As of winter break, these are the state learning standards that have been addressed in class. In other words, these are the things that you should know and be able to do. The MCAS is written based upon these standards. The four keys to MCAS success are: 1) If you know and can do these things, 2) you've developed the skill of "reading through" questions, 3) you've developed the skill of answering short answer or essay questions thoroughly and clearly, and 4) you know that you can succeed.

Winter break is an ideal time to make sure that you're up to speed on these things. If you can answer them on paper or explain them to a family member, you're where you should be.

1. The Chemistry of Life
Central Concept: Chemical elements form organic molecules that interact to perform the basic functions of life.
1.1 Recognize that biological organisms are composed primarily of very few elements. The six most common are C, H, N, O, P, and S.
1.2 Describe the basic molecular structures and primary functions of the four major categories of organic molecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids).

2. Cell Biology
Central Concepts: Cells have specific structures and functions that make them distinctive. Processes in a cell can be classified broadly as growth, maintenance, and reproduction.
2.1 Relate cell parts/organelles (plasma membrane, nuclear envelope, nucleus, nucleolus, cytoplasm, mitochondrion, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, lysosome, ribosome, vacuole, cell wall, chloroplast, cytoskeleton, centriole, cilium, flagellum, pseudopod) to their functions. Explain the role of cell membranes as a highly selective barrier (diffusion, osmosis, facilitated diffusion, active transport).
2.2 Compare and contrast, at the cellular level, the general structures and degrees of complexity of prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
2.3 Use cellular evidence (e.g., cell structure, cell number, cell reproduction) and modes of nutrition to describe the six kingdoms (Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia).
2.4 Identify the reactants, products, and basic purposes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Explain the interrelated nature of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cells of photosynthetic organisms.
2.5 Explain the important role that ATP serves in metabolism.
2.8 Compare and contrast a virus and a cell in terms of genetic material and reproduction.

3. Genetics
Central Concepts: Genes allow for the storage and transmission of genetic information. They are a set of instructions encoded in the nucleotide sequence of each organism. Genes code for the specific sequences of amino acids that comprise the proteins characteristic to that organism.
3.1 Describe the basic structure (double helix, sugar/phosphate backbone, linked by complementary nucleotide pairs) of DNA, and describe its function in genetic inheritance.
3.2 Describe the basic process of DNA replication and how it relates to the transmission and conservation of the genetic code. Explain the basic processes of transcription and translation, and how they result in the expression of genes. Distinguish among the end products of replication, transcription, and translation.
3.3 Explain how mutations in the DNA sequence of a gene may or may not result in phenotypic change in an organism. Explain how mutations in gametes may result in phenotypic changes in offspring.

6. Ecology (Learned in 9th grade Earth Systems)
Central Concept: Ecology is the interaction among organisms and between organisms and their environment.
6.1 Explain how birth, death, immigration, and emigration influence population size.
6.2 Analyze changes in population size and biodiversity (speciation and extinction) that result from the following: natural causes, changes in climate, human activity, and the introduction of invasive, non-native species.
6.3 Use a food web to identify and distinguish producers, consumers, and decomposers, and explain the transfer of energy through trophic levels. Describe how relationships among organisms (predation, parasitism, competition, commensalism, mutualism) add to the complexity of biological communities.
6.4 Explain how water, carbon, and nitrogen cycle between abiotic resources and organic matter in an ecosystem, and how oxygen cycles through photosynthesis and respiration.