Six mark questions are extended open response questions. These require longer answers than the structured questions with fewer marks. It is wise to plan your answer rather than rushing straight into it, otherwise you may stray away from the key points.
Six mark questions are marked using a levels-based mark scheme because they are open ended. To gain full marks, you need to:
You are likely to see command words such as:
Six mark questions may be synoptic questions. These questions bring together ideas from two or more topics. For example, a question about atoms could include ideas about atomic structure, isotopes, radiation and nuclear reactions. Remember that the topics covered in the first paper are assumed knowledge for the second paper, so questions in the second paper may need knowledge and understanding of those topics too.
The answers shown here give marking points as bullet points. You do not usually need to include all of them to gain six marks, but you do need to write in full sentences, linking them logically and clearly.
A student was asked to perform an experiment on magnetic field patterns. The experiment was completed but the only record produced in the lab book were these two diagrams. Complete the student's report by describing how the experiment was executed. [6 marks]
In this investigation a permanent bar magnet and a wire in the form of a solenoid were used . In order to map out the field lines a plotting compass was used and this is seen on the first diagram with the bar magnet . A power supply was used to provide the current through the solenoid and again the plotting compass was used to map out the field . The diagram for the solenoid is shown as a cross-sectional view and it is noted that both magnetic field patterns are very similar . The solenoid field disappears with no current and the N and S poles interchange if the direction of current reverses . The strength of the solenoid field can also be changed by varying the current .
Answering tip: Briefly plan the key points you want to include in your answer. For example: