Practical questions

You will complete 21 required practical activities if you are studying GCSE combined science: Trilogy. You could be asked questions about the apparatus, methods, safety precautions, results, analysis and evaluation of these experiments.

There will be a number of different types of practical based questions. Some will be on the set required practicals, some will cover the working scientifically terms and some will be on other science practicals which you might have done in class. Use all the information given in the question particularly any diagrams to help you understand what the question is about.

There are no required practical activities in the the bonding, structure and properties of matter section. However, there may be some questions drawing on practical skills relating to this topic within other questions on the paper.

These questions have been written by Bitesize consultants as suggestions to the types of questions that may appear in an exam paper.

Sample question 1 - Foundation


Name one piece of apparatus suitable for measuring the boiling point of a liquid. [1 mark]

A thermometer/temperature probe. [1]

Sample question 2 - Foundation


Give two reasons why hazard symbols are used on containers in the laboratory. [2 marks]

To indicate the dangers associated with the contents. [1]

To inform people about precautions to take when using these substances in the laboratory. [1]

Sample question 3 - Higher


A student tests solutions to find out which conduct electricity.

She uses the apparatus below:

  • electrical power pack
  • leads and crocodile clips
  • graphite electrodes
  • solutions of copper sulfate, sodium chloride and sugar

Figure 1 shows the hazard symbol on the container of copper sulfate solution.

Figure 1

Symbol for a moderate hazard

Complete the table below. [3 marks]

HazardPossible harmPossible precaution
Electricity supply
Copper sulfate solutionCauses skin irritation
HazardPossible harmPossible precaution
Electricity supplyElectric shockSwitch off before handling apparatus
Copper sulfate solutionCauses skin irritationAvoid getting on skin/wear gloves

Sample question 4 - Higher


A student uses a temperature probe to measure the melting points of three substances.

His results are in table 1.

Table 1

SubstanceMelting point

What is the resolution of the temperature probe? [1 mark]

0.1°C (number and unit required for the mark) [1]