Item CL117002: At a given place, the sun is higher in the sky in the middle of the day in summer than in winter because the orientation of the earth’s axis relative to the sun is different in summer than it is in winter.

A student observes that in the middle of the day the sun is higher in the sky in summer than in winter. Which of the following statements explains her observation?

  1. The orientation of the earth’s axis relative to the sun is different in summer than it is in winter.
  2. The orientation of the earth’s axis relative to the plane of the earth’s path around the sun is different in summer than it is in winter.
  3. The difference is not caused by changes in the orientation of the earth’s axis. It is caused by changes in the sun’s position in the solar system.
  4. The difference is not caused by changes in the orientation of the earth’s axis. It is caused by the days in summer being longer than days in winter.
Distribution of Responses
Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item CL117002
Students Responding Correctly
Group Correct Total Percent
Overall 426 1099 39%
Grades
  6–8 227 634 36%
  9–12 197 461 43%
Gender
  Male20149840%
  Female21257437%
Primary Language
  English37396239%
  Other339335%

View data table