Practical questions

You will complete 21 required practical activities if you are studying GCSE combined science: Trilogy. You could be asked questions about the apparatus, methods, safety precautions, results, analysis and evaluation of these experiments.

There will be a number of different types of practical based questions. Some will be on the set required practicals, some will cover the working scientifically terms and some will be on other science practicals which you might have done in class. Use all the information given in the question particularly any diagrams to help you understand what the question is about.

There are no required practical activities in the atomic structure and periodic table section. However, there may be some questions drawing on practical skills relating to this topic within other questions on the paper.

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 - Foundation


Rock salt is a mixture of sand and salt.

Salt dissolves in water. Sand does not dissolve in water.

Some students separated rock salt.

This is the method used.

  1. Place the rock salt in a beaker.
  2. Add 100 cm3 of water.
  3. Allow sand to settle to the bottom of the beaker.
  4. Heat the contents of the evaporating dish with a Bunsen burner until salt crystals start to form.

Suggest one improvement to step 2 to make sure all the salt is dissolved in the water. [1 mark]

Heat or stir the water. [1]

Sample question 2 - Foundation


This question is about the experiment described in question 1.

The salty water in step 4 still contained very small grains of sand.

Suggest one improvement to step 4 to remove all the sand. [1 mark]

Filter the mixture. [1]

Sample question 3 - Higher


Describe how a sample of copper chloride crystals could be made from copper carbonate and dilute hydrochloric acid. [4 marks]

Add excess copper carbonate to dilute hydrochloric acid. [1]

Filter. [1]

Heat filtrate to evaporate some water. [1]

Leave to cool. [1]

Sample question 4 - Higher


A student removed water from salty water using the apparatus in figure 1.

Figure 1

A bunsen burner heats salty water in a round bottomed flask. The evaporated water collects in a tube and drips down to a beaker.

Describe how the technique works by referring to the processes at A and B. [2 marks]

Evaporation takes place at A. [1]

Condensation takes place at B. [1]