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Conceptest: Relative Plate Motion

ConcepTest questions by David McConnell, David Steer , Walter Borowski, Jeffrey Dick, Annabelle Foos, Jeffrey Knott, Alvin Konigsberg, Michelle Malone, Heidi McGrew, Kathie Owens, and Stephen Van Horn


A and B represent locations on two separate plates. The curved black line represents the plate boundary. The arrows show the directions of plate motion and the rates of motion are indicated.
Graphic for Relative Plate Motion concepTest question.
What kind of plate boundary is present between A and B?
a. transform
b. convergent
c. divergent
d. none

Student Responses:

The correct response is B.
Percentage of students choosing this answer. (%Before Discussion/%After Discussion)

a. (14%/4%) b. (32%/59%) c. (22%/4%) d. (32%/33%)

in a small (< 60 students) environmental geology class

If you would like to help acquire more Before and After statistics for this example, please contact the authors (see link at top of page).

References and Notes:



Resource Type

Activities:Classroom Activity:Short Activity:ConcepTests

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Solid Earth:Plate Tectonics




Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Plate Tectonics