AQA Biology GCSE Exam Asking Students Why Boiled Carrots Don’t Decrease In Mass Sparks Confusion


Students taking the AQA biology GCSE were pretty confused by a question that appeared on their exam paper.

The subject of carrots wasn’t something the pupils had come across before in their science lessons, so the question asking why carrots don’t increase in mass when they’re boiled, threw a lot of them.

Within hours after the exam finished at 4pm on Tuesday 15 May, many teens started tweeting about how puzzled they were by the question, with some adding that this was not in their revision guide.

So would you know the answer?

i’m still sat here trying to work out why the carrot decreased in weight??

— hannah is not ia (@jetblackashton) May 15, 2018

Me searching for the “boiled carrot” section in the revision guide

— Faye U (@faye_ush) May 15, 2018

Anyone want some 0.6 sugar solution carrot soup because I’m blending every single piece of that carrot to hear it scream as payback #aqacarrots#AQAbiology

— Emily Forrester (@EmiKat3) May 15, 2018

When you’ve been doing osmosis with potatoes for two years and aqa decides to throw some carrots in there #AQAbiology#gcses2018

— Kitty B (@kittydb12) May 15, 2018

i worked out that the conc. of the carrot was 4.2 and the sugar water conc. was at 6?? so the concentration would’ve been higher in the water and as it moves from HIGH TO LOW it should’ve moved into the carrot and increased the mass??

— hannah is not ia (@jetblackashton) May 15, 2018

Hittin the

— Lewis Gadsb0i (@lewis210202) May 15, 2018

We asked Roberts Zivtins, a former science teacher and current PhD student, from Royston, Hertfordshire, why the question sparked so much confusion. “The question is asking why osmosis didn’t happen,” he explains to HuffPost UK. “It’s admittedly a hard question because it’s the opposite of what students might expect – it really tests students’ understanding of concepts rather than just rote learning of definitions and relying on one classic example.”

So what is the answer?

Zivtins explains: “Osmosis is the process by which water moves across a partially permeable cell membrane, either into or out of a cell. The water will diffuse from the region of low solute concentration (think weak squash) to high solute concentration (strong squash).

“The example of …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


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