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Flashcards in General terms and advice for exam papers Deck (33)
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1

Define the term 'repeatable' and explain how to make a procedure/method repeateable

  • If the experiment is carried out by the same person using the same method and equipment the same results are obtained

 

Hint: don’t say if it is “repeated” by a person use the expression ‘carried out’

How to make the method repeatable

  • To ensure the method is repeatable the steps within the procedure must clearly state:
    • Time periods: acclimatising, between readings etc 
    • Volumes used
    • Concentrations of solutions
    • Temperature(s) 
    • Sizes: lengths/masses etc
    • Use of any buffers

2

Define the term 'reproducible' and explain how to make the procedure/method reproducible

Definition

  • If the experiment is carried out by a different person and/or a using a different method and/or using different equipment the same results are obtained
  • To ensure the method is reproducible the steps within the procedure must clearly state:

How to make the method reproducible

Include the following details in the method

  • Specify exact time periods for acclimatising, between readings etc
  • Specify exact volumes used
  • Specify exact concentrations of solutions
  • Specify exact temperature(s)
  • Sepcify exact sizes: lengths/masses etc
  • State that you will use buffers

3

Define the term 'reliabilty'

  • reliability is used to describe the overall consistency of a measure.
  • a data set has a high reliability if similar results were produced under consistent conditions
  • i.e. if the SD is small then the data is described as reliable
  • a small SD means there is a little spread of the data about the mean
  • hence the larger the SD the less reliable the data is

4

Define the term 'validity'

  • this assesses if the results answer the original question
  • to ensure an investigation is valid all the key variables must be controlled
  • e.g.
    • for any enzyme controlled process: pH, temp, [E], [S]
    • for any human physiology investigation: age, gender, BMI, smoking/non-smoking, PAL

5

Explain why pH must be controlled when investigating any reaction that involves enzymes

If pH is not maintained:

the enzyme will denature therefore the rate of reaction will decrease (or fall to zero)

6

Explain why temperature must be controlled when investigating any reaction that involves enzymes

If temperature increases:

  • increase in temperature leads to increase in kinetic energy
  • This will increase the number of successful collisions
  • This will mean more enzyme substrate complexes will be formed
  • Which will increase rate of reaction

If temperature decreases:

  • decrease in temperature leads to decrease in kinetic energy
  • This will decrease the number of successful collisions
  • This will mean less enzyme substrate complexes will be formed
  • Which will decrease rate of reaction

7

Explain why the substrate concentration must be controlled when investigating any reaction that involves enzymes

If the substrate concentration increases:

  • An increase substrate concentration will increase the number of molecules present
  • This will increase the number of successful collisions
  • This will mean more enzyme substrate complexes will be formed
  • Which will increase rate of reaction

If the substrate concentration decreases:

  • An decrease substrate concentration will decrese the number of molecules present
  • This will decrease the number of successful collisions
  • This will mean less enzyme substrate complexes will be formed
  • Which will decrease rate of reaction

8

Explain why the enzyme concentration must be controlled when investigating any reaction that involves enzymes

If the enzyme concentration increases:

  • An increase senzyme concentration will increase the number of molecules present
  • There will be an increased number of active sites available
  • This will increase the number of successful collisions
  • This will mean more enzyme substrate complexes will be formed
  • Which will increase rate of reaction

If the enzyme concentration decreases:

  • An decrease enzyme concentration will decrese the number of molecules present
  • There will be a reduced number of active sites available
  • This will decrease the number of successful collisions
  • This will mean less enzyme substrate complexes will be formed
  • Which will decrease rate of reaction

9

Define the term 'accuracy'

  • If the data is accurate then it is close to the true value
  • Some techniques are inherently less accurate:
    • counting bubbles (as bubble size can vary) → instead collect the volume of gas in a gas syringe or a upturned graduated measuring cylinder (or graduated pipette depending on the total volume of gas to be collected)
    • colour changes (as subjective) → instead use a colour standard comparator or a colorimeter which is zero referenced

10

Define the term 'precision'

  • Precision is how close these data, measurements or results are to each other, working as a measure of the spread of data from the mean
  • To increase precision the spread about the mean must be reduced
  • i.e. reduce any random errors within the procedure

11

Define the term 'fair test'

  • All variables other than the IV are kept constant
  • A fair test is one in which only the independent variable has been allowed to affect the dependent variable

12

Define the term 'control test'

 

Hint: this is NOT the same as a fair test

  • only the IV is changed
  • all other factors remain constant
  • acts as a negative control
  • i.e. this “proves” that it is the changes in the IV that cause the changes in the DV
  • run the experiment in the same conditions but replace the IV with an alternative that is not expected to generate results e.g.
    • respirometers: replace respiring organism with glass beads or dried seeds
    • enzyme controlled processes: replace enzyme with boiled enzyme or distilled water

13

When carrying out any investigation, state and explain how many replicates you should consider

State:

  • Always carry out at least 3 replicates at each value of the IV

Hint: state the actual number don’t just say “do repeats” or “repeat” – you must quantify it

Explanation:

  • Replicates reduce the effect of random errors
  • This increases precision of the data
  • Also shows the data is repeatable
  • And hence it is more likely to be reproducible
  • Good practice is to use all 3 pieces of data when calculating a mean – this is because with only 3 pieces of data you can’t be certain that one piece of data is anomalous

 Remember: replicates do not affect validity

14

Define an anomalous result

These are values in a set of results which are judged not to be part of the variation caused by random uncertainty

15

Define the term 'evidence'

Data which has been shown to be valid

16

Define the term 'hypothesis'

A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations

17

Define the term 'prediction'

A prediction is a statement suggesting what will happen in the future, based on observation, experience or a hypothesis

18

Define the term 'limitation'

  • A design fault
  • An action that affects every run of the entire investigation (i.e. equally affects every replicate)
  • Do not list human errors here
  • Consider resolution of the measuring apparatus
  • Have all variables been appropriately controlled
  • Have all solutions been acclimatised to the correct temperature before mixing etc

19

Define the term 'resolution' when referring to a piece of apparatus'

  • This is the smallest change in the quantity being measured (input) of a measuring instrument that gives a perceptible change in the reading.
  • E.g. Ruler: resolution is 0.5mm

20

Define the term 'resolution' in microscopy

The ability to distinguish between 2 specific points

21

Define an 'error'

  • These are one off human mistakes!
  • Only affect that one replicate and run e.g.
    • failure to start or stop timer appropriately
    • parallax error in reading the meniscus, using the incorrect named solution e.g. named enzyme/ inhibitor/ substrate solution
    • failing to tare the top pan balance between reading
    • using an incorrect volume of a named solution

22

Define a 'measurement error'

The difference between a measured value and the true value

23

Define a 'random error'

  • These cause readings to be spread about the true value, due to results varying in an unpredictable way from one measurement to the next
  • Random errors are present when any measurement is made, and cannot be corrected
  • The effect of random errors can be reduced by making more measurements and calculating a new mean

24

Define a 'systematic error'

  • These cause readings to differ from the true value by a consistent amount each time a measurement is made
  • Sources of systematic error can include the environment, methods of observation or instruments used
  • Systematic errors cannot be dealt with by simple repeats
  • If a systematic error is suspected, the data collection should be repeated using a different technique or a different set of equipment, and the results compared

25

Define a 'zero error'

  • Any indication that a measuring system gives a false reading when the true value of a measured quantity is zero, e.g. the needle on an ammeter failing to return to zero when no current flows
  • A zero error may result in a systematic uncertainty

26

Define the term 'uncertainty'

  • The interval within which the true value can be expected to lie, with a given level of confidence or probability
  • E.g. 'the temperature is 20 °C ± 2 °C, at a level of confidence of 95%'

27

Define a 'categoric variable'

Categoric variables have values that are labels, e.g. names of plants or types of material

28

Define a 'continuous variable'

  • Continuous variables can have values (called a quantity) that can be given a magnitude either by counting (as in the case of the number of shrimp) or by measurement e.g. light intensity, flow rate etc)

Previously known as discrete variable

29

Define a 'control variable'

Control variable is one which may affect the outcome of the investigation and therefore has to be kept constant or at least monitored

30

Define a 'dependent variable'

Dependent variable is the variable of which the value is measured for each and every change in the independent variable

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