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GCSE Phyics Paper 1 Higher Practice Paper in the Style of AQA Separate Science

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

'GCSE Phyics Paper 1 Higher Practice Paper in the Style of AQA Separate Science' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   Physics: Single Subject

GCSE Boards:   AQA

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 Physics Paper 1 (Higher) 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.

 

Most rollercoasters work by slowly climbing to a high starting point before the ride properly begins.

 

 

[1]

From memory write down the equation that links Gravitational Potential Energy, Mass, Gravitational Field Strength and Height.

 

[1]

What is the value for gravitational field strength on Earth?

 

[1]

10 N/kg

9.6 N/kg

9.9 N/kg

9.8 N/kg

The rollercoaster cart has a mass of 3,000 Kg when it is full of passengers. During its climb, it travels 150 m high.

Calculate the total change in gravitational potential energy with units on the cart.

 

[3]

The rollercoaster cart goes down the track. How much Kinetic Energy will it gain at its fastest speed?

 

[1]

Write the equation that links Kinetic Energy, Mass and Speed.

 

[1]

Calculate the speed which the rollercoaster reaches as the cart comes down the track back to ground level (no remaining height).

 

HINT: You need to use figures supplied in the previous Q for the mass of rollercoaster and previous answer to kinetic energy Q.

 

[4]

Why is the actual speed of the rollercoaster cart not as high as the value you calculated in the previous example?

 

[2]

Rutherford is a scientist who helped us understand the structure of the atom.

 

[1]

The Plum Pudding Theory is one of our first models of what we believed the atom was made from.

 

 

Use the above diagram to help describe the Plum Pudding Model of the atom.

 

[2]

Why was the Nuclear Model of the atom that Professor Rutherford suggested widely accept?

 

Tick Two boxes for your answer

 

[1]

He was a respected scientist

It was more liked than the Plum Pudding Model

He saw microscope images to support his theory

His results were replicated by others

Scientific models are not always permanent and often change. Using the atomic models as an example explain why models in science change.

 

 

Your answer should include:

- What a model is.

- What causes models to change.

- How the atomic models pictured changed.

 

[5]

Below is a diagram of a simple series circuit.

 

 

Explain how you would measure current and potential difference in a practical with the above circuit.

 

[4]

The circuit below is being supplied with 9V of potential difference and has a current of 0.5A.

 

 

If bulb A has a potential difference of 6V what is the resistance of the bulb?

 

[3]

The circuit below is being supplied with 9V of potential difference and has a current of 0.5A.

 

 

If bulb A has a potential difference of 6V what is the potential difference of bulb B?

 

[1]

The circuit below is being supplied with 9V of potential difference and has a current of 0.5A.

 

 

What would happen if you added a third bulb and why?

 

[2]

 

Write down the equation that links Potential Difference, Current and Resistance.

 

[1]

Below shows the symbol for Uranium

 

 

What two statements below are correct?

 

[1]

 

Uranium has 92 protons

Uranium has 92 neutrons

Uranium has 146 protons

Uranium has 146 neutrons

Uranium is a radioactive isotope used in nuclear power stations.

 

[1]

Uranium has 92 protons

Uranium has 92 neutrons

Uranium has 146 protons

Uranium has 146 neutrons

Other than Uranium what else can be used as a nuclear fission power source?

 

[1]

Identify functions of the following parts of the nuclear fission reactor core in a power station.

 

[1]

Nuclear fusion is currently being researched as an alternative future power supply.

The sun's energy supply is driven by nuclear fusion.

It works when two small hydrogen isotope nuclei are forced close enough to form which bigger nucleus?

 

[1]

Lithium

Helium

Plutonium

Argon

Write the equation which links Density, Mass and Volume.

 

[1]

The picture below shows a small wooden ladybird.

 

 

Describe a method which could be used to calculate the density of the toy.

 

[5]

Porridge is a warm breakfast that many people enjoy. Students wanted to investigate which bowl would keep the porridge warmer for longer in the cold winter mornings.

 

 

Identify from the graph one anomalous result.

 

[1]

Use your knowledge to identify what properties each energy resource has.

Each row may need multiple answers.

 

[1]

 Fossil FuelsNuclear FissionWindWaveSolarBiofuel
Renewable
Non Renewable
Releases Carbon Dioxide
Reliable Energy Source
Carbon Neutral

The graph below shows how energy resources currently used by the UK.

 

 

 

The UK Government have decided that from 2035 there will be only new electric cars being produced and sold in the country. This is to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide which is causing climate change.

Using the data in the above pie chart explain how the UK will have to change its electrical generation in order to ensure that the cars are not releasing carbon dioxide when being charged by electricity.

 

[6]

The diagram below shows several wind turbines.

 

 

Write down two arguments for and two against increasing the amount of our electricity supplied in the U.K by wind turbines.

 

[4]

The springs below are set up to demonstrate Hooke's Law.

 

 

Describe and use the diagram to explain what Hooke's Law is.

 

[2]

Write the equation which links Force applied to a spring, spring constant and extension.

 

[1]

If a spring has a force of 300 N applied and extends by 8 cm.

Calculate the spring constant with units.

 

[3]

The graph below can be used to describe a relationship.

 

 

How can you best describe the relationship shown on the graph?

 

[1]

Indirectly proportional

Directly proportional

Ohmic

Proportional

The following graph shows the temperature change of ice if heated in a closed system.

 

   

 

Complete the labels to explain what change is occurring at points A and B.

Identify State 1 and State 2.

 

[1]

Indirectly proportional

Directly proportional

Ohmic

Proportional

The results of Rutherford's experiment allowed him to develop the 'Nuclear Model' of the atom.

 

Explain what the following two observations from the experiment told us about the atomic structure:

 

- Most of the time the alpha particle travelled straight through the gold foil

- Occasionally the alpha particles deflected at angles from the gold foil

 

[2]

  • Question 1

Most rollercoasters work by slowly climbing to a high starting point before the ride properly begins.

 

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The Principle of Conservation of energy is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. When objects go up to a high position they will always develop gravitational potential energy (GPE). When objects fall down this GPE will be converted to Kinetic Energy (KE). In a closed system (one in which no energy is allowed to transfer in or out) then this conservation would be 100% efficient. So if the roller coaster had 800J of GPE at the top of the track it would have 800J of KE at the bottom of the track.
  • Question 2

From memory write down the equation that links Gravitational Potential Energy, Mass, Gravitational Field Strength and Height.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is one of the equations you must learn for AQA Physics Paper 1 that will not be provided in the exam. A list of these are available on the AQA Physics Specification
  • Question 3

What is the value for gravitational field strength on Earth?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
9.8 N/kg
EDDIE SAYS
Gravitational Field Strength on Earth is 9.8 N/kg. This can be assessed in both Physics Paper one and Physics Paper two. Be careful as any old specification questions will tell you it is 10 N/kg but from 2017 the exam board want you to know it is an exact 9.8 N/kg
  • Question 4

The rollercoaster cart has a mass of 3,000 Kg when it is full of passengers. During its climb, it travels 150 m high.

Calculate the total change in gravitational potential energy with units on the cart.

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You must use and apply numbers to the equation (you are not provided in exam): GPE = Mass X Gravitational Field Strength X height. You are provided with mass = 3000 kg You are expected to know Gravitational Field strength on Earth = 9.8 N/kg You are provided with height = 150m You are expected to know unit for energy is always J / joules
  • Question 5

The rollercoaster cart goes down the track. How much Kinetic Energy will it gain at its fastest speed?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This answer requires no calculation and in a real exam, there would be no space for a calculation. To answer this question you need to use and apply the Law of Conservation of Energy which means 100% of potential energy is converted to kinetic energy. This means the answer should be the same value as you calculated in the previous question: 4,410,000 J or the incorrect answer you used previously would be accepted (error carried forward mark).
  • Question 6

Write the equation that links Kinetic Energy, Mass and Speed.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is one of the equations you must learn for AQA Physics Paper 1 that will not be provided in the exam. A list of these are available on the AQA Physics Specification.
  • Question 7

Calculate the speed which the rollercoaster reaches as the cart comes down the track back to ground level (no remaining height).

 

HINT: You need to use figures supplied in the previous Q for the mass of rollercoaster and previous answer to kinetic energy Q.

 

[4]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a high level question which requires you to use figures from earlier in the exam question. You need to rearrange the Kinetic Energy Question to calculate Velocity² Velocity² = Kinetic Energy (from previous Q) / (0.5 X Mass) Once you have this answer: of 2,940 m/s this is not the final answer as many mistake it for. This is Velocity² and so we have to find the square root of this answer to have the final velocity or speed. If you calculate the square root of 2,940 m/s the final answer is 54.22m/s which can be simplified to 54 m/s.
  • Question 8

Why is the actual speed of the rollercoaster cart not as high as the value you calculated in the previous example?

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is not a closed system so 100% of Gravitational Potential Energy is not converted to Kinetic Energy. When any object moves at speed on Earth it will create friction between parts in contact. In this case between the rails and wheel. It will also create drag due to air resistance which will also slow it down.
  • Question 9

Rutherford is a scientist who helped us understand the structure of the atom.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Nice recall question here with some simple information about Rutherford's Scattering Experiment which also could be in your Chemistry 1 paper. Rutherford was a pioneer who helped develop the nuclear model of the atom. He and others fired a tiny alpha particle (see radiation module) at thin gold foil (few atoms thick).
  • Question 10

The Plum Pudding Theory is one of our first models of what we believed the atom was made from.

 

 

Use the above diagram to help describe the Plum Pudding Model of the atom.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A nice recall Question which with revision should be easy to answer. J.J Thomson came up with the now rejected Plum Pudding Theory which is a model of the atom. You are expected to know that this atom was a positively charged ball or sphere which has negatively charged electrons scattered throughout like plums in a plum pudding.
  • Question 11

Why was the Nuclear Model of the atom that Professor Rutherford suggested widely accept?

 

Tick Two boxes for your answer

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
He was a respected scientist
His results were replicated by others
EDDIE SAYS
Rutherford's experiment was the basis of our current model of the atomic model. He was a well-respected professor which normally is mentioned in the exam Q to help you. His results were also repeated many times by Rutherford and other scientists which show they were reproducible. Later work by other scientists introducing the proton and neutrons would confirm the idea that the nucleus has a positive charge overall and is the densest part of the atom.
  • Question 12

Scientific models are not always permanent and often change. Using the atomic models as an example explain why models in science change.

 

 

Your answer should include:

- What a model is.

- What causes models to change.

- How the atomic models pictured changed.

 

[5]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Here is a model answer for this question: A model is a simple explanation used by scientists to explain a theory. The model of the structure of the atom has changed over time due to the work done by scientists who have found new evidence which has altered our understanding of what an atom is made of. Dalton's original idea of an atom was it was a ball-shaped object but this was updated following experiments by Thomson who came up with the Plum Pudding Theory which suggested an atom was a positive ball with negative electrons scattered throughout. Following the Scattering Experiment, however, Rutherford used his evidence to suggest the Nuclear Model of the atom which was the idea that the atom had a small, positively charged centre (nucleus) with electrons orbiting in largely empty space. The model was finally complete from experimental evidence by Bohr who developed the model to show that the electrons were arranged in electron shells on the outside of the nucleus. This question is tricky because of the use of the word model which teachers may not point out explicitly at the time of teaching.
  • Question 13

Below is a diagram of a simple series circuit.

 

 

Explain how you would measure current and potential difference in a practical with the above circuit.

 

[4]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Here's a model answer for this question. Ammeters are used to measure current and can be placed in series anywhere in the circuit. Voltmeters are used to measure potential difference which is the scientific term for voltage. You are expected to learn many symbols for circuits for AQA Physics as can be seen in the specification.
  • Question 14

The circuit below is being supplied with 9V of potential difference and has a current of 0.5A.

 

 

If bulb A has a potential difference of 6V what is the resistance of the bulb?

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You are expected to remember the equation to use and then rearrange it. Potential Difference = Current X Resistance So for this equation use: Resistance = Potential Difference / Current From here you must use the given voltage of the bulb and current which is the same all around the circuit.
  • Question 15

The circuit below is being supplied with 9V of potential difference and has a current of 0.5A.

 

 

If bulb A has a potential difference of 6V what is the potential difference of bulb B?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The total potential difference of a circuit is divided between all components in a circuit. If the total is 9V and one bulb has 6V then the other will be the remaining 3V.
  • Question 16

The circuit below is being supplied with 9V of potential difference and has a current of 0.5A.

 

 

What would happen if you added a third bulb and why?

 

[2]

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Voltage is split between all components that are in sequence in a series circuit. This means the total 9V supplied by the cells will be split between bulbs. So, if you add more bulbs, each bulb will get less voltage and this means all bulbs will be less bright.
  • Question 17

Write down the equation that links Potential Difference, Current and Resistance.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is one of the equations you must learn for AQA Physics Paper 1 that will not be provided in the exam. A list of these are available on the AQA Physics Specification
  • Question 18

Below shows the symbol for Uranium

 

 

What two statements below are correct?

 

[1]

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Uranium has 92 neutrons
Uranium has 146 neutrons
EDDIE SAYS
You are expected to know how to use the periodic table to work out numbers of protons, neutrons and electrons in both Chemistry and Physics. In physics, you will be given the information needed in the question as no periodic table is provided. The number of protons and electrons is always given by the atomic number (which is always the smaller number). So, Uranium has 92 protons and 92 electrons. The number of neutrons is always the Mass Number - Atomic Number. So for uranium, the number of neutrons is: Mass number (238) - Atomic number (92) = 146
  • Question 19

Uranium is a radioactive isotope used in nuclear power stations.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You are expected to know that radiation is due to isotopes and should know that isotopes are atoms of the same element with the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons. Do not mention electrons in a question on isotopes as they are irrelevant as radiation is linking to nuclei only.
  • Question 20

Other than Uranium what else can be used as a nuclear fission power source?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You need learn both fuel sources for nuclear fission. They are both unstable nuclei and highly radioactive. Uranium - 235 Plutonium - 239
  • Question 21

Identify functions of the following parts of the nuclear fission reactor core in a power station.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is the list of parts you would be expected to recall and identify the role of in a nuclear fission reaction.
  • Question 22

Nuclear fusion is currently being researched as an alternative future power supply.

The sun's energy supply is driven by nuclear fusion.

It works when two small hydrogen isotope nuclei are forced close enough to form which bigger nucleus?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Helium
EDDIE SAYS
Nuclear fusion will not expect a detailed answer in exams but will likely be asked expecting you to show understanding of it. It is the process whereby two small hydrogen nuclei are forced into one creating a larger helium nuclei and releases a huge quantity of energy. This could be an unlimited energy source for our planet if we can get it to work!
  • Question 23

Write the equation which links Density, Mass and Volume.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is one of the equations you must learn for AQA Physics Paper 1 that will not be provided in the exam. A list of these are available on the AQA Physics Specification Density = Mass / Volume
  • Question 24

The picture below shows a small wooden ladybird.

 

 

Describe a method which could be used to calculate the density of the toy.

 

[5]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a required practical method from AQA and so you should be able to describe how to calculate the density of any irregular shape using this practical. To answer this you must remember the equation: Density = Mass / Volume.
  • Question 25

Porridge is a warm breakfast that many people enjoy. Students wanted to investigate which bowl would keep the porridge warmer for longer in the cold winter mornings.

 

 

Identify from the graph one anomalous result.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
While the pattern is not perfect for any line the result at 4 minutes for plastic clearly does not follow the pattern of the other results and is largely out of place. If you draw a graph this should be circled and labelled as an anomalous result. If you were given this in a table you should not include it in any mean calculations.
  • Question 26

Use your knowledge to identify what properties each energy resource has.

Each row may need multiple answers.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
 Fossil FuelsNuclear FissionWindWaveSolarBiofuel
Renewable
Non Renewable
Releases Carbon Dioxide
Reliable Energy Source
Carbon Neutral
EDDIE SAYS
This is a common level of recall needed in a variety of questions for energy generation in the U.K. You need to understand that non-renewable means the energy source is finite and will run out in the future and this includes all fossil fuels and nuclear power. The other sources are renewable which means that they can be replaced at the same rate they are used. Fossil fuels release carbon dioxide when combusted but so does bio-fuel when burnt but it is also carbon-neutral as when the plants used to burn are grown they absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Reliability in energy sources means that if you have the fuel it will definitely give you energy. Fossil fuels (oil) and nuclear fission are reliable as they will always produce energy. Waves are predictable and so reliable and biomass can always be burnt if you have it. However, wind and solar power are unreliable as will not generate electricity on a still / non-windy day and on a cloudy day.
  • Question 27

The graph below shows how energy resources currently used by the UK.

 

 

 

The UK Government have decided that from 2035 there will be only new electric cars being produced and sold in the country. This is to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide which is causing climate change.

Using the data in the above pie chart explain how the UK will have to change its electrical generation in order to ensure that the cars are not releasing carbon dioxide when being charged by electricity.

 

[6]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Here is a model answer for this question which would meet level 3 Quality of Written Communication demand for a 6 mark question: In order for the UK to cut its carbon dioxide emissions and ensure electric cars are being powered in a carbon-neutral way, the methods of electrical generation in the country must change. Currently, 46% of our electrical generation is from gas and 31% from coal which both release carbon dioxide when burnt in the power stations to generate electricity. In the future, the increased use of energy resources which do not release carbon dioxide will need to replace the usage of coal and gas. These will need to include a mixture of methods but nuclear power which currently only generates 16% would be a good choice due to it releasing no carbon dioxide and having a high energy yield. Due to the U.K being an island this gives us an opportunity to develop wind turbines both on land and offshore using our large length of coastline. On a smaller scale, biomass and solar power can be used although the amount will be limited by the climate. Development of hydroelectric is unlikely to increase much due to the need for suitable landscapes to build these power stations.
  • Question 28

The diagram below shows several wind turbines.

 

 

Write down two arguments for and two against increasing the amount of our electricity supplied in the U.K by wind turbines.

 

[4]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
For each energy resource you need to know some basic benefits and drawbacks. Most will either be renewable or non renewable. Most will either release carbon dioxide or not.
  • Question 29

The springs below are set up to demonstrate Hooke's Law.

 

 

Describe and use the diagram to explain what Hooke's Law is.

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Hooke's law is a required practical which you should have completed and could form part of either Physics Paper 1 (energy) or Physics Paper 2 (forces). The idea of Hooke's Law is that the extension of the spring will always increase by the same amount every time you add the same mass value. So for example, if you add 100g and the extension of the spring is 2cm, you would expect 4cm extension at 200g and 6cm extension at 300g etc.
  • Question 30

Write the equation which links Force applied to a spring, spring constant and extension.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is one of the equations you must learn for AQA Physics Paper one and two that will not be provided in the exam. A list of these are available on the AQA Physics Specification
  • Question 31

If a spring has a force of 300 N applied and extends by 8 cm.

Calculate the spring constant with units.

 

[3]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This question is relatively straight forward as long as you have learnt the equation and can rearrange it. This is one of the equations you must learn for AQA Physics Paper 1 that will not be provided in the exam. A list of these are available on the AQA Physics Specification
  • Question 32

The graph below can be used to describe a relationship.

 

 

How can you best describe the relationship shown on the graph?

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
Directly proportional
EDDIE SAYS
This graph shows a positive relationship and the line is straight meaning the relationship as you would see on a Hooke's Law practical graph is directly proportional. Any straight line like this is directly proportional.
  • Question 33

The following graph shows the temperature change of ice if heated in a closed system.

 

   

 

Complete the labels to explain what change is occurring at points A and B.

Identify State 1 and State 2.

 

[1]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a typical heating curve showing that as the temperature increases any substance will turn from a solid to a liquid via melting and then at a higher temperature from a liquid to a gas by boiling/evaporation. The key thing to learn on this graph is that during a change in state (melting point or boiling point) the temperature remains constant and produces a horizontal line as bonds are being made or broken. This also happens if it is a cooling curve and the line is horizontal during condensation and freezing.
  • Question 34

The results of Rutherford's experiment allowed him to develop the 'Nuclear Model' of the atom.

 

Explain what the following two observations from the experiment told us about the atomic structure:

 

- Most of the time the alpha particle travelled straight through the gold foil

- Occasionally the alpha particles deflected at angles from the gold foil

 

[2]

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This question is about applying your understanding to explain the importance of what Rutherford found. Rutherford was a pioneer who helped develop the nuclear model of the atom. He and others fired a tiny alpha particle (see radiation module) at thin gold foil (few atoms thick). Alpha particles have a positive charge. If the plum pudding theory was correct you would expect like charges to repel and all alpha particles to deflect but very few did suggesting the atom is mainly empty space (electron shells come later). The alpha particles also repelled occasionally means something in the atom that is dense enough for the alpha particle to 'bounce' off. This is the now called the nucleus and must be dense and have the same charge as alpha particles to cause it to repel. We now know the nucleus has an overall positive charge as it is made of protons and neutrons.
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