# GCSE Higher Core Science Exam Practice Paper 1

In this worksheet, students undertake this general practice paper in preparation for their GCSE exam.

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  GCSE Practice Papers

Curriculum subtopic:  Selection of Topics

Difficulty level:

### QUESTION 1 of 10

This is an exam practice paper for higher tier core science, covering 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

When we exercise, respiration in the muscle cells generates heat energy. This increases body temperature. The graph shows the body temperature (in oF) of a runner during and after the race (the time is shown in min).

How long did it take for the runner's temperature to become 98 oF for the second time (from when it initially started increasing)?

18

14

12

What was the increase in the body temperature of the runner during the race? Your answer will be in oF.

3

5

6

Why should we drink plenty of water when we exercise for a long time?

Explain how blood vessels in our skin help us to cool down after intensive exercise.

Farmers add fertilisers to fields when they are growing certain crops. These contain nitrate ions, which can increase plant growth, so a larger quantity is harvested.

Name the part of the plant that absorbs nitrate ions.

Name one type of substance that roots make using nitrate ions.

Some bacteria in the soil break down nitrate ions, so that nitrogen is not available to plants.

Name the group of bacteria and state the substance they produce from nitrate ions.

Why is it not needed to add fertilisers to leguminous plants, such as beans?

What substance, that can be used by plants as a source of nitrogen, are proteins and urea decomposed into?

Explain how phototropism and geotropism affect the development of plants so they can grow more successfully.

The Earth's atmosphere is made up of various gases.

What is the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere?

23%

78%

21%

What is the percentage of nitrogen in the Earth's atmosphere?

78%

0.04%

0.9%

In the early atmosphere, there was plenty of water vapour and carbon dioxide.

Where did the gases that made up the early atmosphere come from?

Apart from water vapour and carbon dioxide what other gas was thought to be present in the early atmosphere.

Explain what happened to the water vapour in the Earth's atmosphere as the Earth cooled down.

Oxygen started to appear in the atmosphere 1.7 billion years ago.

Why have the oxygen levels increased since?

The pictures show three samples of rock; one igneous, one sedimentary and one metamorphic rock.

What evidence would you look for to determine whether a rock is sedimentary, like sample B?

Sample A

Sample B

Sample C

Sample C is metamorphic.

Describe how metamorphic rocks are formed.

Sample A is an igneous rock.

Explain how different size crystals form in igneous rocks.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate, CaCO3. When heated strongly, calcium carbonate forms two new products.

Tick the correct products from the options below.

CO

carbon dioxide

calcium dioxide

CaO

Give two advantages and two disadvantages of limestone quarries.

Describe the heliocentric model of the Solar System.

Name the other model of the Solar System that was believed before the heliocentric one was confirmed.

Describe the geocentric model of the Solar System.

Describe the discovery Galileo made in the 17th century about Jupiter.

Why was Galileo's discovery important?

What instrument did Galileo use when he observed the movements of Jupiter's moons?

Our Universe contains many different stars and galaxies.

What is the difference between a galaxy and a star?

Why are some telescopes placed outside the Earth's atmosphere?

Apart from telescopes what have scientists use to observe Mars?

Describe two ways in which the use of modern telescopes have enabled us to understand the Universe.

What instrument is used to detect earthquakes?

State the two types of seismic waves.

P waves are transverse waves.

true

false

What two processes affect the path of seismic waves?

Where does the reflection and refraction of seismic waves take place?

How are earthquakes caused?

• Question 1

When we exercise, respiration in the muscle cells generates heat energy. This increases body temperature. The graph shows the body temperature (in oF) of a runner during and after the race (the time is shown in min).

How long did it take for the runner's temperature to become 98 oF for the second time (from when it initially started increasing)?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
From the graph, you can see on the x-axis (time) that the temperature started increasing at 0 min and became 98 first in 2 min. Then it increased more until it finally started decreasing. It returned to 98 after 18 min (from the beginning of the race, which was at 0 min).
• Question 2

What was the increase in the body temperature of the runner during the race? Your answer will be in oF.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
During the race the temperature increased from 97 to 103 degrees oF.
103 - 97 = 6 degrees oF.
• Question 3

Why should we drink plenty of water when we exercise for a long time?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for each of the following points:
- When we exercise for a long period of time our body temperature rises, so we sweat to cool down.
- Our body needs to rehydrate, so we should drink plenty of water.
• Question 4

Explain how blood vessels in our skin help us to cool down after intensive exercise.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for each of the following points:
Blood vessels nearer the surface of the skin dilate (vasodilation) (1 mark), so more blood flows near the skin surface (1 mark), which results in more heat being lost to the surroundings (1 mark).
• Question 5

Farmers add fertilisers to fields when they are growing certain crops. These contain nitrate ions, which can increase plant growth, so a larger quantity is harvested.

Name the part of the plant that absorbs nitrate ions.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The roots of the plants absorb water, as well as minerals, such as nitrates.
• Question 6

Name one type of substance that roots make using nitrate ions.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Nitrates are used to make amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
• Question 7

Some bacteria in the soil break down nitrate ions, so that nitrogen is not available to plants.

Name the group of bacteria and state the substance they produce from nitrate ions.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for the following points:
Denitrifying bacteria (1 mark) convert nitrates into nitrites, which cannot be used by plants (1 mark). Further, nitrites are converted into nitrogen gas in the air.
• Question 8

Why is it not needed to add fertilisers to leguminous plants, such as beans?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for the following points:
- Leguminous plants have nodules on their roots.
- Nitrogen fixing bacteria that live inside root nodules provide plants directly with ammonia.
• Question 9

What substance, that can be used by plants as a source of nitrogen, are proteins and urea decomposed into?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Proteins and urea are decomposed into ammonia, which can be used by plants as a source of nitrogen.
• Question 10

Explain how phototropism and geotropism affect the development of plants so they can grow more successfully.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To get the full 6 marks for this question, you need to include the following points:
- A clear explanation of how shoots grow towards the light, mentioning auxins and cell elongation (2 marks).
- A link of phototropism to successful plant growth (light needed for photosynthesis to make glucose, stored as starch and needed for energy and growth by making new cell walls) (2 marks).
- A good description of geotropism and how it helps the plant to grow successfully (roots grow towards gravity to collect water and minerals from the soil, shoots grow against gravity) (2 marks).
• Question 11

The Earth's atmosphere is made up of various gases.

What is the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Oxygen makes up 21 per cent of the Earth's atmosphere.
• Question 12

What is the percentage of nitrogen in the Earth's atmosphere?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Nitrogen makes up 78 per cent of the Earth's atmosphere.
• Question 13

In the early atmosphere, there was plenty of water vapour and carbon dioxide.

Where did the gases that made up the early atmosphere come from?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Volcanic activity on the early Earth produced water vapour and carbon dioxide.
• Question 14

Apart from water vapour and carbon dioxide what other gas was thought to be present in the early atmosphere.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Nitrogen, ammonia and methane were all thought to be present in the early atmosphere.
• Question 15

Explain what happened to the water vapour in the Earth's atmosphere as the Earth cooled down.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for the following points:
As the Earth's atmosphere cooled down, the water vapour condensed (1 mark) and formed the oceans (1 mark).
• Question 16

Oxygen started to appear in the atmosphere 1.7 billion years ago.

Why have the oxygen levels increased since?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for the following points:
- Plants evolved in the oceans first before coming out to land.
- Photosynthesis has ever since contributed to increasing the oxygen levels in the atmosphere.
• Question 17

The pictures show three samples of rock; one igneous, one sedimentary and one metamorphic rock.

What evidence would you look for to determine whether a rock is sedimentary, like sample B?

Sample A

Sample B

Sample C

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for the following points:
Sedimentary rocks may contain the fossil remains of dead plants and animals (1 mark), or imprints, such as foot steps (1 mark).
• Question 18

Sample C is metamorphic.

Describe how metamorphic rocks are formed.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for the following points:
Rocks can be changed by heat (1 mark) and pressure (1 mark) to form harder metamorphic rocks.
• Question 19

Sample A is an igneous rock.

Explain how different size crystals form in igneous rocks.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for the following points:
The size of crystals in igneous rocks depends on the rate at which magma or lava cools. The faster it cools, the smaller the crystals (1 mark), whereas rocks that form while magma cools slowly have larger crystals (1 mark).
• Question 20

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate, CaCO3. When heated strongly, calcium carbonate forms two new products.

Tick the correct products from the options below.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Through thermal decomposition, calcium carbonate forms calcium oxide and carbon dioxide.
• Question 21

Give two advantages and two disadvantages of limestone quarries.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Advantages (1 mark each):
- Provides jobs for local population.
- Limestone is valuable and exporting it helps the UK's economy.

Disadvantages (1 mark each):
- Quarries create dust and noise in an area (or lorries cause extra traffic, noise and pollution).
- Quarries destroy the original landscape, so it damages the tourist industry (or the land cannot be used for farming or other purposes).
• Question 22

Describe the heliocentric model of the Solar System.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for the following:
The planets (1 mark) orbit the Sun (1 mark).
• Question 23

Name the other model of the Solar System that was believed before the heliocentric one was confirmed.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Early astronomers believed in the geocentric model of the Solar System.
• Question 24

Describe the geocentric model of the Solar System.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Early astronomers thought that the planets orbit the Earth; this is the geocentric model of the Solar System.
• Question 25

Describe the discovery Galileo made in the 17th century about Jupiter.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Galileo discovered that Jupiter has four moons.
• Question 26

Why was Galileo's discovery important?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Plotting the movements of Jupiter's moons led Galileo to support the idea that not everything orbited the Earth.
• Question 27

What instrument did Galileo use when he observed the movements of Jupiter's moons?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Telescopes helped Galileo and other astronomers to observe the Solar System more easily.
• Question 28

Our Universe contains many different stars and galaxies.

What is the difference between a galaxy and a star?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Galaxies contain millions of stars.
• Question 29

Why are some telescopes placed outside the Earth's atmosphere?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
So that they can observe stars even when it is cloudy and are not affected by air movements.
• Question 30

Apart from telescopes what have scientists use to observe Mars?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Space probes orbiting Mars have provided information about the planet.
• Question 31

Describe two ways in which the use of modern telescopes have enabled us to understand the Universe.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for the following points:
- Modern telescopes use digital cameras to record images and those are analysed by computers.
- Modern telescopes can also detect almost every part of the electromagnetic spectrum, not just visible light.
• Question 32

What instrument is used to detect earthquakes?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Seismometers are instruments that detect seismic waves, which are transmitted through the Earth by earthquakes.
• Question 33

State the two types of seismic waves.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You will get 1 mark for each seismic waves mentioned:
There are two types of seismic waves: P waves and S waves.
• Question 34

P waves are transverse waves.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The statement is false; P waves are longitudinal waves.
• Question 35

What two processes affect the path of seismic waves?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The processes of refraction and reflection can affect the path of seismic waves.
• Question 36

Where does the reflection and refraction of seismic waves take place?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Seismic waves are reflected and refracted at the boundaries between the Earth's crust, mantle and core.
• Question 37

How are earthquakes caused?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Earthquakes are caused when the forces moving the tectonic plates are big enough to overcome the friction between the forces.
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