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 Chemistry of the atmosphere section. However, there may be some questions drawing on practical skills relating to this topic within other questions on the paper. The questions in this section are about investigating changes in reacting solutions such as acid plus metals, acid plus carbonates, neutralisations, displacement of metals.

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

Question

Carbon dioxide dissolves in sea water to form a weak acid. Describe a simple test you could do to see if a solution was weakly acidic. State the result you expect to see. [2 marks]

The following are valid points that could be included in your answer. It is important that you do not bullet point your answer but write your sentences in full.

  • add universal indicator [1]
  • colour of indicator would be yellow, orange or red [1]

Sample question 2 - Foundation

Question

A student is investigating the energy released during the combustion of different alcohols. The student notices that a black substance forms on the bottom of the beaker which is held above the burning fuel. What is the identity of the black substance and why was it produced during the combustion of the alcohols? [2 marks]

The following are valid points that could be included in your answer. It is important that you do not bullet point your answer but write your sentences in full.

  • soot/particulate carbon [1]
  • Incomplete combustion occurred/not enough oxygen present [1]

Sample question 3 - Higher

Question

Sulfur is burned in oxygen. The gas produced is then mixed with water which contains some universal indicator. Describe the colour change that you would expect to see due to the indicator and explain your answer. [2 marks]

The following are valid points that could be included in your answer. It is important that you do not bullet point your answer but write your sentences in full.

  • green to red/orange [1]
  • because sulfur dioxide dissolves to form an acid/reference to SO2 being a cause of acid rain [1]

Sample question 4 - Higher

Question

Whilst investigating the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, a student collected the gases released and passed them through limewater. Describe the change in the appearance of the limewater and explain why this happens. [2 marks]

The following are valid points that could be included in your answer. It is important that you do not bullet point your answer but write your sentences in full.

  • limewater goes cloudy [1]
  • due to the presence of carbon dioxide [1]