Science open-ended questions are the Achilles’ heel for many Primary school students. Here’s one tip that may help you.
“What is the purpose of the item?”
This is a common question. It could be camouflaged as examiners may ask using different wordings. You must recognise that they are asking for the purpose.
Instead of answering the question and describing purpose of the item, many students make the mistake of explaining what happens without the item.
In a layman example: why must we eat?
Answer: To get energy and survive
Wrong answer: Else we will die. (This doesn’t explain why we should eat.)
More examples related to Science
There is a hot wheels track with a loop. Why must the starting position of the car be higher than the highest point in the loop?
Wrong answer: If you don’t do that, the car will not have enough potential energy to be able to pass through the loop.
Correct answer: The car will have sufficient potential energy to pass through the loop.
A circuit needs to be placed outdoors, where it is exposed to the rain. The circuit is housed in a waterproof box. Explain the purpose of the waterproof box.
Wrong answer: If the rain touches the circuit, it will spoil.
Correct answer: The box prevents the rain from touching the circuit so it does not spoil.
In general – try to phrase the answer so it directly answers the question.
When the question is “what is the purpose of X”, write down the start as “The purpose of X is …” This prompts you to answer the question directly.
If you find this tip useful, we have more of such tip in our signature
How to tackle Science open-ended questions holiday class (P5-P6)
June 19 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
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