Practical questions

You will complete eight required core practical activities if you are studying GCSE Chemistry, and 18 if you are studying GCSE Combined Science (five of these are in Chemistry).

You could be asked questions about the apparatus, methods, safety precautions, results, analysis and evaluation of these experiments.

There are no core practical activities in the Groups in the periodic table section.

Sample question 1 - Foundation


Describe the chemical test for chlorine. [2 marks]

This question has been written by a Bitesize consultant as a suggestion to the type of question that may appear in an exam paper.

  • damp litmus paper [1]
  • turns white [1]

Sample question 2 - Foundation


Chlorine, bromine and iodine are halogens.

The table shows the appearance of bromine and iodine at room temperature.

HalogenAppearance at room temperature
BromineDark red liquid
IodineGrey solid

Complete the table to show the appearance of chlorine at room temperature. [2 marks]

Edexcel question courtesy of Pearson Education Ltd.

  • green/yellow-green [1]
  • gas [1]

Sample question 3 - Higher


Magnesium and calcium are in group 2 of the periodic table. They are less reactive than the metals in group 1.

Calcium reacts with water to form calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2, and hydrogen, H2.

Ca(s) + 2H2O(l) → Ca(OH)2(s) + H2(g)

Describe what would be seen when a piece of calcium is dropped into a container of water. [2 marks]

Edexcel question courtesy of Pearson Education Ltd.

  • effervescence/fizzing/bubbles [1]
  • water goes cloudy/white precipitate forms [1]

Sample question 4 - Higher


Describe what you would see when a small piece of sodium is added to water. [2 marks]

Edexcel question courtesy of Pearson Education Ltd.

Any two from the following:

  • floats
  • moves (around)
  • effervescence/fizzing/bubbles
  • melts/changes to a ball shape
  • becomes smaller/disappears