Structured questions

Simple recall questions are usually worth one mark. They are 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 3 to 5 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


a) The maximum mass that can be lifted by the truck is 1,800 kg. Calculate the weight of this mass. (Gravitational field strength on Earth is 10 N/kg.) [1 mark]

b) The forklift truck uses a force of 1,000 N to lift a load through a vertical distance of 6 m.

i) Recall an equation and use it to calculate the work done. [2 marks]

ii) State how much work, if any, the forklift truck does when the load is held stationary at 6 m. [1 mark]

iii) Name the type of energy possessed by the load when it is stationary at a height of 6 m. [1 mark]

Question courtesy of Eduqas.

a) Weight = mass × gravitational field strength

= 1,800 × 10 = 18,000 N [1]

b) i) Work done = force × distance moved in direction of force [1]

= 1,000 × 6 = 6,000 J [1]

ii) No work is done when an object remains stationary. [1]

iii) Gravitational potential energy [1]

Sample question 2 - Higher


A person pulls a log with a force of 600 N at an angle of 40° to the horizontal.

a) i) Draw a scale diagram to show how the 600 N force is resolved to a vertical and horizontal component.

ii) Use this scale diagram to find a value for the vertical and horizontal forces.

iii) Use one of your answers in ii) together with a recalled equation to find the work done on the log if it moves 10 m in the horizontal distance.

b) The log has a mass of 90 kg and the gravitational field strength is 10 N/kg.

i) What is the weight of the log?

ii) Explain why the log is not lifted off the ground in this case.

This question has been written by a Bitesize consultant as a suggestion to the type of questions that may appear in an exam paper.

a) i)

Right angle triangle, with the hypotenuse length given, and the other lengths labelled X and Y, Additional angle given, and a scale too.

ii) These answers are found from the triangle by measuring x and y with a ruler and using the scale to find the force value.

Vertical component of the force = y = 390 N ± 20 N

Horizontal component of the force = x = 460 N ± 20 N

iii) Work done = force × distance moved in direction of force

= 460 × 10

= 4,600 J

b) i) Weight of the log = 90 × 10 = 900 N

ii) The vertical force of 390 N is less than the 900 N downward force of gravity.