Animal coordination and control - One- to four-mark questions

One- to four-mark questions will start with command words such as 'describe' or 'explain'. Some command words are easy to understand such as:

  • 'calculate' or 'determine' for maths questions
  • 'complete' to fill in a gap in a table or graph
  • 'define' to give the meaning of an important word
  • 'suggest' where you use your knowledge in an unfamiliar situation
  • 'compare' where you describe the similarities and/or differences between things

The command words 'describe' and 'explain' can be confusing. 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 a steep linear increase for the first three hours because…

Explain how and why questions often have the word 'because' in their answer. Describe questions don't.

The number of marks per question part is given in this form '[2 marks]'. It is essential that you give two different answers if a question is worth two marks. Sometimes you can gain a second mark by giving the units in a calculation or stating specific data points, eg during the first two years the number of lions deceased by seven.

You will be expected to write in more depth for three- and four-mark questions. They might ask you about a process such as the carbon cycle or the method you would use in an experiment.

Edexcel questions courtesy of Pearson Education Ltd.

Sample question 1 - Foundation

Question

Where are the hormones oestrogen and testosterone produced? [2 marks]

Two from:

  • oestrogen is produced in the ovaries
  • testosterone is produced in the testes
  • both are produced in glands

[2]

Sample question 2 - Foundation

Question

What do high progesterone levels at the end of the menstrual cycle indicate? [1 mark]

High levels of progesterone indicate that a woman is pregnant. They inhibit menstruation. [1]

Sample question 3 - Foundation

Question

This table shows the level of progesterone in the blood for a female during five different stages of the menstrual cycle.

The progesteron level is measured in nanomoles per litre (nmol/l).

CycleProgesterone
1-91.85 nmol/l
10-141.48 nmol/l
15-1714.28 nmol/l
18-2335.27 nmol/l
24-2817.11 nmol/l

Describe the changes in progesterone levels during the 28-day cycle. [2 marks]

Full marks will be awarded for including the following points:

  • levels remain low up until day 14 then [1]
  • they continue to rise to day 23 and drop at day 24 [1]

Sample question 4 - Higher

Question

This table shows the level of progesterone in the blood for a female during five different stages of the menstrual cycle.

The progesteron level is measured in nanomoles per litre (nmol/l).

CycleProgesterone
1-91.85 nmol/l
10-141.48 nmol/l
15-1714.28 nmol/l
18-2335.27 nmol/l
24-2817.11 nmol/l

Use the data in the table to explain if the female is pregnant. [2 marks]

Full marks will be awarded for including the following points:

  • progesterone levels fall after day 23 to 17.11 [1]
  • so uterus wall thickness is not maintained and therefore pregnancy has not occurred [1]

Sample question 5 - Higher

Question

Describe the role of insulin in managing blood sugar levels? [4 marks]

Four from:

  • high levels of blood sugar are detected
  • insulin is released from the pancreas
  • this travels in the blood to the liver and muscles
  • excess glucose is absorbed by the liver and muscles
  • it is stored as insoluble glycogen

[4]

Sample question 6 - Higher

Question

Describe the role of glucagon in managing blood sugar levels? [4 marks]

Four from:

  • low levels of blood sugar are detected
  • glucagon is released from the pancreas
  • this travels in the blood to the liver and muscles
  • excess glucose is released from the liver and muscles
  • which was stored as insoluble glycogen

[4]