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 loose 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 that the biodiversity is lower on the school field. 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 a Bitesize consultant as a suggestion to the type of questions that may appear in an exam paper.
The figure below shows the graph of human population.
During this time the number of extinctions has increased. Explain why. [6 marks]
Marks will be allocated by implementing the following points:
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:
Explain how burning fossil fuels results in the melting of the polar ice caps. [4 marks]
Marks will be awarded from these points:
Deforestation is the cutting down of trees. The water cycle shows the different processes water undergoes.
Explain how deforestation can affect the water cycle. [6 marks]
Remember to include as many processes from the water cycle in your answer.
The correct answer should have these points:
You should also demonstrate that you understand how local deforestation can have a global impact. It is likely to contribute to global warming which in turn will have an impact on climate change. Higher global temperatures could cause an increase in evaporation rates from oceans and lakes, which in turn could lead to, increased rainfall.