Linking questions span different topics. In linking questions, it is important that you plan your answer and not just rush into it. After all, you would plan an essay or short story before starting. Without a plan it is easy to stray away from the key point and loose marks, get steps in a process in the wrong order or forget key bits of information. Remember to write your answer in full sentences, not bullet points.
One way to answer linking questions is to follow these steps:
The number of marks per question part is given in this form [4 marks]. It is essential that you give four different answers if a question is worth four marks. Sometimes you can gain an additional mark by giving the units in a calculation or stating specific data points, eg after twenty-four hours the pH of the milk at room temperature had decreased by 1.2.
Linking questions will start with command words such as 'Describe...' or 'Explain...'.
Some command words are easy to understand such as:
The command words 'Describe...' and 'Explain...' can be confused. If you are asked to describe a graph, you will be expected to write about its overall shape, whether it is linear or curved, the slope of gradients etc. If you are asked to explain why a pattern or trend is seen in a graph, you will be expected to use your science knowledge not just say what you see (which is a description), eg The graph shows an increase in the mass of potato cylinders. This is because...
Explain how and why questions often have the word 'because' in their answer. Describe questions don’t.
These questions have been written by Bitesize consultants as suggestions to the types of questions that may appear in an exam paper.
Antibodies are produced by white blood cells to bind with antigens on the surface of pathogens. Scientists have designed monoclonal antibodies for various uses. Describe some of these uses. [6 marks]
Describe the effects of specific virus infections of a plant and an animal. Give the names of the viruses in your answer. [6 marks]
Part 1 - plant
Part 2 - animal
Doctors are now prescribing fewer antibiotics to reduce the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Describe the process of evolution of antibiotic bacteria. [6 marks]
Describe how the classification of viruses, bacteria and fungi is different. [4 marks]