AP Environmental Science Practice Test


The AP Environmental Science course is one of the most interesting science classes available because it covers aspects of geology, biology, chemistry, geography, and environmental studies. The course looks at wide variety of man-made environmental problems as well as those caused by nature. Our free AP Environmental Science practice test is a great place to start your exam prep.

AP Environmental Science Multiple Choice Questions:

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Question 1
Deforestation can lead to:

A
Adverse soil erosion.
B
Desertification.
C
Extinction.
D
Changes to climatic conditions.
E
All of the above.
Question 1 Explanation: 
Deforestation is the removal of a forest in order to convert the area to a non-forest use such as farmland or urban use.
Question 2
The boundary between two tectonic plates moving away from each other is a:

A
Divergent boundary.
B
Convection boundary.
C
Transform fault boundary.
D
Rift valley.
E
Convergent boundary.
Question 2 Explanation: 
Divergent boundaries can form rift valleys as well as volcanic islands.
Question 3
This principle states that both allele and genotype frequencies in a population will remain constant from generation to generation unless there are specific disturbing influences introduced.

A
Gause's Law.
B
Boyle's Law.
C
Hasse Principle.
D
Hardy-Weinberg Principle.
E
Mendel's Law of Segregation.
Question 3 Explanation: 
In nature there are always disturbing influences, so the Hardy-Weinberg Principle is meant to provide a baseline to measure against the changes that are occurring.
Question 4
Which country has the greatest number of nuclear power plants on a per capita basis?

A
England.
B
United States.
C
Spain.
D
Japan.
E
France.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The French government has focused on nuclear power because of their limited natural energy resources.
Question 5
The increasing concentration of a toxic substance in the tissues of organisms at successively higher levels of the food chain is known as:

A
Biomagnification
B
Bioaccumulation.
C
Biodilution.
D
Bioconcentration.
E
Biocide.
Question 5 Explanation: 
Biomagnification occurs across food chain levels, while Bioaccumulation and Bioconcentration occur within an organism. Biodilution is the opposite of biomagnification.
Question 6
Which of the following is NOT an effective water conservation technique?

A
Using low flush toilets.
B
Xeriscaping.
C
Using showerheads that limit water flow to 4.5 gallons per minute.
D
Mulching around trees and plants.
E
Public outreach campaigns.
Question 6 Explanation: 
Federal regulations require that showerheads use no more than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). To obtain the EPA's WaterSense label, showerheads must use no more than 2 gpm. Some showerheads use as little as 1.6 gpm.
Question 7
The largest producer of renewable power in the United States is:

A
Wind Power.
B
Solar Thermal Power.
C
Solar Photovoltaic Power.
D
Geothermal Power.
E
Hydroelectric Power.
Question 7 Explanation: 
Hydroelectricity accounts for more than half of all renewable power currently produced in the United States.
Question 8
Which of the following is NOT a greenhouse gas?

A
Carbon Dioxide.
B
Water Vapor.
C
Nitrogen.
D
Methane.
E
Ozone.
Question 8 Explanation: 
Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Argon are not greenhouse gases.
Question 9
Frost wedging and unloading are examples of:

A
Biological weathering.
B
Soil erosion.
C
Chemical weathering.
D
Mechanical weathering.
E
Oxidation.
Question 9 Explanation: 
Mechanical weathering is the physical breakdown of rocks through atmospheric conditions such as ice, water, and heat. Frost wedging occurs when freezing water cracks off pieces of rock. Unloading occurs when upper layers of rocks erode, causing a release of pressure on lower rock layers. When the pressure is released these lower layers expand and break apart.
Question 10
Which of the following is an r-adapted species?

A
Elephants.
B
Mice.
C
Gorillas.
D
Wolves.
E
Whales.
Question 10 Explanation: 
R-adapted species have adapted for high rates of growth. K-adapted species have slower growth, longer lives, and have adapted to live at or near carrying capacity.
Question 11
A symbiotic relationship between two living organisms in which one organism benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped is known as:

A
Commensalism.
B
Predation.
C
Parasitism.
D
Mutualism.
E
Amensalism.
Question 11 Explanation: 
In a mutualistic relationship both organisms derive a benefit. In a commensalistic relationship one organism benefits and one is not substantially harmed or helped. In a parasitic relationship one organism benefits and the other is harmed.
Question 12
Superfund is the common name given to which federal law?

A
The Clean Air Act.
B
The Clean Water Act.
C
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
D
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
E
The Endangered Species Act.
Question 12 Explanation: 
Passed in 1980, Superfund was designed to clean up sites that were contaminated with hazardous waste.
Question 13
Earthworms are a type of:

A
Scavenger.
B
Parasite.
C
Detritivore.
D
Omnivore.
E
Bottom Feeder.
Question 13 Explanation: 
Detritivores obtain nutrients by consuming decomposing organic matter.
Question 14
Which list shows the layers of the atmosphere in order, starting with the layer closest to earth?

A
Stratosphere, Troposphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere.
B
Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere.
C
Stratosphere, Troposphere, Thermosphere, Mesosphere.
D
Troposphere, Thermosphere, Mesosphere, Stratosphere.
E
Mesosphere, Thermosphere, Troposphere, Stratosphere.
Question 14 Explanation: 
The troposphere is the lowest portion of the atmosphere and contains approximately 75% of the atmosphere's mass. The average depth of the troposphere is about 17 km. The stratosphere is the second layer of the atmosphere and contains the ozone layer. The mesosphere is the third layer, and is where most meteors burn up when entering the atmosphere. The Thermosphere is the fourth layer, and is where the International Space Station orbits.
Question 15
When did oil production in the United States peak?

A
1970
B
1982
C
1989
D
2006
E
2009
Question 15 Explanation: 
Oil production in the U.S. peaked in 1970. This was predicted by M. King Hubbert. He is known for the Hubbert Peak Theory, which states that the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell-shaped curve.
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About the AP Environmental Science Test:
Topics covered on the test include earth systems and resources, the living world, population, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global change.

The APES Exam is three hours long, with the time divided equally between free-response questions and multiple-choice. There are 100 AP Environmental Science multiple choice questions, which account for 60% of your final grade.

There are 4 free response essay questions, which account for 40% of your final grade.  There is always 1 data-set question, 1 document-based question, and 2 synthesis and evaluation questions. No calculators are permitted on either section of the exam. Taking our AP Environmental Science practice test is a great way to start your test prep.