Describe the conditions required for natural selection, including: overproduction of offspring, inherited variation, and the struggle to survive, which result in differential reproductive success.
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Standard: Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms -

A. The scientific theory of evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology.

B. The scientific theory of evolution is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence.

C. Organisms are classified based on their evolutionary history.

D. Natural selection is a primary mechanism leading to evolutionary change.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes


Annually assessed on Biology EOC. Also assesses SC.912.L.15.14, SC.912.L.15.15, and SC.912.N.1.3.


  • Reporting Category: Classification, Heredity, and Evolution
  • Clarification :

    Students will explain and/or describe the conditions required for natural selection that result in differential reproductive success.

    Students will explain and/or describe the scientific mechanisms, such as genetic drift, gene flow, and nonrandom mating, resulting in evolutionary change.

    Students will explain and/or describe how mutation and genetic recombination increase genetic variation.

    Students will identify ways in which a scientific claim is evaluated (e.g., through scientific argumentation, critical and logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations).

  • Content Limits :

    Items will not address descent with modification or common descent.

    Items addressing mutation and genetic recombination in relation to increasing genetic variation must be assessed in the context of evolution.

    Items will not assess the Hardy-Weinberg principle or genetic equilibrium.

    Items may address how meiosis contributes to genetic variation but may not assess the steps or stages of meiosis.

    Items assessing a scientific claim are limited to the topics discussed in SC.912.L.15.13, SC.912.L.15.14, and SC.912.L.15.15.

  • Stimulus Attributes :
    None specified
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply scientific knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge of SC.7.L.15.2, SC.7.L.15.3, SC.7.L.16.1, SC.7.L.16.3, SC.7.L.17.3, SC.7.N.1.7, SC.6.N.2.2, and SC.7.N.2.1.


  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: Over time, the climate of an island became drier, which resulted in changes to the populations of various island finch species. Finch populations with a certain beak shape thrived, while those not having that beak shape decreased. Which of the following describes a necessary condition for these changes in the finch populations to occur?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice