Structured questions

Simple recall questions are usually worth one mark. They often have command words like 'give', 'state', 'name' or 'identify'. Some questions may ask you to state two things, rather than just one, and will be worth two marks.

Structured questions, with command words such as 'describe' or 'explain', will be worth two or more marks:

  • if you are asked to describe something, you need to give an account but no reason
  • if you are asked to explain something, you must give reasons or explanations

More complex structured questions will be worth three to five marks. They include questions with complex descriptions and explanations, questions in which you need to compare and contrast two different things, or calculations with several stages.

The mark schemes given here may show answers as bullet points. This is to show clearly how a mark can be obtained. However, it is important that your answer is written in a logical, linked way.

Sample question 1 - Foundation and Higher


A classroom has a volume of 80 m3 and contains 104 kg of air. Use an equation from the list to calculate the density of the air in the room and state the unit. [3 marks]

Question courtesy of Eduqas.

Use of density = mass / volume [1]

104 ÷ 80 = 1.3 [1]

Kg/m3 [1]