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GCSE Biology Paper 1 Higher Practice Paper in the Style of AQA Trilogy

In this assessment students attempt an exam paper in the style of AQA Trilogy - Biology Paper 1 Higher

'GCSE Biology Paper 1 Higher Practice Paper in the Style of AQA Trilogy' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   Biology: Combined Science

GCSE Boards:   AQA Trilogy

Curriculum topic:   GCSE Sample Practice Papers

Curriculum subtopic:   Higher Practice Papers

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In this assessment, students will be able to complete a timed GCSE Science Biology paper 1 (Higher) in the style of AQA Trilogy.

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 75 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.

 

A student observed some cells under a microscope.

The cells were very small but in focus. Which answer correctly describes how the student could adjust the microscope to make the cells larger?

 

Girl Using Microscope

 

[1]

Zoom in as far as they can

Use a higher power lens to increase the magnification

Turn the objective lens to make it clearer

The cell that the student was looking at under the microscope was a root hair cell. Figure 2 shows their drawing of what they saw. 

The width of the student's drawing of the root hair cell is 116 mm. The real width of the cell was 290 micrometres (μm). Calculate the magnification of the drawing? Show your workings.

 

root hair cell

Figure 2

 

[3]

The following questions are all about blood and the circulatory system.

 

Blood

 

Which of the following statements about red blood cells are true, and which are false?

 

[5]

Briefly describe the role of the three main components of the blood:

a) Red blood cells

b) White blood cells

c) Platelets

 

[3]

The circulatory system relies on 3 very important vessels in order to transport the blood around the body. Compare the structure of arteries and veins and suggest how their structure enables to carry out their role in the body effectively. 

 

[6]

Look at the graph below

 

Graph alcohol and time

 

Use the graph to calculate the concentration of alcohol in the blood 2 hours after drinking.  Write your answer as a number.

 

[1]

In the heart, the wall of the left ventricle is much thicker than the wall of the right ventricle. Suggest one reason for this.

 

[1]

Left side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs

Left side of the heart pumps blood to the body

Right side of the heart doesn't pump blood

A group of students were carrying out a practical to investigate the effect of pH on the rate of reaction of an enzyme, amylase. 

 

The students used a continuous sampling technique to determine the time taken to completely digest a starch solution at a range of pH values, using Iodine. 

 

The students used a water bath to keep the temperature constant.

 

Identify the variables in this practical. 

 

[3]

Suggest why a water bath was used in the practical to investigate the effect of pH on the activity of amylase.

 

[2]

The following questions are about respiration.

 

State the two components needed for aerobic respiration to occur.

 

[1]

Glucose

Carbon dioxide

Ethanol

Oxygen

Complete the table to compare anaerobic and aerobic respiration. 

 

[6]

Anaerobic respiration is important in bread making. Using your knowledge of anaerobic respiration in yeast, suggest why bread rises.

 

[1]

houseplant

 

Substances move through a plant in various ways. 

 

Describe the process of transpiration and translocation within a plant. 

 

[6]

 

Concentration of sucrose solution (%) Initial mass of potato cylinder (g) Change in mass (g)
0 10 +2.5
30 10 -0.5
60 11 -1.8
90 10 -3.0

 

Table 1.

 

A group of students carried out a required practical to investigate osmosis, and looked at the effect of a range of sucrose solutions on the mass of potato cylinders. The results are shown in Table 1.

 

Describe the results. And suggest what the concentration of sucrose is likely to be inside the potato cells. 

 

[4]

Figure 1 shows an animal cell and a plant cell.

 

Animal cell              

 

                                                                                 Figure 1                                                                                   

 

Identify and describe the role of the part labelled R and U.

 

[2]

Figure 1 shows three different cell types, A B and C

 

                      animal plant bacteria cell

 

Figure 1

 

Which cell is a plant cell? Give a reason for your answer.

 

[2]

Figure 1 shows three different cell types, A B and C

 

                      animal plant bacteria cell

 

Figure 1

 

Which cell is a prokaryotic cell? Give a reason for your answer.

 

[2]

Figure 1 shows three different cell types, A B and C

 

                      animal plant bacteria cell

 

Figure 1

 

Which cell is an animal cell? Give a reason for your answer.

 

[2]

The results of the practical are shown below

 

pH Time taken for complete disappearance of starch (s) Rate of reaction (1/t)
5 120 0.0083
6 40  
7 30 0.0333
8 50 0.0200
9 150 0.0067

 

Calculate the rate of reaction for pH 6, correct to 4 d.p

 

[1]

40

0.025

0.003

0.0250

0.040

The students forgot to set up a control tube when they did the experiment. The control tube would have undergone the same conditions, but contained no amylase. 

 

Explain the need for the control tube in this experiment, and what results you would expect to observe in the control tube to ensure the experiment is valid. 

 

[2]

Compare anaerobic respiration in a yeast cell vs in a muscle cell.

 

Include the word equation for anaerobic respiration occurring in each cell type in your answer.

 

[5]

How would the following conditions affect the transpiration rate in a plant?

 

[4]

Substances move in and out of the cells of a plant by osmosis, diffusion and active transport. 

 

roots and root hair

 

How does water enter a root hair cell?

 

[1]

Osmosis

Diffusion

Active trasport

Balance the symbol equation for aerobic respiration.

 

C6H12O6   +    O2 →   CO2   +    H2O   +   energy released

 

[2]

Concentration of sucrose solution (%) Initial mass of potato cylinder (g) Change in mass (g) % increase or decrease in mass
0 9 +2.5  
30 10 -0.5  
60 11 -1.8  
90 10 -3.0  

 

Table 1.

 

Calculate the % increase or decrease in mass of the potato cylinders for each concentration of sucrose solution. Give your answer correct to 3 significant figures. 

 

[4]

  • Question 1

A student observed some cells under a microscope.

The cells were very small but in focus. Which answer correctly describes how the student could adjust the microscope to make the cells larger?

 

Girl Using Microscope

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Use a higher power lens to increase the magnification
EDDIE SAYS
This is a question based on practical skills. You had to choose the answer which relates to obtaining a larger image, which is done by changing the lens which would have a higher power or magnification.
  • Question 2

The cell that the student was looking at under the microscope was a root hair cell. Figure 2 shows their drawing of what they saw. 

The width of the student's drawing of the root hair cell is 116 mm. The real width of the cell was 290 micrometres (μm). Calculate the magnification of the drawing? Show your workings.

 

root hair cell

Figure 2

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This question uses your mathematical skills. The equation you need here is magnification = size of image/size of the real object. You first need to convert both numbers to the same units, either millimetres or micrometres (multiply or divide by 1000) Conversion of units: (116 mm) is 116 000 (μm) or (290 μm) is 0.29 (mm) Then you had to correctly substitute these numbers into the equation: (magnification=) 116/0.29 or (magnification =) 116000/290 And the answer is (x) 400
  • Question 3

The following questions are all about blood and the circulatory system.

 

Blood

 

Which of the following statements about red blood cells are true, and which are false?

 

[5]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Haemoglobin CAN combine reversibly with oxygen. It means that it can combine with oxygen as blood passes through the lungs, transport it around the body and then release the oxygen when it reaches the cells. They have NO nucleus so they can carry more haemoglobin and oxygen. They DO have a biconcave shape - they are the shape of a disc that is curved inwards on both sides - to maximise their surface area for oxygen absorption. Haemoglobin is a protein and DOES give red blood cells their red colour. White blood cells are involved in fighting infection, red blood cells carry oxygen.
  • Question 4

Briefly describe the role of the three main components of the blood:

a) Red blood cells

b) White blood cells

c) Platelets

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The red blood cells carry oxygen around the body, drop it off at your cells and then pick up carbon dioxide to take back to the lungs to be removed from the body. White blood cells help to kill off any microorganisms that should not be in the body and some can produce antibodies. The platelets help the blood to clot when you cut yourself so that you do not lose too much blood.
  • Question 5

The circulatory system relies on 3 very important vessels in order to transport the blood around the body. Compare the structure of arteries and veins and suggest how their structure enables to carry out their role in the body effectively. 

 

[6]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
When assessing 6 mark questions, it is best to take a ladder approach to marking. Start at the bottom of the levels, and move up as relevant. First determine a level, then determine the mark within that level. Note: For level 3, 6 marks, not ALL indicative points need to be included. Main scientific points that you could have included: Arteries Always carry blood away from the heart Carry blood under high pressure Have thick muscular and elastic walls to pump and accommodate blood under high pressure A type of supporting tissue called connective tissue provides strength for the blood, as it is under high pressure The channel in the blood vessel that carries blood - the lumen - is narrow Veins Always carry blood to the heart Always carry deoxygenated blood, except for the pulmonary vein Carry blood under low or negative pressure Have have thin walls as the blood is under low pressure so no need for thick muscular wallsHave less connective tissue than arteries, as less strength needed Have a wide lumen Contain valves to ensure one way flow of the blood
  • Question 6

Look at the graph below

 

Graph alcohol and time

 

Use the graph to calculate the concentration of alcohol in the blood 2 hours after drinking.  Write your answer as a number.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
When extracting data from a graph ensure you read along the bottom axis and then move up in order to read from the vertical axis.
  • Question 7

In the heart, the wall of the left ventricle is much thicker than the wall of the right ventricle. Suggest one reason for this.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Left side of the heart pumps blood to the body
EDDIE SAYS
The left ventricle pumps blood all the way around the body so needs to be thicker as it needs to pump the blood further than the right-hand side which pumps blood to the lungs which is much closer.
  • Question 8

A group of students were carrying out a practical to investigate the effect of pH on the rate of reaction of an enzyme, amylase. 

 

The students used a continuous sampling technique to determine the time taken to completely digest a starch solution at a range of pH values, using Iodine. 

 

The students used a water bath to keep the temperature constant.

 

Identify the variables in this practical. 

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Control variables are the things that are kept the same in an experiment, the Independent variable is the thing that you are changing and the Dependent variable is the thing you are measuring!
  • Question 9

Suggest why a water bath was used in the practical to investigate the effect of pH on the activity of amylase.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Enzymes are affected by temperature and pH, as well as other things. So if you only want to see the effect of pH on enzymes, then temperature needs to be kept the same so that you know the only changes you measure are solely down to pH.
  • Question 10

The following questions are about respiration.

 

State the two components needed for aerobic respiration to occur.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Glucose
Oxygen
EDDIE SAYS
For aerobic respiration to occur, we need two things; glucose and oxygen. They react together to produce energy through the process of respiration.
  • Question 11

Complete the table to compare anaerobic and aerobic respiration. 

 

[6]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Aerobic respiration is the process normally used by our bodies to produce energy. The word equation for aerobic respiration is: glucose + oxygen → carbon dioxide + water + energy released Sometimes our bodies switch to anaerobic respiration when there is not enough oxygen. The word equation is: glucose → lactic acid + energy released As you can see, both aerobic and anaerobic respiration release energy – they are both exothermic processes, and both use glucose. In aerobic respiration, the first stages occur in the cytoplasm of cells, but most of the energy released is in the mitochondria. Anaerobic respiration takes place in the cytoplasm of cells only.
  • Question 12

Anaerobic respiration is important in bread making. Using your knowledge of anaerobic respiration in yeast, suggest why bread rises.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
I'm getting hungry just thinking about this question! Yeast is used to produce bread. Yeast respires anaerobically using sugar added to the dough. Bubbles of carbon dioxide make the bread rise (the alcohol that’s produced evaporates as the bread is baked).
  • Question 13

houseplant

 

Substances move through a plant in various ways. 

 

Describe the process of transpiration and translocation within a plant. 

 

[6]

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Movement of substances through a plant: Transpiration - the movement of water and minerals through the xylem, which does not require energy, in one direction only. Xylem consists of dead cells, strengthened by lignin. Translocation - the movement of food substances produced from photosynthesis through the phloem, requiring energy, in both directions. Phloem consists of living cells.
  • Question 14
Concentration of sucrose solution (%) Initial mass of potato cylinder (g) Change in mass (g)
0 10 +2.5
30 10 -0.5
60 11 -1.8
90 10 -3.0

 

Table 1.

 

A group of students carried out a required practical to investigate osmosis, and looked at the effect of a range of sucrose solutions on the mass of potato cylinders. The results are shown in Table 1.

 

Describe the results. And suggest what the concentration of sucrose is likely to be inside the potato cells. 

 

[4]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Remember this practical? This experiment shows the effect of osmosis on plant tissue. The cylinders of potato will decrease or increase in mass if they lose or gain water by osmosis. The key to this question is looking at the command word - 'Describe'. This means you need to write about what is happening with the numbers in the results table, not why. If the examiner wanted to know why these results were obtained they would have used the command word 'Explain' instead. So don't waste time talking about osmosis and why the potato is gaining or losing mass. Just 'Describe' what the results show, i.e does the mass go up or down, is there a pattern? In terms of what the concentration of sucrose is likely to be inside the potato cells, that will be the point where the potato doesn't gain or lose any mass as the concentration outside the potato cells is the same as inside - so it's likely to be where the change in mass would be zero - somewhere between a sucrose concentration of 1-29%.
  • Question 15

Figure 1 shows an animal cell and a plant cell.

 

Animal cell              

 

                                                                                 Figure 1                                                                                   

 

Identify and describe the role of the part labelled R and U.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Hopefully, you realised that the first cell is an animal cell and the second cell is a plant cell. Remember, animal cells only have cell membranes, and in a plant cell, the cell membrane is on the inner side of the cell, and the cell wall is on the outer side. So both labels R and U are pointing to the cell membrane.
  • Question 16

Figure 1 shows three different cell types, A B and C

 

                      animal plant bacteria cell

 

Figure 1

 

Which cell is a plant cell? Give a reason for your answer.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Cell A is the plant cell - you can tell as it has a large vacuole and some chloroplasts. You can't tell it's a plant cell just because it has a cell wall, because some other type of cells also have cell walls.
  • Question 17

Figure 1 shows three different cell types, A B and C

 

                      animal plant bacteria cell

 

Figure 1

 

Which cell is a prokaryotic cell? Give a reason for your answer.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Cell C is the prokaryotic cell - it's actually a bacterial cell. It has a cell wall like a plant cell, but you can tell its prokaryotic as it has no nucleus - all of its genetic material is loose within the cell.
  • Question 18

Figure 1 shows three different cell types, A B and C

 

                      animal plant bacteria cell

 

Figure 1

 

Which cell is an animal cell? Give a reason for your answer.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Cell B is the animal cell - it has no cell wall - that's the most noticeable feature and shows it is not a plant or prokaryotic cell.
  • Question 19

The results of the practical are shown below

 

pH Time taken for complete disappearance of starch (s) Rate of reaction (1/t)
5 120 0.0083
6 40  
7 30 0.0333
8 50 0.0200
9 150 0.0067

 

Calculate the rate of reaction for pH 6, correct to 4 d.p

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
0.0250
EDDIE SAYS
It is important to look at what the question wants as the answer - in this case, it wants the answer correct to 4 d.p, that means 4 decimal places. So although the answer of 0.025 is correct, it is only to 3 d.p. Don't let this catch you out in the exam!
  • Question 20

The students forgot to set up a control tube when they did the experiment. The control tube would have undergone the same conditions, but contained no amylase. 

 

Explain the need for the control tube in this experiment, and what results you would expect to observe in the control tube to ensure the experiment is valid. 

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A control tube must be set up, without the amylase – to make sure that the starch would not break down anyway during the experiment. The result of the control experiment must be negative – in other words, the colour must remain blue-black for results to be valid.
  • Question 21

Compare anaerobic respiration in a yeast cell vs in a muscle cell.

 

Include the word equation for anaerobic respiration occurring in each cell type in your answer.

 

[5]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Compare - this means you need to say things like 'X does this whereas Y does this' or 'X has this but Y doesn't' or 'both X and Y do this'. It is not enough to just say they both take place without oxygen, we need more detail here in terms of the products made during respiration in each cell type. Remember to read the question carefully - it asks you to include a word equation for each cell type, so make sure you do!
  • Question 22

How would the following conditions affect the transpiration rate in a plant?

 

[4]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one! You need your thinking caps on! High temperatures increase the transpiration rate. This is because there is more molecular movement so more water molecules evaporate from cell surfaces. High humidity decreases transpiration rate. This is because there is a higher concentration of water molecules outside the leaf, so the diffusion of water from the leaf decreases. As air movement increases, the transpiration rate increases. This is because it removes water vapour from the leaf surfaces, so more water diffuses from the leaf. High light intensity increases the transpiration rate. This is because it increases the rate of photosynthesis, so stomata open so that water diffuses out of the leaf.
  • Question 23

Substances move in and out of the cells of a plant by osmosis, diffusion and active transport. 

 

roots and root hair

 

How does water enter a root hair cell?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Osmosis
EDDIE SAYS
Remember, water moves into and out of cells via osmosis.
  • Question 24

Balance the symbol equation for aerobic respiration.

 

C6H12O6   +    O2 →   CO2   +    H2O   +   energy released

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Balancing symbol equations is more of a chemistry thing - but you are expected to be able to recognise and balance the symbol equation for things like respiration and photosynthesis.
  • Question 25
Concentration of sucrose solution (%) Initial mass of potato cylinder (g) Change in mass (g) % increase or decrease in mass
0 9 +2.5  
30 10 -0.5  
60 11 -1.8  
90 10 -3.0  

 

Table 1.

 

Calculate the % increase or decrease in mass of the potato cylinders for each concentration of sucrose solution. Give your answer correct to 3 significant figures. 

 

[4]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Calculations are a big part of the higher biology paper. To calculate percentage change in mass you need to do the following: ( Change in mass / Initial mass ) x 100 3 significant figures mean you might need to round up if the answer is a decimal - but you must ensure you write your answer to 3 sf otherwise you won't get the marks.
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