SAT II World History : Prehistory to 500 C.E.

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Prehistory To 500 C.E.

The earliest settlers of North America arrived __________.

Possible Answers:

from Asia by crossing over the Bering Strait during an ice age

from South America by migrating north to find more forgiving climates

from Africa by crossing a land bridge that existed for several thousand years

when Columbus and the Europeans discovered the land

from the Carribean by sailing to North America during a period of intense famine

Correct answer:

from Asia by crossing over the Bering Strait during an ice age

Explanation:

The earliest settlers of North America arrived from Asia. The people would have crossed the Bering Straight (between modern day Russia and Alaska) during an ice age and migrated south throughout the whole continent searching for food and shelter. 

Example Question #2 : Prehistory To 500 C.E.

The Maori people migrated from Polynesia to __________.

Possible Answers:

Thailand

Hawaii

Sri Lanka

New Zealand

India

Correct answer:

New Zealand

Explanation:

The Maori people migrated from Polynesia to the islands of New Zealand. They are considered the indigenous people of New Zealand, although it is worth noting that they arrived from Polynesia around 1000-1200 CE. 

Example Question #3 : Prehistory To 500 C.E.

The Bantu Migration involved people ________.

Possible Answers:

moving from the Middle East to Europe and Asia

moving from West Africa to South and East Africa 

moving from Europe to North and South America

moving from South Africa to North and West Africa 

moving from North Africa to Europe and the Middle East

Correct answer:

moving from West Africa to South and East Africa 

Explanation:

The Bantu people are one of the earliest organized civilizations in African History. They originated in West Africa and, over a period of several thousand years, migrated South and East. The Bantu Migration is used to explain the similarities between languages and culture across Western, Southern, and Eastern Africa. It is estimated that the Bantu Migration (also called the Bantu Expansion) ended in South Africa as recently as 300 C.E., although historians have largely been unable to confirm this due to the dearth of archaeological evidence. 

Example Question #1 : Sat Subject Test In World History

The pre-colonial native people of Australia are known as __________.

Possible Answers:

Aborigines

Maori

Peloponnesians

Ainu

Inuit

Correct answer:

Aborigines

Explanation:

The Aborigines are the native people of Australia. They arrived there from South Asia tens of thousands of years ago, most probably between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago. They lived as the dominant people of Australia until the arrival of the Europeans in the eighteenth century, who relegated the Aborigines to second-class status.

Example Question #4 : Prehistory To 500 C.E.

The "Bantu Migration" occurred in __________.

Possible Answers:

North and South America

Eastern Europe

the Middle East

Central and Southern Africa

the Far East

Correct answer:

Central and Southern Africa

Explanation:

The "Bantu Migration" is the term used to describe the movement of the Bantu people, and their culture and language, around Central and Southern Africa, starting around 1000 BCE and lasting for roughly 1300 years. Languages in Bantu language groups continue to be spoken to this day and include Swahili, Zulu, and Kirundi.

Example Question #2 : Sat Subject Test In World History

The modern-day Latin alphabet is based on the innovations of __________.

Possible Answers:

the Sumerian Empire

the Chinese Empire

the Babylonian Empire

the Phoenician Empire 

the Roman Empire 

Correct answer:

the Phoenician Empire 

Explanation:

The Phoenician empire is an ancient and classical-era civilization that emerged around 1200 BCE along the Mediterranean Coast of the “Fertile Crescent." It was primarily a maritime and economic empire, and its culture spread throughout Mediterranean Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. The Phoenicians are credited with inventing one of the earliest known writing systems, and almost certainly the world’s oldest alphabets. Because of Phoenicia’s expansive trading habits, their alphabet spread to many parts of the world. It was the direct ancestor of the Greek (and subsequently, Latin) alphabets, as well as the modern Arabic and Hebrew scripts.

Example Question #5 : Prehistory To 500 C.E.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is famous because it is __________.

Possible Answers:

important for translating Egyptian hieroglyphics

the earliest known code of laws

the earliest known work of literature

used to study ancient Greek customs

important for understanding trading patterns of the ancient world

Correct answer:

the earliest known work of literature

Explanation:

The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the tale of the possibly mythological Sumerian conqueror Gilgamesh. It is famous because it is the earliest known work of literature. It dates from approximately 2000 BCE.

Example Question #3 : Sat Subject Test In World History

Cuneiform is one of the earliest known examples of __________.

Possible Answers:

masonry

farming

language

writing

metalworking

Correct answer:

writing

Explanation:

Cuneiform is one of the earliest known examples of writing in human history. It emerged in Sumeria approximately six thousand years ago. It spread throughout much of the known world before eventually being replaced by the simpler Phoenician alphabet in the first millennium BCE. 

Example Question #6 : Prehistory To 500 C.E.

Most of pre-Classical Indian literature is written in ________.

Possible Answers:

Hindi 

Urdu 

Sanskrit 

Aryan 

Bengali 

Correct answer:

Sanskrit 

Explanation:

Classical Indian texts were almost exclusively written in either “Vedic” or “Classical” Sanskrit. Many notable early works of Indian philosophy, Hindu spiritualism, Indian mathematics, and Buddhist practice are written in Classical Sanskrit. Its influence continues today and it remains one of the official languages of India. Urdu is an Arabic written language used primarily in Northern India, Pakistan and other parts of the Eastern Middle East. Hindi is the majority language of India and Bengali is a language spoken by people in Eastern India and Bangladesh. 

Example Question #1 : Gender From Prehistory To 600 Bce

Which of the following was a result of the Neolithic Revolution?

Possible Answers:

Decreased trade

Equality of gender roles

A decrease in the world population

Job specialization

Shortages in the food supply

Correct answer:

Job specialization

Explanation:

The Neolithic revolution was marked by innovations in agriculture. As a result, not all people needed to be farmers; instead, they began to specialize in different jobs. The answer choice "job specialization" is correct.

This period led to an increase in the food supply (rather than shortages), an increase in the world population (not a decrease), and increased trade (rather than decreased). Furthermore, work done outside the home—such as herding—was typically performed by men and began to be valued more highly than work done inside the home, which was typically performed by women, leading to increased gender inequality.

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