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GCSE Biology Paper 2 Higher Practice Paper in the Style of AQA Trilogy

GCSE Biology Paper 2 Higher Practice Paper in the Style of AQA Trilogy

'GCSE Biology Paper 2 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 2 (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 group of students carried out a practical looking at the distribution of daisies on the school field. 

They randomly placed 10 quadrats each in shady and sunny areas of the school field and put their results into a table.

 

 

Calculate the mean number of daisies per quadrat in the shade and sun. Round your answers to the nearest whole number. 

What can you conclude about the distribution of daisies on the school field?

 

[3]

 

The students put their results in order of size, so they could calculate the median.

What is the median number of daisies per quadrat in the sun?

 

[1]

8

10.5

1

10

A food chain shows what organisms eat or are eaten by other organisms in an ecosystem.

 

 

In a forest, rabbits eat the grass, and foxes eat the rabbits.

Draw a simple food chain to show this feeding relationship.

 

[2]

Look at the food web below.

 

 

Which of the organisms is the producer in the food web?

 

[1]

Snake

Mouse

Green plant

Lion

Look at the food web below.

 

 

Name a secondary consumer in the food web.

 

[1]

 

Describe what might happen to the rabbit and owl populations if the mouse population suddenly fell, and was wiped out from the ecosystem completely. 

 

[4]

 

 

The following questions are about genes and inheritance.

 

Where in human cells are genes located?

 

[1]

Cytoplasm

Cell wall

Vacuole

Nucleus

Alleles are different versions of the same gene.

The allele for brown eyes is dominant.

Which letter would be used to represent the allele for brown eyes?

 

[1]

A capital letter eg B

A lower case letter eg b

 

The allele for blue eyes is recessive. How many copies of this allele would you need to inherit have blue eyes?

 

[1]

1

2

3

Gregor Mendel carried out some experiments on pea plants to show how characteristics are inherited. 

He crossed two plants together, one with the alleles TT, one with the alleles Tt.

The allele for Tall pea plants is dominant (T). The allele for short pea plants is recessive (t).

What is the phenotype for the two plants?

 

[1]

Both short

TT tall, Tt short

Both tall

TT short, Tt tall

Punnet square

 

Complete this Punnett square to show the possible allele combinations of the offspring produced when these two pea plants are crossed.

 

[1]

What is the probability that the offspring will be tall?

 

[1]

0%

25%

50%

100%

Some of the offspring from this cross (Tt) were then crossed with another pea plant with the genotype (tt).

What is the probability that the offspring will be tall?  

 

[1]

25%

50%

75%

Puberty is the stage of life when a child begins to develop into an adult, and various changes happen to their bodies. These changes are all down to hormones.

Which hormone is produced by the testes, and is the main male reproductive hormone responsible for the release of sperm?

 

[1]

Progesterone

Oestrogen

Adrenaline

Testosterone

The menstrual cycle takes place in women once they go through puberty. Several hormones are involved in this process.

Match the hormone to the correct statement that describes its role in the menstrual cycle. 

 

[4]

 

 

The graph above shows the concentration of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone in the blood of women of different ages.

Describe what happens to the levels of each of these hormones.

 

[2]

Levels of hormones in blood

 

Looking at the graph, explain why women over the age of 60 are less likely to menstruate.

 

[2]

carbon cycle

 

The diagram above shows part of the carbon cycle. 

Describe how living things are involved in the constant cycling of carbon

 

[6]

Explain how deforestation and the increase in burning fossil fuels could impact on the carbon cycle. 

 

[3]

The following questions are about the nervous system.

What is the role of a receptor?

 

[1]

To insulate the axon

To detect stimuli

To produce a desired response

Give two examples of effectors in the human body.

 

 

[2]

The following diagram shows the general sequence of a reflex action. 

 

 

Identify the missing stages of the process labelled A-D. 

 

[4]

Explain the advantage of the reflex action that would occur when a hand touches a hot plate.

 

[2]

 

Describe what happens at a synapse.

 

[6]

Animals and plants have many adaptations, to try to minimise the chance of being eaten by predators. 

Describe how animals and plants are adapted to avoid predation. 

 

[6]

 

Some students then wanted to investigate the distribution of some of the plants growing in and around the stream that ran along the edge of their school playing field. They decided to sample along a transect line, across the stream. 

Describe how the students should carry out their sample, and include details of how to make sure they obtain valid results.

 

[6] 

baby

 

PGD is a technique that enables couples with a particular inherited condition in their family to avoid passing it on to their children. The process helps potential parents prevent the birth of a child with a serious genetic condition, such as cystic fibrosis.


During this process, fertility drugs stimulate the release of several eggs. The eggs are collected and fertilised in a Petri dish. At this stage, the embryos can be tested for potential genetic disorders. Only embryos that have been found to be free of the condition are placed back into the woman’s womb.


Sarah and John currently have four boys and want to use PGD to ensure their next child is a girl. 


Compare the issues involved in the use of PGD embryo screening for cystic fibrosis and sex determination. 

 

[6]

  • Question 1

 

A group of students carried out a practical looking at the distribution of daisies on the school field. 

They randomly placed 10 quadrats each in shady and sunny areas of the school field and put their results into a table.

 

 

Calculate the mean number of daisies per quadrat in the shade and sun. Round your answers to the nearest whole number. 

What can you conclude about the distribution of daisies on the school field?

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To calculate the mean, you add all of the numbers together and divide by how many number there are - in this case 10. You must read the question fully - it asks you to round to the nearest whole number, so if you had put 10.3 or 1.5 your answers would be marked as incorrect as they are not rounded to the nearest whole number! A simple conclusion would just be that there are more daisies growing in the sun on the school field, than the shade.
  • Question 2

 

The students put their results in order of size, so they could calculate the median.

What is the median number of daisies per quadrat in the sun?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
10
EDDIE SAYS
The median is the middle number when a list of numbers is put in size order. As there are an even number of values, and both of the middle numbers are 10, the median is 10.
  • Question 3

A food chain shows what organisms eat or are eaten by other organisms in an ecosystem.

 

 

In a forest, rabbits eat the grass, and foxes eat the rabbits.

Draw a simple food chain to show this feeding relationship.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Food chains usually go from left to right and have arrows showing what east what. Make sure you have the arrows going the right way, to show the transfer of energy along the food chain or you'll lose marks.
  • Question 4

Look at the food web below.

 

 

Which of the organisms is the producer in the food web?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Green plant
EDDIE SAYS
At the base of almost every food chain is a producer. These are plants or algae, which photosynthesise.
  • Question 5

Look at the food web below.

 

 

Name a secondary consumer in the food web.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Owl
Snake
Wildcat
Jackal
Lion
EDDIE SAYS
All animals above the producer are called consumers. The first is the primary consumer, the next is the secondary consumer.
  • Question 6

 

Describe what might happen to the rabbit and owl populations if the mouse population suddenly fell, and was wiped out from the ecosystem completely. 

 

[4]

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
If part of the food web increases or decreases in number, it can affect many of the other organisms. With the mouse gone, the owls will have nothing to eat so may become extinct, or they might have to find an alternative source of food. With the mouse gone, the wildcats will have to rely on the rabbits as their food source so the rabbits would decline in number as a result.
  • Question 7

The following questions are about genes and inheritance.

 

Where in human cells are genes located?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Nucleus
EDDIE SAYS
Genes are located in the nucleus of human cells.
  • Question 8

Alleles are different versions of the same gene.

The allele for brown eyes is dominant.

Which letter would be used to represent the allele for brown eyes?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
A capital letter eg B
EDDIE SAYS
Dominant alleles are represented by a capital letter.
  • Question 9

 

The allele for blue eyes is recessive. How many copies of this allele would you need to inherit have blue eyes?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
You need two copies of this allele to have blue eyes.
  • Question 10

Gregor Mendel carried out some experiments on pea plants to show how characteristics are inherited. 

He crossed two plants together, one with the alleles TT, one with the alleles Tt.

The allele for Tall pea plants is dominant (T). The allele for short pea plants is recessive (t).

What is the phenotype for the two plants?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Both tall
EDDIE SAYS
The phenotype is the visible characteristics of an organism which occur as a result of its genes. If T is dominant, that means you only need to inherit one of those alleles to display that characteristic and have the tall phenotype, so TT and Tt will both give a tall plant.
  • Question 11

Punnet square

 

Complete this Punnett square to show the possible allele combinations of the offspring produced when these two pea plants are crossed.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The genotypes of the resulting offspring are TT, TT, Tt and Tt
  • Question 12

What is the probability that the offspring will be tall?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
100%
EDDIE SAYS
As capital letters represent dominant alleles, and the resulting offspring have the genotypes TT, TT, Tt, Tt, all of the offspring will have the phenotype Tall.
  • Question 13

Some of the offspring from this cross (Tt) were then crossed with another pea plant with the genotype (tt).

What is the probability that the offspring will be tall?  

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
50%
EDDIE SAYS
The resulting offspring will have the genotypes Tt, Tt, tt, tt, so 50% will be short.
  • Question 14

Puberty is the stage of life when a child begins to develop into an adult, and various changes happen to their bodies. These changes are all down to hormones.

Which hormone is produced by the testes, and is the main male reproductive hormone responsible for the release of sperm?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Testosterone
EDDIE SAYS
Testosterone is produced by the testes and is the main male reproductive hormone.
  • Question 15

The menstrual cycle takes place in women once they go through puberty. Several hormones are involved in this process.

Match the hormone to the correct statement that describes its role in the menstrual cycle. 

 

[4]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The menstrual cycle is, in other words, a woman's period. Several hormones are involved in the menstrual cycle of a woman: Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) causes the maturation of an egg in the ovary Luteinising hormone (LH) stimulates the release of the egg Oestrogen is involved in repairing and thickening the uterus lining and controls the stopping of FSH and the release of LH Progesterone maintains the uterus lining
  • Question 16

 

 

The graph above shows the concentration of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone in the blood of women of different ages.

Describe what happens to the levels of each of these hormones.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Describe, means to state what is happening. In this case, we can see that both lines are going down/decreasing over time. So we need to look at what the labels on the axis are and add that to our description. So you could say, the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in the blood are going down/decreasing with age.
  • Question 17

Levels of hormones in blood

 

Looking at the graph, explain why women over the age of 60 are less likely to menstruate.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one - it requires lots of thinking. Oestrogen repairs, thickens and maintains the uterus lining. Looking at the graph, oestrogen levels are very low. So without oestrogen, the lining of the uterus is not built up and there is nothing to be lost. Therefore, there will be no menstruation.
  • Question 18

carbon cycle

 

The diagram above shows part of the carbon cycle. 

Describe how living things are involved in the constant cycling of carbon

 

[6]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The carbon cycle shows how atoms of carbon can exist within different compounds at different times. There are three key processes carried out by living organisms that transfer the carbon between the different stages - respiration, photosynthesis and decomposition.
  • Question 19

Explain how deforestation and the increase in burning fossil fuels could impact on the carbon cycle. 

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Deforestation is when large areas of trees are cut down. This means that there are fewer plants to take in the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so, therefore, it remains in the atmosphere. Burning more fossil fuels will increase the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere further.
  • Question 20

The following questions are about the nervous system.

What is the role of a receptor?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
To detect stimuli
EDDIE SAYS
Receptors are groups of specialised cells. They detect a change in the environment (stimulus).
  • Question 21

Give two examples of effectors in the human body.

 

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Effectors include muscles and glands. They produce a response to stimuli.
  • Question 22

The following diagram shows the general sequence of a reflex action. 

 

 

Identify the missing stages of the process labelled A-D. 

 

[4]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A reflex action follows this general sequence - stimuli, receptor, sensory neurone, relay neurone, motor neurone, effector, response.
  • Question 23

Explain the advantage of the reflex action that would occur when a hand touches a hot plate.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A reflex action creates an automatic and rapid response to a stimulus. It does not involve the conscious part of the brain, which makes it much quicker. The advantage of this is that it minimises any damage to the body from potentially harmful conditions, such as touching something hot.
  • Question 24

 

Describe what happens at a synapse.

 

[6]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A what? A synapse? It's ok, that's just the gap where two neurones meet! So, because there's a gap, the nerve impulse needs to somehow get across and it does it using chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Once the electrical impulse gets to the end of the first axon, it triggers the neurone to release chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. These chemicals diffuse across the synapse (the gap) and bind with receptor molecules on the membrane of the second neurone. This stimulates the second neurone to transmit the electrical impulse. You need to remember that receptor molecules are specific as they bind only to the specific neurotransmitters released from the first neurone.
  • Question 25

Animals and plants have many adaptations, to try to minimise the chance of being eaten by predators. 

Describe how animals and plants are adapted to avoid predation. 

 

[6]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Animals and plants have evolved many adaptations to avoid being eaten, from camouflaged fur of a rabbit meaning it can hide in vegetation to avoid being spotted by predators, long legs that mean a gazelle can run very fast to avoid being caught, to thorns and prickles of plants such as holly and stinging nettles to hurt any organisms attempting to eat them. This question is asking you to describe such adaptations. The question mentions animals and plants, so ideally you should include both in your answer.
  • Question 26

 

Some students then wanted to investigate the distribution of some of the plants growing in and around the stream that ran along the edge of their school playing field. They decided to sample along a transect line, across the stream. 

Describe how the students should carry out their sample, and include details of how to make sure they obtain valid results.

 

[6] 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This question is asking you to describe how you would carry out a practical using a quadrat along a transect - this is one of the required practicals you should have done. It is important to include lots of detail, and say how you will ensure you get repeatable results.
  • Question 27

baby

 

PGD is a technique that enables couples with a particular inherited condition in their family to avoid passing it on to their children. The process helps potential parents prevent the birth of a child with a serious genetic condition, such as cystic fibrosis.


During this process, fertility drugs stimulate the release of several eggs. The eggs are collected and fertilised in a Petri dish. At this stage, the embryos can be tested for potential genetic disorders. Only embryos that have been found to be free of the condition are placed back into the woman’s womb.


Sarah and John currently have four boys and want to use PGD to ensure their next child is a girl. 


Compare the issues involved in the use of PGD embryo screening for cystic fibrosis and sex determination. 

 

[6]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is used on embryos before implantation. It can be used to detect conditions such as cystic fibrosis, but also to determine the sex of an embryo - you can then choose to implant the embryos you want into the woman's womb. This question asks you to compare, which means you should talk about both uses in your answer.
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