential difference.
Competency 008—Understand properties of the magnetic field and electromagnetic induction.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the properties of magnets.
- Analyze the magnetic force on a moving charge in a magnetic field.
- Analyze the magnetic field for a current-carrying wire loop or solenoid.
- Apply Faraday's and Lenz's laws of induction to find the direction of an induced emf or current in a conducting loop.
- Describe the operation of devices such as electric motors, generators, and transformers.
Competency 009—Understand properties of electric circuits.
- Demonstrate knowledge of electromotive force, electric current, resistance, and Ohm's law.
- Describe characteristics of parallel and series circuits.
- Solve problems using Kirchhoff's laws for circuits.
- Analyze an electric circuit or component in terms of energy or power.
Competency 010—Understand the fundamental properties of waves.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics and types of waves.
- Demonstrate knowledge of wave propagation and how waves transfer energy and momentum.
- Describe factors that affect the speed of a wave in different media.
- Solve problems involving wave speed, frequency, and wavelength.
- Analyze the reflection, refraction, and polarization of waves.
- Apply the superposition principle to analyze wave phenomena.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the Doppler effect.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the relationships between a sound wave and the human perception of sound.
- Solve problems involving standing waves, resonance, and sounds produced by waves on a string or in a pipe, given various boundary conditions.
- Solve problems involving the intensity of sound and the decibel scale.
Competency 011—Understand the characteristics of light and electromagnetic radiation.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum and the production and transmission of electromagnetic waves.
- Apply the ray model of light and the thin lens equation to analyze characteristics of lenses and mirrors.
- Solve problems using Snell's law in various situations.
- Apply the wave model of light to describe phenomena such as interference, dispersion, diffraction, and polarization.
- Apply properties of light to describe the operation of optical devices such as filters, magnifying devices, and diffraction gratings.
- Describe various phenomena (e.g., electron transitions, atomic spectra, operation of a laser) using the photon model of light.
Domain V—Modern Physics
Competency 012—Understand thermal energy and the kinetic theory of matter.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the concepts of thermal energy and temperature.
- Solve problems involving thermal expansion, specific heat, phase changes, and the first law of thermodynamics.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the kinetic theory of matter.
- Demonstrate knowledge of energy conversions, efficiency, heat transfer, and heat engines.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the second law of thermodynamics, including entropy.
Competency 013—Understand fundamental ideas of modern physics.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of the work of scientists such as Curie, Rutherford, and Planck in the development of modern physics.
- Analyze the Bohr model of the atom.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of quantum mechanics, such as wave-particle duality and the uncertainty principle.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of special relativity.
Competency 014—Understand the fundamental principles of nuclear physics.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the structure of the nucleus, including the forces that hold it together.
- Apply knowledge of radioactive decay processes and the concept of the half-life to analyze and solve problems.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the processes of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.
- Apply the principles of conservation of charge and mass-energy to analyze nuclear reactions.
Domain VI—Matter and Atomic Structure
Competency 015—Understand the properties of matter.
- Analyze the characteristics of elements, compounds, and mixtures.
- Apply methods used to determine the chemical and physical properties of unknown substances.
- Analyze physical, chemical, and nuclear changes in matter.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics of radioactive materials.
Competency 016—Understand atomic theory and the periodic table.
- Analyze various historical and contemporary models of atomic structure and the supporting evidence for these models.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the properties of and interactions between electrons, protons, and neutrons; and the relationships among energy levels, photons, and atomic spectra.
- Demonstrate the ability to analyze electron configurations, orbital notations (or diagrams), and Lewis (or electron) dot symbols.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the organization of the periodic table and its usefulness in predicting the physical and chemical properties and relative reactivity of given elements.
Competency 017—Understand the kinetic molecular theory, the nature of phase changes, and the gas laws.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of the kinetic molecular theory and the distinguishing characteristics of the four states of matter.
- Analyze heating and cooling curves and phase diagrams.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the relationships among volume, temperature, and pressure in gases.
- Solve problems involving the gas laws.
Domain VII—Energy and Chemical Bonding
Competency 018—Understand the principles of thermodynamics and calorimetry.
- Analyze the three laws of thermodynamics and their applications to chemical and biochemical systems.
- Predict the spontaneity of given chemical reactions.
- Differentiate among forms of energy and between heat and temperature.
- Analyze the results of calorimetry experiments.
Competency 019—Understand energy relationships in chemical bonding, chemical reactions, and physical processes.
- Analyze energy changes due to the formation or breaking of chemical bonds.
- Analyze energy changes during chemical reactions, including the analysis of enthalpy diagrams.
- Analyze energy changes involved in phase transitions, dissolving solutes in solvents, and diluting solutions.
Competency 020—Understand the nomenclature and structure of inorganic and organic compounds.
- Apply the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) rules of nomenclature.
- Analyze the characteristics of inorganic structures, including ionic solids, network solids, and metallic solids.
- Predict the geometry of molecules and polyatomic ions.
- Analyze the chemical composition and basic structure of organic compounds.
- Recognize the characteristics of structural, geometric, and optical isomers.
Competency 021—Understand chemical bonding and intermolecular forces and their effect on the properties of substances.
- Compare the characteristics of types of chemical bonds.
- Analyze chemical bonding in terms of electron behavior and the factors that affect bond strength.
- Analyze the characteristics of various types of intermolecular forces and the forces between molecules of a given structure.
- Relate the properties of substances to their atomic bonds and intermolecular forces.
Domain VIII—Chemical Reactions
Competency 022—Understand the nature of chemical reactions.
- Analyze different types of chemical reactions.
- Predict the outcomes of chemical reactions.
- Demonstrate knowledge of collision theory and factors that influence reaction rates.
- Analyze rate problems and experimental rate data.
Competency 023—Understand the principles of chemical equilibrium.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the concept of chemical equilibrium and the factors that influence chemical equilibrium.
- Apply Le Châtelier's principle to chemical systems.
- Solve problems involving equilibrium constants.
Competency 024—Understand acid-base chemistry.
- Analyze acids and bases according to how they behave and how they are defined.
- Determine the hydronium ion concentration, hydroxide ion concentration, pH, and pOH for acid, base, and salt solutions.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between molecular structure and acid strength and the relative strengths of acids and bases.
- Analyze buffer solutions qualitatively and quantitatively.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the principles and applications of acid-base titrations.
Competency 025—Understand oxidation-reduction reactions and electrochemistry.
- Demonstrate knowledge of oxidation, reduction, oxidation numbers, and the balancing of oxidation-reduction equations.
- Analyze the components and operating principles of electrochemical cells and electrolytic cells.
- Solve problems involving electrochemical cells.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the applications of electrochemistry.
Domain IX—Stoichiometry and Solutions
Competency 026—Understand the mole concept.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the mole concept and its use in chemical calculations.
- Solve problems involving molar mass, percent-composition, and empirical and molecular formulas.
Competency 027—Understand stoichiometry.
- Demonstrate the ability to interpret chemical notation, balance chemical equations, and recognize net ionic equations.
- Solve stoichiometric problems involving moles, mass, volume, and energy, including limiting reactant and percent yield.
Competency 028—Understand the properties of solutions and colloidal suspensions.
- Demonstrate knowledge of different types of solutions, colloids, and suspensions.
- Solve problems involving concentrations of solutions.
- Analyze factors that affect solubility and solubility curves.
- Analyze the colligative properties of solutions.
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