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GCSE Foundation Core Science Exam Practice Paper

In this worksheet, students work through an exam style paper covering foundation tier core science.

'GCSE Foundation Core Science Exam Practice Paper ' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  GCSE Practice Papers

Curriculum subtopic:  Selection of Topics

Difficulty level:  

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Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

This is an exam style paper covering foundation tier core science biology, chemistry and physics. The paper should be completed in one hour.

Grade boundaries:
54-60 = A*
48-53 = A
42-47 = B
36-41 = C
30-35 = D
24-29 = E
18-23 = F
12-17 = G
0-11 = U

Lions and tigers belong to the Phylum Chordata.

State the feature that allows them to be placed in this Phylum.

What vertebrate group do lions and tigers belong to?

Give one feature of mammals.

Complete the sentence to explain what a species is.

A species is a group of organisms that can ____________ to produce ____________ offspring.

The picture shows a cuckoo bird. The scientific name is Cuculus canorus.

What genus do cuckoos belong to?

 

The pictures shows a buffalo that lives in the African savannah. Small animals called ticks feed on the buffalo, sometimes making the buffalo ill.

Choose the correct term for the relationship between the ticks and the buffalo.

 

eutrophication

mutualism

parasitism

phototropism

Birds called oxpeckers feed on the ticks, which helps the buffalo stay healthy.

Choose the correct term for the relationship between the oxpecker and the buffalo.

eutrophication

mutualism

parasitism

phototropism

The diagram shows a pyramid of biomass.

Explain why pyramids of biomass are usually this shape.

 

 

Dysentery is caused by bacteria, which are often transmitted to food or drink by houseflies.

What is the correct term for an organism, such as the dysentery bacterium, that causes a disease?

infection

pathogen

vector

virus

What is the correct word for an organism, such as a housefly, that spreads a disease-causing organism?

infection

pathogen

vector

virus

Name another disease caused by vectors.

What vector spreads malaria?

What type of organism causes malaria? 

animal

plant

bacterium

protozoan

What type of microorganism causes flu?

bacterium

virus

fungus

protoctist

Name a chemical that kills pathogens and is prescribed by doctors.

An experiment took place in two boarding schools to find out whether houseflies spread dysentery.

In school A houseflies were killed and only 3 cases of dysentery were observed. 

In school B houseflies were not killed and 12 cases of dysentery were observed.

 

How could the researchers have improved the quality of their data? Choose the correct answer.

repeat their experiment

choose a smaller cohort of people

introduce another organism that spreads dysentery

Acids react with bases to form salts. Match each acid up with its formula.

Column A

Column B

nitric acid
HNO₃
hydrochloric acid
H₂SO₄
sulfuric acid
HCl

Describe the test for hydrogen gas.

squeaky pop

relights glowing splint

turns limewater cloudy

Describe the test for oxygen.

relights glowing splint

squeaky pop sound

turns limewater cloudy

Describe the test for chlorine gas. Two answers may be correct.

relights glowing splint

turns limewater cloudy

turns damp starch-iodide paper blue-black

turns damp blue litmus paper red and then white

Name the two products of complete combustion.

carbon dioxide

oxygen

water

hydrogen

What is produced during combustion if a restricted amount of oxygen is present?

State one important feature of fuels.

ease of ignition

being expensive

not runny

You are given two fuels to investigate:

A warms 100g of water to 100oC in 5 min.

B warms the same amount of water to the same temperature in 10 min.

 

Which fuel is the best and why?

Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of extracting iron from iron ore compared to recycling scrap iron.

Why is aluminium better than steel for making aircraft bodies?

All regions of the electromagnetic spectrum have some uses. Apart from cooking food (see image of microwave oven), microwaves can be used for: 

 

communication

detection of cancer

security scanners

TV remote controls

Give a medical use of gamma rays.

Explain how ultraviolet lamps are used in detecting forged bank notes.

SODIS stands for solar water disinfection. It is used by people in countries with poor water supplies to disinfect their drinking water.

What does 'disinfect' mean?

What part of the electromagnetic spectrum disinfects the water?

What part of the electromagnetic spectrum heats the water?

The diagram shows a magnet in a coil of wire. The apparatus is connected to a data logger.

When the magnet and coil are not moving, the data logger will:

 

read zero

increase

decrease

change direction

When the magnet is pulled upwards the data logger gives a positive reading. To give a bigger reading the speed of the magnet must: 

become zero

increase

decrease

change direction

P waves travel faster than S waves.

true

false

Draw diagrams to show the difference between longitudinal and transverse seismic waves. Label your diagrams as appropriate.

What is the name of the plates that cause earthquakes when moving?

The Big Bang and the Steady State are two common theories to explain the expansion of the Universe.

Compare these two theories and the evidence which supports them.

  • Question 1

Lions and tigers belong to the Phylum Chordata.

State the feature that allows them to be placed in this Phylum.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The Phylum Chordata includes all vertebrates, because they have a spine or backbone.
Other Phyla include:
Phylum Nematode, for example roundworms.
Phylum Crustacea, for example lobster.
Phylum Porifera, for example sponge.
Phylum Cnidaria, for example coral, jellyfish.
  • Question 2

What vertebrate group do lions and tigers belong to?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Lions and tigers are mammals. Mammals have fur, suckle and give birth to live young.
  • Question 3

Give one feature of mammals.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for one of the following points:
Mammals give live birth, suckle young and have fur.
  • Question 4

Complete the sentence to explain what a species is.

A species is a group of organisms that can ____________ to produce ____________ offspring.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for each of the following points:
A species is a group of organisms that can interbreed (1 mark) to produce fertile (1 mark) offspring.

Sometimes, organisms that belong to different species but the same Genus can interbreed, but their offspring is infertile. For example, donkeys and horses interbreed and produce mules. Mules are infertile, which means they cannot themselves breed to have baby mules.
  • Question 5

The picture shows a cuckoo bird. The scientific name is Cuculus canorus.

What genus do cuckoos belong to?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Cuckoos are of the genus Cuculus. Scientific names of organisms follow the binomial system. The first word, Cuculus, is the genus and the second word, canorus, is the species. Scientific names must be written in italics.
  • Question 6

The pictures shows a buffalo that lives in the African savannah. Small animals called ticks feed on the buffalo, sometimes making the buffalo ill.

Choose the correct term for the relationship between the ticks and the buffalo.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This relationship is parasitism as the buffalo does not benefit from the ticks and can even fall ill. In parasitism, one organism, the parasite, benefits but the other, the host, is harmed.
  • Question 7

Birds called oxpeckers feed on the ticks, which helps the buffalo stay healthy.

Choose the correct term for the relationship between the oxpecker and the buffalo.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This relationship is mutualism as both the oxpeckers and the buffalo benefit from it. In a mutualistic relationship, both organisms benefit.
  • Question 8

The diagram shows a pyramid of biomass.

Explain why pyramids of biomass are usually this shape.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for each of the following points:
- Inside organisms energy is stored in tissues; this is called biomass. Energy stored in biomass is transferred to the next organism in the food chain when the first organism is eaten.
- Producers contain a certain amount of biomass as they make their own food. When they are eaten, a small amount of this energy passes to the next trophic level, but a lot of it is lost and the same happens at the third level and so on.
- Therefore, biomass is always bigger in the first trophic level and becomes smaller as we go upwards.
  • Question 9

Dysentery is caused by bacteria, which are often transmitted to food or drink by houseflies.

What is the correct term for an organism, such as the dysentery bacterium, that causes a disease?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Microorganisms that cause disease are called pathogens. There are other microorganisms that do not cause diseases; these are not pathogens.
  • Question 10

What is the correct word for an organism, such as a housefly, that spreads a disease-causing organism?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Vectors are organisms that spread pathogens. Another example are female mosquitoes that pass the malaria parasite from animal to animal and humans.
  • Question 11

Name another disease caused by vectors.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The malaria parasite is spread by a vector, the female mosquito.
  • Question 12

What vector spreads malaria?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The female mosquito spreads malaria in certain parts of the world.
  • Question 13

What type of organism causes malaria? 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The malaria pathogen is a protozoan. Protozoa belong to the Kingdom of Protoctista.
  • Question 14

What type of microorganism causes flu?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Flu is caused by a virus, like common cold. Other diseases are caused by bacteria, like dysentery and even fungi, for example athlete's foot.
  • Question 15

Name a chemical that kills pathogens and is prescribed by doctors.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria. They are prescribed by doctors and must be taken as instructed. They kill bacteria inside the body. There are other chemicals that kill bacteria, for example, antiseptics (kill bacteria outside the body). Plants produce antibacterial substances to deal with infections.
  • Question 16

An experiment took place in two boarding schools to find out whether houseflies spread dysentery.

In school A houseflies were killed and only 3 cases of dysentery were observed. 

In school B houseflies were not killed and 12 cases of dysentery were observed.

 

How could the researchers have improved the quality of their data? Choose the correct answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Researchers should repeat their experiment to see if they get the same results. Only if the results are similar and lead to the same conclusion, can they be considered reliable.
  • Question 17

Acids react with bases to form salts. Match each acid up with its formula.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Nitric acid: HNO₃
Hydrochloric acid: HCl
Sulfuric acid: H₂SO₄
  • Question 18

Describe the test for hydrogen gas.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Hydrogen makes a squeaky pop sound when a lit splint is present. There are different tests for oxygen, carbon dioxide and chlorine and you must be prepared to describe all of them for your exam.
  • Question 19

Describe the test for oxygen.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Oxygen relights a glowing splint.
  • Question 20

Describe the test for chlorine gas. Two answers may be correct.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To get both marks in an exam you have to both the correct type of test paper used and the end colour.
Chlorine turns damp starch-iodide paper blue-black (1 mark) and damp blue litmus paper red and then white (1 mark).
  • Question 21

Name the two products of complete combustion.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Complete combustion produces carbon dioxide and water. Carbon monoxide and water are produced by incomplete combustion.
  • Question 22

What is produced during combustion if a restricted amount of oxygen is present?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
If a restricted amount of oxygen is present, combustion is incomplete. Instead of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide is produced.
  • Question 23

State one important feature of fuels.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Ease of ignition is an important feature of fuels. Other features of a good fuel are:
  • burning well, but not explosively
  • give out a lot of heat
  • have low smoke and ash content
    • Question 24

    You are given two fuels to investigate:

    A warms 100g of water to 100oC in 5 min.

    B warms the same amount of water to the same temperature in 10 min.

     

    Which fuel is the best and why?

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    You will get 1 mark for each of the following points:
    Fuel A is the best (1 mark), because it can warm the same amount of water to the same temperature in half the time (1 mark); this is cost-effective (1 mark).
    • Question 25

    Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of extracting iron from iron ore compared to recycling scrap iron.

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    Advantages of recycling (1 mark each, so you have to include at least 2 of the following in your answer):
    - Natural reserves of metals will last longer if we recycle.
    - Mining damages the landscape and creates noise and pollution.
    - More recycling means less waste metals are disposed of in landfill sites.

    Disadvantages of recycling (1 mark each):
    - Costs are involved in collecting, sorting and transporting metals to be recycled.
    - Energy is used when collecting, sorting and transporting metals to be recycled.

    Conclusion (1 mark and it must be included in the answer):
    At times and for some metals (give examples) it may be cheaper to extract than recycle, so the industry balances the pros and cons before deciding which method to use.
    • Question 26

    Why is aluminium better than steel for making aircraft bodies?

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    You will get 1 mark for each of the following points:
    - Aluminium is less dense than steel.
    - The lighter the aeroplane, the less fuel it will use.
    • Question 27

    All regions of the electromagnetic spectrum have some uses. Apart from cooking food (see image of microwave oven), microwaves can be used for: 

     

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    Microwaves can be used for communication.
    Gamma rays are used in radiotherapy, whereas ultraviolet and X-rays are used in security.
    • Question 28

    Give a medical use of gamma rays.

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    Gamma rays are used in radiotherapy and to sterilise surgical instruments, as they kill microorganisms. UV light also kills bacteria, so it can be used to disinfect water and sewage.
    • Question 29

    Explain how ultraviolet lamps are used in detecting forged bank notes.

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    You will get 1 mark for each of the following points:
    - Genuine banknotes contain markings that glow under UV light.
    - Forged banknotes do not contain these markings.
    • Question 30

    SODIS stands for solar water disinfection. It is used by people in countries with poor water supplies to disinfect their drinking water.

    What does 'disinfect' mean?

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    You will get 1 mark for the following points:
    Free from microorganisms (1 mark) by ensuring they are all killed, especially pathogens that cause diseases (1 mark).
    • Question 31

    What part of the electromagnetic spectrum disinfects the water?

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    Ultraviolet (UV) rays can disinfect water and sewage. Gamma rays also kill microorganisms and are used to sterilise surgical instruments.
    • Question 32

    What part of the electromagnetic spectrum heats the water?

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    Infrared radiation is thermal energy (heat). CCTV cameras that detect infrared are used to watch people at night. Infrared radiation can pass through fog, making thermal imaging useful in daytime, too.
    • Question 33

    The diagram shows a magnet in a coil of wire. The apparatus is connected to a data logger.

    When the magnet and coil are not moving, the data logger will:

     

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    The data logger will read zero. For electricity to be generated the magnet must move into the coil. The same effect will be a result of the coil moving instead of the magnet.
    • Question 34

    When the magnet is pulled upwards the data logger gives a positive reading. To give a bigger reading the speed of the magnet must: 

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    The speed of the magnet must increase. The speed of the magnet is proportional to the voltage. In a graph, this would be a straight line passing through the origin.
    • Question 35

    P waves travel faster than S waves.

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    The statement is true. P waves travel faster than S waves. The time difference between the arrival of the first P waves and the first S waves can be used to work out how far away from a seismometer an earthquake occured.
    • Question 36

    Draw diagrams to show the difference between longitudinal and transverse seismic waves. Label your diagrams as appropriate.

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    See the diagram below for the correct answer.
    1 mark for correct drawing of each type of wave and 1 mark for correct labelling of the waves.

    • Question 37

    What is the name of the plates that cause earthquakes when moving?

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    Movement of tectonic plates causes earthquakes. The plate boundaries are used to predict where earthquakes are likely to happen. However, difficulties to measure the forces trying to move the plates or the friction between them prevents predicting when a sudden movement will happen.
    • Question 38

    The Big Bang and the Steady State are two common theories to explain the expansion of the Universe.

    Compare these two theories and the evidence which supports them.

    CORRECT ANSWER
    EDDIE SAYS
    You will get 1 mark for each of the following points:
    Big Bang theory:
    The Universe and all the matter in it started out as a tiny point of congregated energy about 13.5 billion years ago. The Universe expanded from this point and is still expanding. As the Universe expanded, gravity caused matter to clump together to form stars. Huge amounts of radiation were released at the beginning of the Universe and this radiation should be still detectable as microwave radiation.
    The Steady State theory:
    It was suggested in 1948. It says that the Universe has always existed and is expanding. New matter is continuously created within the Universe as it expands.
    Red-shift in the light from other galaxies can be used as support for both theories.
    However, cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation provides supporting evidence for the Big Bang theory.
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