Three and four mark questions

Your exam will be marked against specific answers.

If asked about a process like genetic modification or making monoclonal antibodies, then it is important to remember the steps in the correct order.

You will not be marked down for putting a step in the incorrect order, but you might miss out on a mark for a correct answer in the wrong place.

These questions have been written by Bitesize consultants as suggestions to the types of questions that may appear in an exam paper.

Sample question 1


Describe the life cycle of a virus. [4 marks]

Four from the following:

  1. They can often survive outside a host for long periods of time [1].
  2. They then infect a suitable host cell [1].
  3. They replicate themselves thousands of times [1].
  4. They copy their genetic material (DNA or RNA) and protein coats [1].
  5. This often causes the host cell to burst [1].
  6. Other cells can then be infected [1].

Sample question 2


Describe how pathogens can be spread. [4 marks]

Four marks from the following:

  1. Through the air [1] like the common cold virus [1].
  2. Through the dirty water [1] like cholera bacteria [1].
  3. Through physical contact [1] like chlamydia bacteria [1].
  4. Through contaminated food [1] like Escherichia coli bacteria [1].
  5. By another animal [1] like badgers which some believe carry tuberculosis [1].

Sample question 3


Describe the difference between phagocytes and lymphocytes. [4 marks]

Four from the following:

  1. Phagocytes surround any pathogens in your blood and engulf them [1].
  2. Enzymes inside the phagocytes then breakdown the pathogen [1].
  3. Lymphocytes recognise proteins on the surface of pathogens called antigens [1].
  4. They then produce antibodies which make pathogens stick together [1].
  5. Lymphocytes also produce antitoxins to neutralise the effects of toxins produced by pathogens [1].

Sample question 4


Cancer is a non-communicable disease. Explain how smoking can affect the development of cancer. Define risk factors in your answer. [4 marks]

Four from the following:

  1. Risk factors are things that increase a person’s chance of developing a disease [1].
  2. They can be part of a person’s lifestyle [1].
  3. They can be substances in a person’s body or their environment [1].
  4. Smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer [1].
  5. Tar in cigarettes is a carcinogen [1].