Linking questions span different topics. In linking questions, it is important that you plan your answer and not just rush into it. After all, you would plan an essay or short story before starting. Without a plan it is easy to stray away from the key point and lose marks, get steps in a process in the wrong order or forget key bits of information. Remember to write your answer in full sentences, not bullet points.
One way to answer linking questions is to follow these steps:
The number of marks per question part is given in this form [4 marks]. It is essential that you give four different answers if a question is worth four marks. Sometimes you can gain an additional mark by giving the units in a calculation or stating specific data points, eg after twenty-four hours the pH of the milk at room temperature had decreased by 1.2.
Linking questions will start with command words such as 'Describe...' or 'Explain...'.
Some command words are easy to understand such as:
The command words 'Describe...' and 'Explain...' can be confused. If you are asked to describe a graph, you will be expected to write about its overall shape, whether it is linear or curved, the slope of gradients etc. If you are asked to explain why a pattern or trend is seen in a graph, you will be expected to use your science knowledge not just say what you see (which is a description), eg The graph shows an increase in the mass of potato cylinders. This is because...
Explain how and why questions often have the word 'because' in their answer. Describe questions don't.
These questions have been written by Bitesize consultants as suggestions to the types of questions that may appear in an exam paper.
Suggest how stem cells might be used to treat a patient with type 1 diabetes. [3 marks]
This question combines ideas about diabetes with stem cells and potential stem cell therapies.
When answering questions on stem cells, be careful, as therapies are being developed, rather than being used.
Describe an experiment to demonstrate the effect of different concentrations of salt on beetroot cells. [6 marks]
This question combines ideas about osmosis and techniques used in microscopy.
While you could write about an experiment on osmosis in beetroot cylinders it's better to write about the examination of the beetroot cells.
Explain how plants meet the challenges of growing in hot, dry climates. [6 marks]
This question combines ideas about photosynthesis, diffusion, transpiration and surface area to volume ratios.
The following is a list of valid points that could be included in your answer.
There are two types of cell division in eukaryotes.
Explain the importance of mitosis in the growth and repair of an organism but meiosis in the production of gametes. [6 marks]
This question combines ideas about mitosis, meiosis, genetic variation and evolution.
Note that it is not just a standard, compare the difference between mitosis and meiosis, type question. It has particular focus.
The following is a list of valid points that could be included in your answer: