1. Know that complex organisms are comprised of organ systems, which are comprised of organs, which are comprised of tissues, which are comprised of cells.
  2. Describe how feedback control can act to maintain homeostasis.
  3. Identify the functions of 11 major human organ systems (nervous, endocrine, digestive, excretory/urinary, cardiovascular/circulatory, respiratory, muscular, skeletal, reproductive, lymphatic, integumentary).
  4. Distinguish between the mechanical and chemical digestion of food
  5. Identify the organs of the digestive system, in the order that food passes through them, and their roles in processing food.
  6. Explain the functions of the accessory organs of the digestive system.
  7. Identify the organs of the respiratory system in the order that air passes through them.
  8. Explain how the respiratory system conducts gas exchange.
  9. Identify the main components of the cardiovascular system (heart chambers, vessels) in the order that blood passes through them.
  10. Distinguish between the pathways of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood.
  11. Give examples of things the cardiovascular system transports.
  12. Explain the parts of blood and their functions, including the roles of hemoglobin and bone marrow.
  13. Diagram the basic anatomy of a neuron and how neurons communicate.
  14. Distinguish between the central and peripheral nervous system, and sensory vs motor neurons.
  15. Explain the locations and functions of the three types of muscle.
  16. Differentiate between connective tissues: cartilage, tendon, and ligament.
  17. Explain the functions of the skeletal system.
  18. Identify the organs involved in removing non-gaseous waste from the bloodstream.
  19. Recognize that the kidneys remove nitrogenous waste and excess water, and the liver filters toxic compounds from the bloodstream.
  20. Know what lymph is.
  21. Explain the three lines of defense against pathogens, distinguishing between specific and non-specific defenses.
  22. Explain what a hormone is and how one can act to maintain homeostasis.
  23. Give examples of different functions that hormones can regulate.
  24. Identify the pathways to fertilization taken by male and female gametes, in the order that they pass through each structure.
  25. Compare and contrast the functions of the male and female reproductive systems.


Feedback Control
  • Sensor
  • Control Center
  • Effector
  • Nervous tissue
  • Muscle tissue
  • Epithelial tissue
  • Connective tissue
Body cavity
  • Cranial
  • Spinal
  • Thoracic
  • Abdominal
Organ System

Digestive System
Amylase (Salivary Amylase)
  • Chemical digestion
  • Mechanical digestion
E. coli (intestinal)
Gall bladder
Large intestine
Salivary glands
Small intestine

Respiratory System
Cilia (Respiratory)
Gas exchange

Cardiovascular or Circulatory System
Deoxygenated blood
  • Right atrium
  • Left atrium
  • Right ventricle
  • Left ventricle
Oxygenated blood
Red Blood Cell
Valve (vein)
White Blood Cell

Nervous System
Action potential
Cell body
Central nervous system
Motor neuron/nerve
Peripheral nervous system
Sensory neuron/nerve
Spinal cord

Muscular System
Cardiac Muscle
Muscle contraction
Skeletal Muscle
Smooth Muscle

Skeletal System
Bone marrow
Compact bone
Spongy bone

Integumentary System

Urinary/Excretory System
Nitrogenous waste
Urea and urine

Lymphatic System
Lymph node
Non-specific defense
Specific defense
White blood cells
  • B cells
  • T cells
  • Macrophages

Endocrine System

Reproductive System
Estrogen and progesterone
Fallopian tube
Secondary sex characteristic
Urethra (penile)
Vas deferens

Textbook Reference

Ch 35-40

Relevant Files

Sample MCAS Questions

1. Which of the following organs removes extra water from the blood to keep the amount of fluid in the bloodstream at the proper level?
A. kidneys
B. liver
C. pancreas
D. stomach

2. The pituitary gland can release a substance into the bloodstream that signals target cells in the kidneys to reabsorb more water. The released substance is an example of
A. an enzyme
B. a hormone
C. a neurotransmitter
D. a vitamin

3. Which of the following is a correct order in which air moves through the human respiratory system when a person inhales?
A. nose, larynx, trachea, pharynx, bronchi, lungs
B. nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs
C. pharynx, bronchi, nose, larynx, trachea, lungs
D. pharynx, nose, trachea, bronchi, larynx, lungs

4. In sexual reproduction, what is the source of the genetic material in a zygote?
A. an egg cell only
B. a sperm cell only
C. an egg and a sperm cell
D. an egg cell and a polar body

5. What is the primary function of the large intestine?
A. to digest proteins
B. to absorb nutrients
C. to break down complex carbohydrates
D. to remove water from undigested waste

6. Capillaries are a part of which body system?
A. Skeletal system
B. Nervous system
C. Digestive system
D. Circulatory system

7. Which of the following is one of the functions of the human skeleton?
A. producing hormones
B. bringing gases into the body
C. removing waste from the body
D. providing a site for blood cell formation

8. When a person exercises, the rate of cellular respiration increases to supply the body with more energy in the form of ATP. Mitochondria require oxygen to carry out cellular respiration.
Describe how the respiratory, circulatory, and muscular systems interact to transport a molecule of oxygen from the air to a mitochondrion. Be sure to discuss all three systems in your response.

9. Which of the following is the best example of an organism maintaining homeostasis?
A. A wolf panting after a chase
B. A spider catching an insect in a web
C. A cricket becoming infected by a virus
D. A mole digging tunnels in the ground

10. Which of the following is the basic structural unit of the nervous system?
A. axon
B. neuron
C. white blood cell
D. red blood cell

11-12. Milk is an important part of many people’s diets. When the word milk is mentioned, most people think of dairy milk derived from cows. Many people, however, cannot drink dairy milk because of lactose intolerance. Individuals with this condition are unable to digest a component in the milk called lactose. Lactose is the sugar in dairy milk. It is a disaccharide made from the sugars glucose and galactose. Lactose-intolerant individuals lack the enzyme lactase, which is needed for the digestion of lactose sugar.
Many lactose-intolerant individuals drink soymilk instead of dairy milk. Soymilk is produced from soybeans (the seeds of the soybean plant) and is a nutritious substitute for dairy milk. Soymilk contains protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients just as dairy milk does.
The table below compares some of the nutrition information for a serving of dairy milk and a serving of soymilk.
11. Unlike dairy milk, soymilk provides some of the body’s daily requirement for iron. In which of the following functions of the human body does iron serve a primary role?
A. conducting nerve impulses
B. strengthening bone structure
C. causing muscle fibers to contract
D. helping transport oxygen in the blood

12. The digestion of dairy milk or soymilk provides the body with important nutrients.
a. Describe how the digestive system converts the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in dairy milk or soymilk into nutrients that can be used by cells. Include the body parts and organs involved.
b. Describe how the nutrients in the digestive system are made available to cells throughout the body after digestion has occurred. Include the body parts and organs involved.

13. When Lance goes jogging, his heart rate increases to pump blood faster and supply his muscles with more oxygen. Which of the following helps to maintain homeostasis in response to this increase in heart rate?
A. an increase in digestion
B. an increase in respiration
C. a decrease in perspiration
D. a decrease in bone growth

14. A cell releases a chemical into the space surrounding it to communicate with nearby cells. Which of the following must occur for the communication to be successful?
A. The chemical must be received by nearby cells.
B. The nearby cells must divide to produce more cells.
C. The nearby cells must generate a nerve impulse.
D. The same chemical signal must be produced within the nearby cells.

15. The diagram below shows a portion of the anatomy of the human arm.
external image 260888_MM011_arm.png
Which letter on the diagram indicates a tendon?
A. Letter W
B. Letter X
C. Letter Y
D. Letter Z

16. Which of the following body systems is responsible for receiving stimuli from the environment and coordinating the body’s response to these stimuli?
A. respiratory system
B. nervous system
C. digestive system
D. circulatory system

17. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which substances such as fats and cholesterol are deposited on the inside walls of arteries, resulting in a decrease in the internal diameter of the arteries. This directly interferes with which of the following processes in the body?
A. the production of red blood cells
B. the delivery of oxygen to body tissues
C. the release of insulin to regulate blood sugar
D. the transmission of nerve impulses to the heart

18. The hormones glucagon and insulin are produced by the pancreas and regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucagon stimulates liver cells to release glucose into the blood, whereas insulin stimulates body cells to absorb glucose from the blood.
a. Describe and explain what will happen in the body to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood shortly after a person eats a sugary snack.
b. Describe and explain what will happen in the body to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood after a person has not eaten for several hours.
c. Discuss how your answers to parts (a) and (b) relate to the concept of homeostasis.

19. The cells of the nasal cavity and the trachea are lined with cilia. Which of the following describes a purpose of the cilia?
A. to cool air that is entering the respiratory system
B. to help move trapped particles out of the respiratory system
C. to help produce sound as air moves out of the respiratory system
D. to increase the surface area for gas exchange in the respiratory system

20. Nerve cells use which of the following to communicate with each other?
A. antibodies
B. electrochemical signals
C. enzymes
D. simple sugars

21. Which of the following statements best compares sensory neuron function and motor neuron function in the human body?
A. Sensory neurons are voluntarily controlled, whereas motor neurons are involuntarily controlled.
B. Sensory neurons respond to light and sound stimuli, whereas motor neurons respond to touch stimuli.
C. Sensory neurons send signals to motor neurons, whereas motor neurons send signals to the central nervous system.
D. Sensory neurons send signals to the central nervous system, whereas motor neurons receive signals from the central nervous system.

22. High levels of carbon dioxide in the blood trigger which of the following responses in the body?
A. an increase in the rate of digestion
B. an increase in the rate of breathing
C. a decrease in the speed of the pulse
D. a decrease in the production of sweat

23. Emphysema is a severe respiratory system disease. The disease causes damage that directly prevents the transfer of oxygen to the bloodstream. Which part of the respiratory system does emphysema damage?
A. alveoli
B. bronchi
C. trachea
D. larynx

24. The diagram below shows the digestive system of an earthworm.
external image 09bio10q32.gif
external image 09bio10q32.gif

a. Identify three digestive organs in the earthworm that are also found in the human body.
b. Describe the function that each organ you identified in part (a) has in the human body.

25. In which of the following ways does perspiring help the body to maintain homeostasis?
A. by decreasing body temperature
B. by increasing blood sugar levels
C. by increasing the amount of fluid in the body
D. by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in cells

26. One serious problem for moose is a disease called moose brainworm. Effects of the disease include aimless walking in circles, poor coordination and balance, weakness, and paralysis of the legs. Many cases of the disease result in death. The disease is caused by a parasitic roundworm, Parelaphostrongylus tenuis. The life cycle of this roundworm involves snails, white-tailed deer, and moose. Of these organisms, only the moose gets sick from infection by the roundworm.
Damage to which of the following body systems causes the symptoms observed in moose infected by the roundworm?
A. circulatory
B. digestive
C. nervous
D. respiratory

27. The digestive system of most birds includes a structure called the gizzard. The gizzard crushes and grinds food, often with the help of small stones that the bird has swallowed.
Which of the following structures in the human digestive system has a function most similar to that of a bird's gizzard?
A. esophagus
B. large intestine
C. small intestine
D. teeth

28. The circulatory system is directly responsible for which of the following?
A. breaking down food
B. transmitting nerve impulses
C. transporting nutrients to cells
D. controlling movement of muscles

29. What is the name of the connective tissue that joins skeletal muscle to bone?
A. cartilage
B. ligaments
C. neurons
D. tendons

30. Sickle cell anemia is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder that affects thousands of people in the United States and millions worldwide. Sickle cell anemia commonly occurs in groups whose ancestors came from Africa, as well as South America, Cuba, Central America, Saudi Arabia, India, and the Mediterranean.
Sickle cell anemia is caused by a change in the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells. Sickle cell anemia results in paleness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and increased heart rate due to a deficiency in the oxygen-carrying component of the blood. When oxygen levels are low in an affected individual, the red blood cells become deformed into a curved, sickle shape. People with sickle cell anemia can experience swelling, pain, infection, and organ damage.
All individuals have two alleles for the gene that codes for the hemoglobin protein (Hb). Individuals with two Hb A alleles have normal, round red blood cells. Heterozygous individuals, with one Hb A allele and one Hb S allele, do not experience symptoms of the disease, but they may produce some sickle-shaped red blood cells. Individuals with two Hb S alleles have sickle cell anemia.
The diagrams below represent some of the steps in the formation of hemoglobin in two individuals, Y and Z. In these diagrams, only a small part of the hemoglobin gene sequence is represented. Individual Y has two Hb A alleles and therefore produces normal red blood cells. Individual Z has two Hb S alleles and therefore produces sickle-shaped red blood cells.
external image 184877_Hemoglobin_series.png
external image 184877_Hemoglobin_series.png

In a bone marrow transplant, bone marrow from a healthy individual is transplanted into an individual with a blood disorder.
a. Explain why a successful bone marrow transplant could treat sickle cell anemia in an individual.
b. Suppose individual Z were treated for sickle cell anemia by receiving a bone marrow transplant. Could any children that individual Z has after the transplant inherit the gene for the sickle cell trait? Explain your answer.

31. Which of the following is a body system response that adjusts body temperature when it is higher than normal?
A. Breathing rate begins to decrease.
B. Blood vessels near the skin constrict.
C. Sweat glands produce and secrete sweat.
D. Hormones increase the metabolic rate of the liver.

32. Heartburn is pain that occurs when acidic gastric juice is forced out of the upper end of the stomach. In which of the following organs does a person experience heartburn?
A. pancreas
B. small intestine
C. large intestine
D. esophagus

33. Which of the following statements best explains why oxygen diffuses from alveoli into the blood?
A. The diaphragm draws oxygen into the alveoli at a rapid speed.
B. Alveoli cells contain hemoglobin to transfer gases to the blood.
C. The concentration of oxygen is greater in the alveoli than in the blood.
D. Red blood cells move one at a time through the capillaries surrounding the alveoli.

34. Which of the following is a function of the liver?
A. removing toxic compounds from blood
B. secreting digestive enzymes into the stomach
C. producing white blood cells to fight infections
D. converting food into smaller nutrient molecules


1. A
2. B
3. B
4. C
5. D
6. D
7. D
8. Sample answers can be found here.
9. A
10. B
11. D
12. Sample answers can be found here.
13. C
14. A
15. D
16. B
17. B
19. B
20. B
21. B
22. D
23. A
24. Sample answers can be found here.
25. A
26. C
27. D
28. C
29. D
30. Sample answers can be found here.
31. C
32. D
33. C
34. A