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GCSE Physics 1 Practice Paper Foundation

In this assessment, students will complete a timed paper in the style of AQA Separate Science GCSE Physics Paper 1 FoundationTier.

'GCSE Physics 1 Practice Paper Foundation' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   Physics: Single Subject

GCSE Boards:   AQA

Curriculum topic:   GCSE Sample Practice Papers

Curriculum subtopic:   Foundation Practice Papers

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In this assessment, students will be able to complete a timed GCSE Science Physics Paper 1 (Foundation) in the style of AQA Separate Science.

We would recommend for this paper that you work through the assessment online and for the questions that are worth more than one mark you write your answers on paper to show your working.  

 

For each question, the marks awarded for each section are written next to the questions and look like this [4]

 

You should aim for 1 minute per mark

 

The timer is set for 105 minutes for this practice paper, although you can keep working after the timer has run out.

If you are struggling to answer a question do not waste time on it, but move onto the next question.

 

 

Disclaimer:

We have no affiliation to AQA and these questions represent our own unique content developed by EdPlace GCSE authors.

None of the content displayed here has been supplied by AQA or any other third party suppliers.

 

Below is a graph which shows the temperature changes as a material is heated.

 

 

What is the melting point of water?

 

[1]

0 degrees Celsius

50 degrees Celsius

100 degrees Celsius

150 degrees Celsius

As the temperature increases so does the total internal energy of water.

Which two energy types make up total internal energy.

 

[1]

Kinetic energy

Chemical energy

Light energy

Potential energy

Energy is measured in what unit?

 

[1]

Newtons

Joules

Hertz

U Values

The photo below shows a rollercoaster.

 

Rollercoaster

 

The rollercoaster cart has a mass of 3000 kg.

Using the equation:  Weight = Mass X Gravitational Field Strength

Calculate the weight of the cart and state the correct units.

 

[2]

What is the value of the Gravitational Field Strength on Earth?

 

[1]

9.6 N/kg

9.8 N/kg

9.9 N/kg

10 N/kg

As the rollercoaster moves around the track it undergoes multiple energy changes.

 

[1]

9.6 N/kg

9.8 N/kg

9.9 N/kg

10 N/kg

Using the equation:

Kinetic Energy = 0.5 X Mass X Speed2

Calculate the kinetic energy of the cart as it travels at 40 m/s down the track.

(Remember the value for the mass is 3000 kg)

 

[2]

When the roller-coaster cart moves along a track some energy is wasted.

In what form is the energy wasted and why does this happen?

 

[2]

As the cart moves along the track work is done.

Write the equation that links Work Done, Distance and Force.

 

[1]

Calculate the work done by the cart as it moves 20 m using 200 N

Give the correct equation.

 

[2]

Infrared radiation is thermal energy being transferred from one place to another.

 

 

With reference to infrared radiation, explain why buildings in hot countries are often painted white.

 

[2]

Thermal energy can be transferred through solid materials.

 

 

[1]

The flow diagram shows air movement due to changing temperatures.

 

 

What is the process shown called?

 

[1]

Conduction

Convection

Infrared Radiation

Dispersion

Thermal energy is lost from several places in the home. This is bad for the environment and costs the homeowner money.

 

House showing loss of heat

 

Referring to the diagram above explain the different methods of insulation in the home and how they reduce heat loss.

 

[6]

The equation for specific heat capacity is shown below.

Energy needed = Mass X Specific Heat Capacity X Temperature Change

 

[1]

The equation for specific heat capacity is shown below.

Energy needed = Mass X Specific Heat Capacity X Temperature Change

Saucepan

If a 5 kg saucepan is heated up from 20 oC to 100 oC and has a specific heat capacity of 22 J/kg oC

Calculate the energy change that is needed.

 

[3]

The graph below shows the energy change of a substance as it is heated.

 

 Graph to show states of matter

 

What state of matter is the substance at State 1 and State 2 on the graph?

 

[2]

The graph below shows the energy change of a substance as it is heated.

 

 Graph to show different states

 

[1]

What is the total internal energy of a system?

 

[1]

SCUBA divers have tanks of compressed air on their backs. This air is stored under pressure.

 

Scuba diver tanks

 

How do air particles exert a pressure on the gas tanks?

 

[2]

Which of the following will increase the level of gas pressure on a container?

 

[1]

Increasing volume

Decreasing concentration

Increasing temperature

Decreasing temperature

Write the equation which links density, mass and volume.

 

[1]

The cube pictured has a mass of 500 kg.

 

Cube 9 x 9 squared

 

Calculate the density of the cube.

 

[3]

Below is a picture of a small wooden toy.

 

Ladybird toy

 

How could you practically work out the volume of the wooden toy in a science classroom?

 

[2]

Below shows what energy resources are currently used in the U.K to generate electricity:

 

 Pie chart to show energy supply

 

Which of the following are fossil fuels?

 

[1]

Nuclear

Coal

Gas

Hydroelectric

Identify the correct properties of each energy resource.

 

[1]

 CoalGasNuclearHydroelectricWind
Renewable
Non Renewable
Releases Carbon Dioxide
Reliable Energy Source

Wind power is a rapidly growing method of generating our electricity in the U.K.

 

Windmills

 

 

Give two potential drawbacks of wind turbines.

 

[2]

The photo shows the inside of an electrical plug.

 

Electricity plug

 

Identify the names of the wires correctly.

 

[1]

Column A

Column B

Green and Yellow Wire
Live Wire
Brown Wire
Neutral Wire
Blue Wire
Earth Wire

Plugs are designed to ensure you are safe when using electrical equipment.

 

Electric plug

 

What is the function of the fuse in a plug?

 

[2]

What is the role of the earth wire in a plug and how does it work?

 

Electric Plug

 

[2]

Below is a diagram of a series circuit.

 

 

Using the equation:   Potential Difference = Current X Resistance

 

Calculate the resistance in a bulb with a current of 2 A and a voltage of 6 V.

 

[2]

The series circuit below has two filament light bulbs.

 

 

How would adding another filament light bulb into the circuit affect the brightness and why?

 

[2]

There are three main types of radiation.

 

 

Using the diagram and your own understanding, describe the structure and properties of each radiation type.

 

[6]

Background radiation is found in many sources we are exposed to in everyday life.

 

 

Suggest three ways you could reduce your radiation exposure.

 

[3]

Nuclear is a method of U.K electricity generation that could help us meet our future energy needs.

 

 

[1]

Below is chemical information about uranium from the periodic table.

 

Chemical information for Uranium

 

 

How many electrons, protons and neutrons does uranium have?

 

[1]

Some people do not support the increased use of nuclear power in the U.K.

 

Give two reasons why some people would oppose its usage being increased.

 

[1]

Nuclear fission power stations have a life cycle of thirty to fifty years.

After this point, they must be decommissioned.

What does decommissioned mean?

 

[2]

  • Question 1

Below is a graph which shows the temperature changes as a material is heated.

 

 

What is the melting point of water?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
0 degrees Celsius
EDDIE SAYS
The melting point of water is zero degrees Celsius. This is the temperature that ice (solid) melts to water (liquid).
  • Question 2

As the temperature increases so does the total internal energy of water.

Which two energy types make up total internal energy.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Kinetic energy
Potential energy
EDDIE SAYS
Total Internal Energy of a system is the total amount of kinetic energy and potential energy in a system.
  • Question 3

Energy is measured in what unit?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Joules
EDDIE SAYS
Energy is measured in joules (J). Often students mistake this with force which is measured in Newtons (N).
  • Question 4

The photo below shows a rollercoaster.

 

Rollercoaster

 

The rollercoaster cart has a mass of 3000 kg.

Using the equation:  Weight = Mass X Gravitational Field Strength

Calculate the weight of the cart and state the correct units.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
In the foundation tier, you are given most of the equations that are needed. You must, however, be able to apply the given information to complete the calculation correctly and learn the units needed. You must also know that weight is a type of force so has units of N / Newtons
  • Question 5

What is the value of the Gravitational Field Strength on Earth?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
9.8 N/kg
EDDIE SAYS
You need to learn that the value for gravity is 9.8 N/kg. This value is needed for potential questions in both Physics Paper One and Two.
  • Question 6

As the rollercoaster moves around the track it undergoes multiple energy changes.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You need to understand Conservation of Energy. This is when 100% of an energy type is converted into another. On the roller-coaster, the energy gained when it goes up to the top of the track and gains height is gravitational potential energy. As the roller-coaster moves down the track the gravitational potential energy is converted to kinetic energy.
  • Question 7

Using the equation:

Kinetic Energy = 0.5 X Mass X Speed2

Calculate the kinetic energy of the cart as it travels at 40 m/s down the track.

(Remember the value for the mass is 3000 kg)

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a question where you normally will be given the equation to calculate kinetic energy. While this is another example of simply using the correct data it does require students to remember to square the speed. In this question example you must complete the calculation of 40 X 40 = 1,600 m/s.
  • Question 8

When the roller-coaster cart moves along a track some energy is wasted.

In what form is the energy wasted and why does this happen?

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a common question type which tests students understanding of wasted energy. Whenever an object moves some energy is converted to heat energy due to friction between the object and the surroundings. Heat energy is wasted energy as it dissipates (spreads out) into the surroundings.
  • Question 9

As the cart moves along the track work is done.

Write the equation that links Work Done, Distance and Force.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
In the foundation paper one equation will always be asked for using your own recall and then a subsequent question will expect you to apply the data given to it. Work Done = Force X Distance
  • Question 10

Calculate the work done by the cart as it moves 20 m using 200 N

Give the correct equation.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You need to be able to calculate work done potentially for both Physics paper one and two. The unit for work done is joules (J).
  • Question 11

Infrared radiation is thermal energy being transferred from one place to another.

 

 

With reference to infrared radiation, explain why buildings in hot countries are often painted white.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This question is an example of applying your knowledge of a topic to a real life example. Infrared radiation is absorbed and emitted (released) most by dark, matted objects. Infrared radiation is absorbed and emitted (released) least by lighter and shiny surfaces. Buildings in very hot countries are painted white as it absorbs the least infrared radiation and therefore stay cooler during hot summer days.
  • Question 12

Thermal energy can be transferred through solid materials.

 

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Conduction is the transfer of thermal/heat energy through solid materials. It occurs when particles gain energy and start vibrating passing on the energy to the next particles along. Conduction occurs best in more dense solids as there are more particles which thus vibrate into each other sooner. Metals have free (delocalised) electrons which can transfer heat energy quicker as they are able to move through the material.
  • Question 13

The flow diagram shows air movement due to changing temperatures.

 

 

What is the process shown called?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Convection
EDDIE SAYS
Convection is the movement of heat energy in fluids which are gases or liquids. When hot fluid particles are heated they gain kinetic energy and move apart. This makes the volume of fluid less dense and causes it to rise. When fluid particles cool they lose kinetic energy and move closer together. This makes the volume of liquid denser and causes it to sink back down. This creates a convection current.
  • Question 14

Thermal energy is lost from several places in the home. This is bad for the environment and costs the homeowner money.

 

House showing loss of heat

 

Referring to the diagram above explain the different methods of insulation in the home and how they reduce heat loss.

 

[6]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Here's an example of a model answer for this question. Thermal energy loss is reduced through different insulation methods. Most heat energy is lost through the roof as heat rises. To slow this rate of heat transfer you can install loft insulation. This reduces the rate of conduction and convection of heat through the roof as it is made of small air pockets. Insulation working, in the same way, can also be injected into cavity walls reducing the rate of heat loss through the walls. Double/triple glazing windows can be installed which reduce the amount of heat loss through lowering the rate of conduction and convection. Aluminium foil can be placed behind radiators to reduce heat loss through the walls. They do this by reflecting infrared radiation back into the room. Draught excluders placed under the door reduce convection of air currents from one room to another.
  • Question 15

The equation for specific heat capacity is shown below.

Energy needed = Mass X Specific Heat Capacity X Temperature Change

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a definition you are expected to be able to recall. Specific Heat Capacity is the energy required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of a substance by one degree Celsius.
  • Question 16

The equation for specific heat capacity is shown below.

Energy needed = Mass X Specific Heat Capacity X Temperature Change

Saucepan

If a 5 kg saucepan is heated up from 20 oC to 100 oC and has a specific heat capacity of 22 J/kg oC

Calculate the energy change that is needed.

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To answer this question you need to be able to identify the data from the question and insert it into the calculation: Energy needed = Mass X Specific Heat Capacity X Temperature Change The calculation is relatively low demand but to gain full marks you must give the correct units for energy which is J / joules.
  • Question 17

The graph below shows the energy change of a substance as it is heated.

 

 Graph to show states of matter

 

What state of matter is the substance at State 1 and State 2 on the graph?

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This heating curve is a commonly used graph which demonstrates that any substance will change state if given enough heat energy and turn from a solid into a liquid and then a gas.
  • Question 18

The graph below shows the energy change of a substance as it is heated.

 

 Graph to show different states

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The heating curve of a graph shows the temperature change as a substance is heated and thus increases its total internal energy. When a substance is heated as it changes state from a solid to a liquid (State 1) and then a gas (State 2) the temperature levels out temporarily. When a solid turns to a liquid the change of state is melting (A on graph). When a liquid turns to a gas the change of state is boiling/evaporation (B on graph).
  • Question 19

What is the total internal energy of a system?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Total internal energy is not a big topic area but often will feature in a small question so it is worth knowing its definition. The total internal energy is the total kinetic and potential energy in a system.
  • Question 20

SCUBA divers have tanks of compressed air on their backs. This air is stored under pressure.

 

Scuba diver tanks

 

How do air particles exert a pressure on the gas tanks?

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Gas pressure is caused by particles in the air. Gas particles are constantly moving in a random motion and collide with each other. They create pressure when they collide with the walls of their container and exert a force upon it.
  • Question 21

Which of the following will increase the level of gas pressure on a container?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Increasing temperature
EDDIE SAYS
Gas pressure is affected by the temperature of the gas. If the temperature rises then the particles of gas gain kinetic energy and move around at a higher speed. This means that the particles will collide with the wall of the container with more speed and more frequently which would increase the pressure.
  • Question 22

Write the equation which links density, mass and volume.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
In the foundation paper, you will be given most equations to apply a calculation to but there will always be one question where they test your ability to recall an equation from memory. This equation is an important one to memorise as it is vital for practical question on density. Density = mass / volume
  • Question 23

The cube pictured has a mass of 500 kg.

 

Cube 9 x 9 squared

 

Calculate the density of the cube.

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To complete this question you would need to know the equation for density as asked on the previous question. Density = Mass / Volume The mass of the cube is given = 500 kg To work out the volume of a regular shape you simply multiply the height, width and length together. As this is a cube the length of all sides will be 9cm. 9 X 9 X 9 = 729
  • Question 24

Below is a picture of a small wooden toy.

 

Ladybird toy

 

How could you practically work out the volume of the wooden toy in a science classroom?

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This question links to the required practical you should have done in school where you have calculated the density of an irregular shape. To find the volume of an irregular shape you can use the displacement of water. To do this you would use a measuring cylinder with a known volume of water in it. You would then add the toy and measure the new volume and the difference is the volume of the toy. So for example, if there was 100 ml of water in a measuring cylinder and then you added the toy and it went to 150 ml of water. This means 50 ml of water has been displaced. This means the toy has a volume of 50 ml.
  • Question 25

Below shows what energy resources are currently used in the U.K to generate electricity:

 

 Pie chart to show energy supply

 

Which of the following are fossil fuels?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Coal
Gas
EDDIE SAYS
You need to be familiar with fossil fuels. The three types of fossil fuels are coal, oil and gas. Nuclear power and hydroelectric are not fossil fuels.
  • Question 26

Identify the correct properties of each energy resource.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
 CoalGasNuclearHydroelectricWind
Renewable
Non Renewable
Releases Carbon Dioxide
Reliable Energy Source
EDDIE SAYS
Energy resources are an important example of science in the news currently and is, therefore, a likely question. To answer this question you need to know the meaning of the different terms. Renewable means the energy source will not run out and this is true for wind and hydroelectric. Non-renewable means the energy source will run out one day and this is true for coal, gas and nuclear. Carbon dioxide which is a cause of climate change is released when we burn coal and gas to produce electricity but not from the other sources. Reliable fuel sources are ones that if we know will produce us energy as and when we need them to. The only one above that is not reliable is wind as this is weather dependent.
  • Question 27

Wind power is a rapidly growing method of generating our electricity in the U.K.

 

Windmills

 

 

Give two potential drawbacks of wind turbines.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Wind turbines are good for the environment because they are a renewable source of electricity that does not release carbon dioxide. However, the list above gives some limitations/drawbacks of wind energy which you need to know.
  • Question 28

The photo shows the inside of an electrical plug.

 

Electricity plug

 

Identify the names of the wires correctly.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Green and Yellow Wire
Earth Wire
Brown Wire
Live Wire
Blue Wire
Neutral Wire
EDDIE SAYS
Electrical safety is an important part of everyday life and so a popular topic in Physics exams. You need to know the following colours always match the wire types: Green and Yellow = Earth Wire Blue = Neutral Wire Brown = Live Wire
  • Question 29

Plugs are designed to ensure you are safe when using electrical equipment.

 

Electric plug

 

What is the function of the fuse in a plug?

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
All electrical devices have safety features to avoid injury. Fuses are attached to electrical devices to ensure that if there is a fault in the device often caused by a short circuit, the current will not get too high. A large current will increase the temperature of the wires and can cause fires. The fuse is designed to melt when the current of a wire exceeds a certain level of amps.
  • Question 30

What is the role of the earth wire in a plug and how does it work?

 

Electric Plug

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Electric devices which have a metal casing such as a toaster have to be fitted with an earth wire. This is because if the live wire gets damaged and accidentally touches the metal casing it will make it become live and could give you an electric shock if you touched it. All metal covered electrical devices have an earth wire which would stop you getting a shock. This is because the earth wire is designed to have a very low resistance which would allow electricity to pass through it easily. Electricity will always take the lowest resistance pathway and the earth wire would have a lower resistance than humans.
  • Question 31

Below is a diagram of a series circuit.

 

 

Using the equation:   Potential Difference = Current X Resistance

 

Calculate the resistance in a bulb with a current of 2 A and a voltage of 6 V.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The use of an equation to calculate resistance is quite common in electrical questions. To complete this question you must recognise that potential difference is the scientific terminology for voltage and also be able to rearrange the equation. Resistance = Potential difference (6 V) / Current (2 A). The unit for resistance was not require in this example but you would be expected to know it is Ohms.
  • Question 32

The series circuit below has two filament light bulbs.

 

 

How would adding another filament light bulb into the circuit affect the brightness and why?

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
In a series circuit, the potential difference is shared between each component. So if the resistance was the same in each bulb then the potential difference/voltage would be shared equally between both bulbs. So if the total voltage of the circuit was 9 V: With 2 bulbs. Each bulb would receive 4.5 V. With 3 bulbs. Each bulb would receive 3 V and be dimmer.
  • Question 33

There are three main types of radiation.

 

 

Using the diagram and your own understanding, describe the structure and properties of each radiation type.

 

[6]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Here's an example of a model answer for this question. Alpha radiation is made of two protons and two neutrons which is the same as helium nuclei. Because of its relatively large structure, alpha radiation has a low penetration power and is stopped by skin or paper and will only travel a few cms in the air. It is, however, the most ionising of the radiation types. Beta radiation is made of a fast-moving electron. This has a higher penetration and is stopped by a thin layer of aluminium and will travel several m in the air. Gamma radiation is an electromagnetic wave. This has the highest penetration and you need thick lead to stop it. It can travel an infinite distance in the air.
  • Question 34

Background radiation is found in many sources we are exposed to in everyday life.

 

 

Suggest three ways you could reduce your radiation exposure.

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Background radiation is quite a common pie chart question where they might ask you to use the information provided and suggest sensible methods of reduction of radiation exposure.
  • Question 35

Nuclear is a method of U.K electricity generation that could help us meet our future energy needs.

 

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Nuclear fission is the current method of nuclear power generation which is used in the U.K. It uses a chain reaction where a neutron is fired at either nucleus of plutonium or uranium. This splits the nuclei and makes more neutrons get released which will repeat the process with another nucleus. The split also releases a lot of energy which can then be used to boil water and turn the turbine to generate electricity.
  • Question 36

Below is chemical information about uranium from the periodic table.

 

Chemical information for Uranium

 

 

How many electrons, protons and neutrons does uranium have?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This question could be used in both your physics and chemistry exams as it looks at the atomic structure which is vital in both sciences. You need to understand what the atomic number (sometimes called proton number) and the mass number represent. The atomic number tells us the number of protons. It also gives the number of electrons if the atom is not charged. So in this example uranium has 92 protons and 92 electrons. The mass number of an atom is the number of protons + neutrons. The mass number here is 238. So as we know the proton number is 92 we can do: Mass number - atomic (proton) number = Neutron number. 238 - 92 = 146 neutrons.
  • Question 37

Some people do not support the increased use of nuclear power in the U.K.

 

Give two reasons why some people would oppose its usage being increased.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Nuclear fission is a common area of debate but students must be able to explain why and not just write it is unsafe. Overall nuclear fission is now very safe as significant changes were made following accidents at power stations. However, public perception is not so confident and this can be mentioned. The main reason there is an issue with nuclear fission however is the question of what to do with the nuclear waste produced. This is all the contaminated parts of the power station and the nuclear fuel rods themselves which once are no longer useful to generate energy are still highly radioactive and dangerous. These must be stored somewhere out of the reach of humans for a very long time until their radioactivity drops to a safe level.
  • Question 38

Nuclear fission power stations have a life cycle of thirty to fifty years.

After this point, they must be decommissioned.

What does decommissioned mean?

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Decommissioning is an expensive process at the end of the working life of a fission power station. The power station cannot just be left when no longer in use as it would start releasing radiation into the surroundings and so it must be dismantled and all sources of radioactivity must be stored away safely so nobody can get hurt. The whole area must be left safe.
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