Aims of this Episode:

  • Explain how to draw a professional graph,
  • Explain how to draw a line of best fit,
  • Explain how to use a graph to answer questions,
  • Understand methods for using equations in exams,
  • Understand how to use command words in exams.

Graph Drawing Checklist:

  1. Draw the axes with a pencil and ruler,
  2. Label the axes in this format – Name (units) or Name / units
  3. Mark out the values on each axis in equal intervals (for example, 1, 2, 3… rather than 1, 5, 12…)
  4. PlotĀ  the points with a SMALL dot or cross,
  5. Sit back and try to see if the data shows a straight line or curve,
  6. (If you’ve been asked to) draw a line of best fit.

If you need to use a graph to answer a question, identify some evidence on your graph and quote this in your written answer. Remember to PEE on your work! (Point, Evidence, Explanation)

Equation Question Checklist:

  1. Highlight the information in the question that you need (basically highlight all the numbers);
  2. Write down the equation (without the numbers in it) that you think you should use,
  3. You might want to rearrange the equation now if needed or wait until you’ve put the numbers in,
  4. Put the correct numbers into the equation,
  5. Calculate the answer and write it clearly.

There’s no easy way to memorize equations, but the best thing to do is test yourself little and often. Start as far ahead of the exam as possible. Write the equations on flashcards and test yourself. Do this everyday or a couple of times each day – to begin with it’ll be pretty depressing because you’ll get most of them wrong, but if you stick at it you’ll know them all.

Don’t forget to keep using practice questions to help prepare for how you’ll use the equations that you’ve memorized.

Here’s a great link to help understand what each command words means.

S@S 026: Exam Skills (GCSE Science)
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