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EC-6 391 Science Practice Questions + Tips #1

Updated: Jun 10, 2023

Rock Cycle

The EC-6 391 science exam will cover information on the different earth cycles and one of the common types of cycles asked on the exam is the rock cycle. The rock cycle is composed of 3 different types of rocks: sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic. Although the exam doesn't expect you to be a geologist and know every single detail about rocks, it is important to recognize the key characteristics that resemble each rock type and how they contrast one another.

Here are some rock cycle details that can help you further your understanding of the rock cycle.

Types of Rocks

Igneous Rocks

Igneous rocks are formed from the cooling and solidification of molten rock material (magma or lava).

  • They can form either underground or on the Earth's surface.

Examples of igneous rocks include granite, basalt, and obsidian.

  • Igneous rocks often have a crystalline or glassy texture, depending on their cooling rate.

Sedimentary Rocks

Sedimentary rocks are formed from the accumulation and compaction of sediments over time.

  • Sediments can be derived from weathering and erosion of pre-existing rocks, as well as organic materials.

The process of compaction and cementation turns sediments into solid sedimentary rocks.

  • Examples of sedimentary rocks include sandstone, limestone, and shale.

Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic rocks are formed from the transformation of pre-existing rocks through heat, pressure, and chemical processes.

  • They are subjected to high temperatures and pressures deep within the Earth's crust, causing them to change physically and chemically.

Metamorphism can occur in both sedimentary and igneous rocks.

  • Examples of metamorphic rocks include marble (from limestone) and slate (from shale).

Weathering and Erosion

It is also important to be familiar with the 2 main forces that can cause rocks to break down or be moved to a new location as a result of the elements. They are:

Weathering: Weathering is the process by which rocks and minerals on the Earth's surface break down into smaller pieces over time. It happens due to various forces of nature, such as wind, water, temperature changes, and even the growth of plants and animals.

Erosion: Erosion is the process by which weathered rock and soil are transported from one place to another by natural forces like water, wind, ice, or gravity. It occurs after weathering has broken down rocks into smaller pieces.


Practice Question #1

What type of rock is formed from cooled lava or magma?

a) Sedimentary

b) Igneous

c) Metamorphic

d) Fossil

Reasoning - key words "cooled" and lava point to igneous.

Correct Answer - B) Igneous

Practice Question #2 Which of the following processes in the rock cycle involves the breaking down of rocks into smaller pieces?

a) Weathering

b) Erosion

c) Deposition

d) Compaction

Reasoning - keywords "breaking down" and "smaller pieces" point to weathering.

Correct Answer - a) Weathering

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Our EC-6 391 Bundle goes over all 18 competencies and gives you plenty of practice to prepare for the EC-6 Science. The 391 bundle also includes 650+ printable flashcards covering topics like the rock cycle so you can stay prepared! Check it out here:

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