Practical questions

You will complete eight required practical activities if you are studying GCSE Physics and 21 if you are studying GCSE Combined Science. You could be asked questions about the methods, safety precautions you might take, results and conclusions of these experiments.

There are two required practicals in the Electricity and circuits topic: Investigate the relationship between potential difference, current and resistance for a resistor and a filament bulb, and: Testing series and parallel circuits using resistors and filament lamps.

Edexcel questions courtesy of Pearson Education Ltd.

Sample question 1 - Foundation and Higher


A student investigates how the resistance of a thermistor varies with temperature.

The student sets up the circuit shown in the figure below to measure current and voltage.

He finds that it does not work:

Circuit with a battery, variable resistor, voltmeter, closed switch and a thermistor, with an ammeter in parallel to the thermistor.

Give three modifications the student should make to the circuit so that the circuit works correctly. [3 marks]

Connect the ammeter in series with the thermistor [1]. Connect the voltmeter in parallel with the thermistor [1]. Reverse one of the cells [1].

Sample question 2 - Foundation and Higher


A student investigates how the resistance of a wire depends on its length.

The figure below shows the circuit that the student uses:

Circuit with a 1.5 V cell, ammeter, voltmeter and thin resistance wire connected in parallel. Length of wire is measured using a meter ruler.

a) Complete the table by naming the key variables in this investigation. [1 mark]

Independent variable
Dependent variable

b) Describe the method the student should use for this investigation.[5 marks]


Independent variableLength of wire
Dependent variableResistance


b) First, connect the circuit [1] and attach the loose crocodile clip to the wire [1]. Read the ammeter, read the voltmeter and measure the length of the wire [1]. Repeat the readings and find an average [1]. Take readings at different lengths [1].