Understanding how to approach exam questions helps to boost exam performance. Question types will include multiple choice, structured, mathematical and practical questions.

Maths questions often start with the command words 'calculate' or 'determine'. They will then have a blank space for you to show your working. It is important that you show your working - don't just write the answer down. You might earn marks for your working even if you get the answer incorrect.

In some maths questions you will be required to give the units. This may earn you an additional mark. Don't forget to check whether you need to do this.

Maths questions might include graphs and tables as well as calculations. Don't forget to take a ruler and calculator.

If drawing graphs, make sure you:

- put the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependant variable on the y-axis
- construct regular scales for the axes
- label the axes appropriately
- plot each point accurately
- decide whether the origin should be used as a data point
- draw a straight or curved line of best fit

If you are asked to calculate an answer and it has lots of decimal places, don't forget to use the same number of significant figures as the data in the question. For example, if two significant figures are used in the question, then usually your answer would also be to two significant figures. Don't forget to check your rounding.

- Question
A student measured the change in mass of potato cylinders placed in different concentrations of salt solution ranging from 0.0 to 0.4 mol dm

^{-3}.Their results are shown below.

0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 Average change in mass (%) +10 +2 -3 -6 -8 Plot these points on graph paper and draw a line of best fit.

**[4 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.*Your graph should look like this:

- axes and scales correct [1]
- all points plotted correctly [2] - one mark available for 2 to 3 points plotted correctly
- appropriate line of best fit [1]

Concentration should be on the x-axis and change on the y-axis. The y-axis has a positive and negative scale. Divisions on the scales should be regular and axes should be labelled and include units

You should have drawn an appropriate line of best fit. In this case, it is a curve.

- Question
Assuming that a xylem vessel is a cylinder, calculate the cross sectional area of a xylem vessel with a diameter of 0.025mm using the formula

*r*^{2}.Give your answer to two significant figures. Use = 3.142

**[2 marks]***Question courtesy of Eduqas.*radius = diameter ÷ 2 = 0.025 ÷ 2

= 0.0125

area = × 0.0125

^{2}[1]= 0.000490 = 0.00049 mm

^{2}[1]

- Question
Siân grows tomato plants. She decides to use a fertiliser called InstantGrow. The label from a bottle of InstantGrow is shown below.

Concentrated nutrient solution Dilution 1 part InstantGrow: 200 parts water Contents of bottle 500 cm ^{3}Using the instructions for use shown on the label, calculate the volume of diluted InstantGrow that can be made from the contents of one bottle.

**[2 marks]***Question courtesy of Eduqas.*For every 1 cm

^{3}, 200 cm^{3}of water will be added. The contents of the bottle is 500 cm^{3}, so 500 × 200 gives in total 100,000 cm^{3}of diluted InstantGrow. [1]There are 1000 cm

^{3}in a litre so 100,000 ÷ 1000 = 100 litres or 100 dm^{3}[1]Alternatively, you could calculate that 1 cm

^{3}and an additional 200 cm^{3}results in 201 cm^{3}of InstantGrow solution for every cm^{3}in the 500 cm^{3}bottle.201 × 500 = 100,500 cm

^{3}or 100.5 litres