Structured questions

Simple recall questions are usually worth 1 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 2 marks.

Structured questions, with command words such as 'describe' or 'explain', will be worth 2 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.

Questions courtesy of Eduqas.

Sample question 1 - Foundation


A hammer falls to the ground. The graph below shows how the velocity of the hammer changes with time.

Graph plotting time in seconds against velocity in metres per second. Line is directly proportional.

a) Describe the relationship between the velocity of the hammer and time. [2 marks]

b) i) Use information from the graph and an equation you can recall to calculate the acceleration. [2 marks]

ii) By using the information from the graph and by choosing an equation from the list, calculate the distance that the hammer fell in the first 4 s. [2 marks]

c) If a feather had fallen to the ground, the equations in b) could not be used. Give a reason why. [1 mark]

a) As time increases [1], velocity increases at a uniform rate/uniformly/linearly [1].

Note - "velocity is directly proportional to time" gets all marks.

b) i) Pair of readings from a point on graph, eg v = 50 m/s and t = 5 s [1]

a  = (v  -  u)  \div  t =  50  \div  5  =  10 m/s^2 [1]

ii) x  =  \frac{1}{2} (u + v) t [1]

x  =  \frac{1}{2} (0 + 40) \times 4  =  80~m [1]

c) There will be a lot of air resistance so the acceleration will not be constant. [1]

Sample question 2 - Higher


A car is travelling at 20 m/s before slowing down to a velocity of 5 m/s.

a) i) Calculate the change in velocity of the car. [1 mark]

ii) The driver of the car has a mass of 60 kg. Recall an equation and calculate the change in momentum of the driver. [1 mark]

iii) The car slowed down for 6 s. Calculate the force acting on the driver if it is equal to the change in momentum ÷ time. State the unit. [2 marks]

b) In another situation, the car slowed down from 20 m/s to 5 m/s in less time. Explain what effect this has on the force acting on the driver. [2 marks]

c) Seat belts help to keep drivers and passengers safer when the car stops suddenly during an accident. Name two other safety features that help to do this. [2 marks]

a) i) 15 m/s [1]

ii) Momentum = mass × velocity

So, change in momentum = mass × change in velocity = 60 × 15 = 900 kg m/s [1]

iii) Force on driver = change in momentum ÷ time = 900 ÷ 6 [1]

= 150 N [1]

b) The same change in momentum happens in a shorter time [1] so the change in momentum per second is greater, resulting in a bigger force [1].

c) Any two of the following:

  • air bag
  • crumple zone
  • head rest
  • passenger cage
  • ABS (anti-locking) brakes
  • laminated windscreen
  • side impact bars