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Subject Test Biology

Question 23 of 24

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SAT Subject Test

The multiple choice questions have five answer choices — one (and only one) is correct in each case.

A student examined two different groups of cells and made the following observations

Trait Cell I Cell II
Cell wall Present Present
Ribosomes Present Present
Nucleus Absent Present
Ability to photosynthesize Present Absent
Cell respiration Present Present

These observations support which of the following conclusions?

Select an Answer

Cell I is more complex in its organization than cell II.

Correct Answer: 

Cell I is a prokaryote.

Correct Answer: 

The ancestors of cell II appeared earlier in the fossil record than the ancestors of
cell I.

Correct Answer: 

Cell II does not have a cell membrane.

Correct Answer: 

Both groups of cells are from plants.

Correct Answer: 

This type of question requires that you look at the data presented in the table and then select the conclusion that is best supported by these data. Some students find that reading the choices first, and THEN analyzing the table, helps them to focus more quickly on the pertinent information.

The correct answer is (B). Cell I is probably a prokaryote, as it contains no nucleus, but does have a cell wall and ribosomes. It is NOT more complex than Cell II which has a nucleus, so choice (A) is incorrect. The earliest fossils known are in fact prokaryotic, so choice (C) is also incorrect. The table contains no information about membranes, and a cell with a nucleus would certainly not lack a membrane, so choice (D) is incorrect. Finally, while Cell II has a cell wall, note that it cannot photosynthesize and is probably not a plant. Cell I provides more conclusive evidence against choice (E); since it lacks a nucleus it is clearly not a plant cell.

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