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Learner Guide

Improve KS3 Chemistry Questions

Acids, Alkalis and Chemical Reactions


Chemical Equations


  1. In a chemical equation, reactants will interact to form _______.
    1. Mixtures
    2. Products
    3. More reactants
    4. Catalyst
    5. Water


  1. The compounds created will always have very similar properties to the reactants.
    1. True
    2. False


  1. The catalyst is another reactant.
    1. True
    2. False


  1. You must always have the same number of atoms on each side of the equation.
    1. True
    2. False


  1. Where in the chemical equation is the catalyst written?
    1. On the left
    2. On the right
    3. On top of the arrow
    4. Below the arrow
    5. The catalyst is never written


  1. What is conservation of mass?
In a reaction, no new atoms will be created and none of the atoms will be lost – this is conservation of mass.


  1. What is the difference between a word equation and a balanced equation?
A word equation only has the name of the compounds in the equation,but a balanced equation has the chemical symbols and the numbers of the atoms.


8. What does diatomic mean?

Diatomic means that the atoms of a single element like to travel in pairs ,like oxygen or chlorine.


9. What is the role of a catalyst?

A catalyst is used in order to speed up a reaction but it isn’t actually partof the reaction.


  1. What will happen in a chemical reaction?
In a chemical reaction, two or more compounds/elements will interact and changethe arrangement of their atoms to create new compounds.



  1. Balance the following equations (The chemical symbols are correct, you just need to balance) :









Introduction of Acids and Alkalis


  1. What do acids have a high concentration of?
    1. Hydroxide ions
    2. Hydrogen ions
    3. Hydrogen atoms
    4. Water
    5. Chlorine


  1. All acids and alkalis are dangerous
    1. True
    2. False


  1. What roles do alkalis play in our daily lives?
    1. Seasoning food
    2. Cleaning products
    3. Perfume
    4. Petrol


  1. Which of these naturally contains acid?
    1. Sugar
    2. Flour
    3. Apples
    4. Water
    5. Wood


  1. Which of these is NOT a property of an alkali?
    1. Bitter taste
    2. Fruity smell
    3. pH of more than 7
    4. Turn Litmus paper blue
    5. Slippery/soapy feel


  1. What is an alkali?
An alkali is a base which has been dissolved into a liquid.


  1. Give three examples of common alkali
          Ammonia                                            (could be more answers than this)Sodium hydroxideMagnesium hydroxide

Sodium bicarbonate

Barium hydroxide


  1. Give three examples of common acids
         Hydrochloric(stomach) acid                         (could be more answers than this)Citric acid (accept lemon juice)Carbonic acid

Ethanoic acid (accept vinegar)

Sulphuric acid

Phosphoric acid



  1. What does         UUUUUUUUU           mean?
This symbol means that the substance is toxic.


  1. How should a corrosive substance be handled?
When handling a corrosive substance, safety goggles should be worn toprotect the eyes and gloves to protect the hands.


The pH Scale


  1. What would 13 represent on the pH scale?
    1. Acid
    2. Alkali
    3. Neutral
    4. There’s no 13 on the pH scale


  1. What number would represent a neutral substance?
    1. 1
    2. 4
    3. 7
    4. 10
    5. 12


  1. Which of these is NOT a form of Universal Indicator?
    1. Paper strip
    2. Gas
    3. Liquid


  1. Which of these is the most alkaline?
    1. Bicarbonate of soda – pH 10
    2. Water – pH 7
    3. Sodium hydroxide – pH 12
    4. Vinegar – pH 4


  1. How does Litmus paper work?
A sample of the solution will be dropped onto the Litmus paper and thepaper will either turn red or purple depending on it is acidic or basic. Ifthe Litmus paper is made wet, it can measure the pH of gasses.


  1. Why is it important to know if something is strongly acidic or alkaline?
Strong acids and alkalis can be very reactive and cause chemical burns so itis important to know in order to handle with care.


  1. What does the pH scale measure?
The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is.


8.Lemon juice is a weak acid. Approximately where on the pH scale would it be found?


Any answer given between 3 and 6 will be fine


9. How is Universal Indicator different to Litmus paper?


Universal indicator gives a numerical value of how acidic/alkaline something

is. Litmus paper only tells you whether it is acidic or alkaline.


Neutralisation Reactions


  1. What is a neutralisation reaction?

A reaction when an acid and a base interact to form a neutral product.


  1. What type of base, when reacting with an acid, has carbon dioxide as a product as well?
    1. Metal oxide
    2. Metal hydroxide
    3. Metal carbonate
    4. Sodium hydroxide


    3. What are the products of a neutralisation reaction with a metal oxide and an acid?



  1. What causes indigestion?
    1. Too little stomach acid
    2. Too much stomach acid
    3. Too much pizza
    4. Too much water
    5. Too little carbohydrates


  1. What conditions are needed in order to make a fully neutral product?
The acid and the alkali must be present in the same amount andconcentration; otherwise there will be an imbalance.


  1. Why is quicklime added to soil?
Quicklime is added to soil which is too acidic to neutralise it. Many plantsand bacteria cannot flourish in acidic conditions.


  1. Write the word equation for a reaction between:



  1. What is the difference between a bee sting and a wasp sting?
A bee sting has acidic venom; therefore it must be treated with an alkali –calamine lotion. However, a wasp sting is alkali; therefore it must be treatedwith a weak acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice.


Types of Chemical Reactions


9. What are the products in a metal-acid reaction?

  1. Salt + Water
  2. Salt + Carbon dioxide
  3. Salt + Hydrogen
  4. Hydrogen + Water
  5. Hydrogen + Carbon dioxide


10. What is thermal decomposition?

  1. Creating something using heat energy
  2. Creating something using light energy
  3. Breaking something down using heat energy
  4. Breaking something down using light energy
  5. Creating something by adding a liquid


  1. What happens if we run carbon dioxide through lime water?
    1. It turns blue
    2. There’s a foul smell
    3. Bubbles are produced
    4. It goes milky
    5. There’s a flame


  1. What are the three things a fire needs to be maintained?
    1. Fuel, Oxygen, Heat
    2. Fuel, Oxygen, Water
    3. Oxygen, Water, Heat
    4. Fuel, Heat, Carbon dioxide
    5. Carbon dioxide, Heat, Oxygen


  1. What is combustion?
    1. Melting
    2. Burning
    3. Boiling
    4. Evaporation
    5. Acid-base reactions


  1. What is the difference between an exothermic reaction and an endothermic reaction?
An exothermic reaction is a reaction which gives out energy and anendothermic reaction will take in energy.


  1. How do you test for hydrogen?
Placing a lit splint in the test tube where the hydrogen has been produced.There should be a ‘squeaky pop’ sound.



  1. Why do we have to test for gasses immediately?
If we wait too long to test for the gas, it will escape and the test will be negative.


  1. What is different in a decomposition reaction than other reactions?
A decomposition reaction only has one reactant but two or more products.


  1. What is incomplete combustion and what are its products?
Incomplete combustion is a combustion reaction in which there isn’t enoughoxygen. The products will be carbon monoxide and water or carbon and water.


Atoms, Elements and Materials


Atoms, Elements, Compounds & Mixtures


  1. Everything in the world is made up of ______.
    1. Mixtures
    2. Atoms
    3. Compounds
    4. Water
    5. Chlorine


  1. All atoms are the same.
    1. True
    2. False


  1. Compounds are made up of two or more_____________.
    1. Mixtures
    2. Metals
    3. Elements
    4. Helium atoms
    5. Acids


  1. All elements have a chemical symbol of one or two letters
    1. True
    2. False


  1. Carbon dioxide has one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. The                                                                         chemical symbol for carbon is C and for oxygen, it is O. Is the chemical                                                                       for chemical formula for carbon dioxide C2O?
    1. Yes
    2. No


  1. How is a compound different to a mixture?


         Compounds have chemical bondsMixtures are easier to separate


  1. What is a mixture?
A mixture contain two or more substances (elements or compounds) thatare not chemically bonded together.


  1. Ammonia is made up of nitrogen and hydrogen. There are three                                                                         nitrogen atoms for every hydrogen atom. Use your periodic table                                                                                  to look up the chemical symbols for nitrogen and hydrogen and write
  2. the chemical formula here.




  1. What are two ways of separating a mixture?
Filtration, Evaporation, Distillation, Boiling


  1. How is a compound made up?
Two or more elements are chemically bonded together.



Creating and Separating Mixtures


What is a mixture?


A mixture contains several different substances that are not chemicallybonded together


When dissolving a solid, what is the one property that the solid must have?


The solid must be soluble


Give an example of dissolving


Stirring salt/sugar into water etc. (accept any sensible answer)


What is given the name ‘solvent’?


The name of solvent is given to the liquid that the solid is being dissolved into


What is the name of the end product of dissolving?

  1. Solute
  2. Solvent
  3. Solution
  4. Solvention


Why can solids not undergo diffusion?

Their particles are unable to move so they cannot spread out by movingpast each other


Air is a mixture. Name three substances that it contains.


          NitrogenOxygenCarbon dioxide


Water vapour


During evaporation, what is the name of the container that holds of the liquid?

  1. Evaporation beaker
  2. Bunsen burner
  3. Boiling beaker
  4. Evaporation basin
  5. Boiling basin


What happens in the condensation tube during simple distillation?


The cold water in the condensation tube makes the gas condense on the insideof the tube. It is then able to be collected in a second beaker.


In what circumstances would we use filtration?


We would use filtration when trying to separate an insoluble solid from a liquid


What is the filtrate?

  1. The mixture being filtered
  2. The solid that is collected in the filter paper
  3. The liquid that is collected in the beaker


In chromatography, what determines how quickly the dyes will separate?


How well they are able dissolve in the solvent


If a pure paint undergoes paper chromatography, how many spots would

be seen on the paper?

  1. 0
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4


Solids, Liquids and Gasses


  1. Which state of matter has a definite shape?
    1. Solid
    2. Liquid
    3. Gas
    4. None of them


  1. Which state of matter will take the shape of the container it is put in?
    1. Solid
    2. Liquid
    3. Gas
    4. None of them


  1. The particles in a liquid are unable to move.
    1. True
    2. False


  1. What is the name of the process of moving from a gas to a liquid?
    1. Evaporation
    2. Melting
    3. Condensation
    4. Freezing


  1. Which is the most stable state of matter?
    1. Solid
    2. Liquid
    3. Gas
    4. They are all equally stable


  1. If we change the state of matter, the number of particles will remain the same
    1. True
    2. False


7. Explain why solid particles are unable to move.

There are very strong bonds between particles which is why they cannot move.


  1. Why can a gas be compressed, while solids and liquids cannot?
Solids and liquids do not have much space between the particles but gassesdo. This means that air can be squashed out from between gas particles.


  1. What creates pressure in a container of gas?
Pressure is created by how often the particles of a gas are hitting the sidesof a container.


10. What happens, in terms of energy, when a substance changes from a solid to a liquid?

Energy will be gained because the substance is becoming less stable


11. If I were to heat a container of gas with a Bunsen burner, what effect would                                                                              this have on the particles inside?

The particles would all be moving faster because of the raised temperature.


  1. If I was to melt something, then evaporate it, what state of matter did it                                                                 begin as, and what did it end as?
It began as a solid and ended as a gas.


The Periodic Table


  1. The periodic table was created by Albert Einstein.
    1. True
    2. False


  1. How are the elements in the periodic table ordered?
    1. By their mass
    2. By colours
    3. By their atomic numbers
    4. By whether or not they dissolve in water


  1. A row in the periodic table is called a __________.
    1. Group
    2. Assembly
    3. Period
    4. Line
    5. Row


  1. The area in the middle of the periodic table is referred to as ‘the Transition Metals’.
    1. True
    2. False


  1. Group 1 is referred to as the _____________.
    1. Acidic Metals
    2. Noble Metals
    3. Alkali Compounds
    4. Alkali Metals
    5. Acidic Compounds


  1. What similar properties do the elements in Group 1 have?
          Silver colourSlippery textureReactive with air and moisture


Can be cut with a knife


  1. What trends are seen in different groups across the periodic table?
Reactivity, Melting & Boiling points & Densities increasing or decreasing


  1. What other division does the periodic table show?
There is a natural division of metals and non-metals.


  1. Why was it clever to leave blanks when the periodic table was originally created?
It left spaces for elements that hadn’t been discovered and allowed scientists topredict their qualities, making them easier to find.


  1. Name three elements found in row 4 of the periodic table?
Potassium, Calcium, Scandium, Titanium, Vanadium, Chromium, Manganese,Iron, Cobalt, Nickel, Copper, Zinc, Gallium, Germanium, Arsenic, Selenium,Bromine, Krypton


Metals and Non-metals


  1. Which is a good conductor of heat and electricity?
    1. Metal
    2. Non-metal


  1. Which characteristically has a dull appearance?
    1. Metal
    2. Non-metal


  1. What will be formed when a metal reacts with oxygen?
    1. Basic hydroxide
    2. Acidic hydroxide
    3. Basic oxide
    4. Acidic oxide


  1. Which side of the periodic table are metals found on?
    1. Left
    2. Right


  1. If a basic oxide were to dissolve in water, what would be required to neutralise it?
    1. An alkaline solution
    2. An acidic solution
    3. Pure water
    4. It is already neutral


  1. How can a non-metal be made to react with oxygen?
By burning it in air


7. At room temperature, what state of matter do metals take? (name the exception to the rule)

Solid except for mercury



8. Name three uses of metals and why they are good in that role

          Jewellery ( Shiny appearance)Wires ( ductile/ conduct electricity)Cooking utensils (conduct heat)

Building equipment (strong)

(Accept any sensible answer)


9. Why would non-metals not make very good wires?

          They cannot conduct electricityThey are not ductile


10. What does sonorous mean?

Makes a high pitched sound when tapped


Polymers and Composites


  1. How is a polymer created? What is this process called?
A polymer is created by joining together lot of small molecules calledmonomers. This process is called polymerisation.


2. Why do all polymers not have the same properties?

The properties depend on the different monomers.


3. What characteristic allows monomers to join together?

Monomers have a double bond which ‘opens up’


4. Is it an advantage or a disadvantage that polymers are chemically unreactive?

        Advantage because it will last a long time without becoming damagedDisadvantage because it will not decompose so it is hard to dispose of /causinga littering problem.



  1. What is a composite material?
A composite material is made up of two or more different materialswhich have different qualities.



6. Why are composite materials useful?

You can take advantage of the best qualities of each material.


  1. Give three examples of composite materials.
          Brick                                                         window framesFibreglass doors                                   outdoor deckingLaptops                                                                    F1 racing structures

Building materials


Medical scanners

Airplanes construction


Environmental Chemistry


The Earth


  1. What order do the four layers of the Earth go in, starting from the outside inwards?
    1. Crust, outer core, mantle, inner core
    2. Outer core, crust, mantle, inner core
    3. Crust, mantle, outer core, inner core
    4. Crust, outer core, inner core, mantle


  1. Which is the thickest layer of the Earth?
    1. Outer core
    2. Inner core
    3. Crust
    4. Mantle


  1. Where is the crust thickest?
    1. Under glaciers
    2. Under land
    3. Under oceans
    4. Under deserts


  1. How deep is furthest that scientists have been able to study?
    1. 1 mile
    2. 7 miles
    3. 70 miles
    4. 700 miles


  1. Which gas is the most abundant in the atmosphere?
    1. Argon
    2. Carbon dioxide
    3. Nitrogen
    4. Oxygen


  1. What is ozone and what does it do?
Ozone is a special type of oxygen and it provides protection from the radiation of the Sun.


  1. What is the most important role of the atmosphere?
The atmosphere absorbs heat from the sun and is able to keep it in sothat the Earth remains at a temperature that life can continue.


  1. How have scientists been able to theorise the makeup of the Earth?
They have studied seismic waves from earthquakes to study what materialsthey have passed through.


  1. What are the main components of the inner core?
Iron and nickel make up the inner core


  1. What is interesting about the properties the mantle has?
The mantle has all the properties of a solid but can flow like a liquid.


11. What is the Earth’s crust made up of?

The crust is made up of loose rocks


Fossil Fuels


  1. How is crude oil extracted?
    1. By building mines underground
    2. By building wells underground
    3. From inside volcanoes
    4. Drilling into glaciers


  1. What sustainable types of energy are being researched by scientists?
    1. Wave energy
    2. Solar energy
    3. Wind energy
    4. All of the above


  1. How was coal created?
    1. From the remains of dead marine organisms
    2. From the remains of dead land animals
    3. From the remains of dead trees and plants
    4. From the energy harnessed from the Sun


  1. Which of the following is a property of natural gas?
    1. Colourless
    2. Has a foul smell
    3. Is a liquid at room temperature
    4. Formed from the remains of trees


  1. What is the purpose of solar panels?
    1. Makes the house look more modern
    2. Extracts energy when rain falls
    3. Harnessing energy from the Sun
    4. Uses up energy from surrounding houses


  1. Give three examples of what we use the energy from fossil fuels for?
Electricity (accept answers such as TV, lights, washing machine etc)HeatingRunning cars/planes/boats






7. What is the effect of burning so many fossil fuels?

We are putting more carbon into the atmosphere than we are taking outand this imbalance is leading to global warming.





8 . What are the fossil fuels made up of?

The fossil fuels are made up of the remains of dead plants and animalsfrom millions of years ago.




9. How can we detect a leak in natural gas?


Once the natural gas has been collected, another chemical is added to it.This chemical gives off a very foul smell, so if there is a leak, you can easily smell it.



  1. What does ‘finite’ mean?
‘Finite’ means that eventually they will run out.


11. How is energy in coal converted into electricity?

The coal is burnt and the heat from that is used to heat up water. The water willrelease steam and the steam will turn a turbine which produces the electricity



  1. What does ‘sustainable’ mean and why are fossil fuels not sustainable?
Sustainable means that they would be able to be replaced quickly. Fossilfuels take millions of years to create so they cannot be sustainable.


Climate Change


  1. ‘We need the Greenhouse Effect in order to live on Earth.’
    1. True
    2. False


  1. What has enhanced the Greenhouse Effect in recent years?
    1. Wasting water
    2. Burning fossil fuels
    3. Littering
    4. Too much gardening


  1. Which is the main gas that is contributing to the enhanced Greenhouse Effect?
    1. Nitrogen
    2. Carbon Dioxide
    3. Oxygen
    4. Water Vapour


  1. Which quality do trees have that helps them to balance the Greenhouse Effect?
    1. They produce oxygen
    2. They take in carbon dioxide
    3. They make their own food
    4. They are unable to move


  1. Where can extra CO2 in the atmosphere become absorbed?
    1. Desert
    2. Urban cities
    3. Oceans
    4. Coastal cliffs


6. What exactly happens in the Greenhouse Effect?


The Greenhouse Effect is caused the presence of the atmosphere, layer ofgasses which surround the Earth. They allow rays from the Sun to travel in,but very few of these rays can leave the atmosphere. This maintains stable

temperatures that we are able to live in.



7. What possible effects could be caused by the melting of the polar ice caps?


          Sea levels will rise, leading to risk of flooding in certain parts of the worldDestruction of habitatsExtinction of animals that live there.


8. How could climate change potentially cause a food shortage in some parts of the world?

Climate change is causing a change in both temperature and rainfall patterns.This may mean that certain crops will not grow in areas that they have beengrowing for centuries.


9. How could deforestation contribute to the Greenhouse Effect?

Trees usually take in CO2. By cutting trees down, there are fewer places forCO2 to be absorbed so it remains in the atmosphere, contributing to theGreenhouse Effect.


  1. ‘With climate change, there is a higher risk of flooding all over the world.’
  2. Is this true? Why/Why not?
This is partly true. With the change in rainfall patterns and the rising sea levels,there is a higher risk of flooding in some parts of the world. However, in otherparts of the world, the changes in rainfalls could mean that there could be a risk

of drought.




  1. What is another name for igneous rock?
    1. Magma rock
    2. Volcanic rock
    3. Cooling rock
    4. Lava rock


  1. What happens if the magma cools before reaching the surface?
    1. The volcano will become blocked
    2. Sedimentary rock is formed
    3. Another type of igneous rock is formed
    4. The magma never cools before reaching the surface


  1. What are sedimentary rocks made up of?
    1. Small pieces of igneous rock
    2. Bones of small animals
    3. Small pieces of metamorphic rock
    4. All of the above


  1. What kind of time scale should be applied to the process of forming sedimentary rock?
    1. Tens of years
    2. Hundreds of years
    3. Thousands of years
    4. Millions of years


  1. What conditions are required in order to make metamorphic rocks?
    1. Lots of water
    2. Intense heat and pressure
    3. No oxygen in the area
    4. Can only happen in Spring


  1. What is different in the crystal size of extrusive and intrusive igneous rock?
Extrusive igneous rocks will have smaller crystals than intrusive igneous rocks.


7. What is the difference between lava and magma?

Lava is the name given to magma once it has reached the surface of the Earth.While it is underground, it is still called magma.


8. How are sedimentary rocks bonded together?

Sedimentary rocks are bonded through minerals and chemicals. Theycan be electrically bonded as well or can remain loose.


9. Why are fossils found in sedimentary rocks?

Fossils are found in sedimentary rocks because of small animals that mayhave died in the river/lake and their skeletons could have been preservedbetween the layers of rock.


  1. What causes the sediments to undergo compression?
Once the weights of the sediments at the top become too heavy, this will pressdown on the sediments at the bottom, cementing them together.


11. What kind of grain are sedimentary rocks made up of and why?


Sedimentary rocks have grains that are rounded and have no sharp edges.This is because the pieces of grain were eroded.


12. When sedimentary rocks are changed into metamorphic rock, why do the

fossils no longer remain?

The fossils are unable to withstand the high pressure and temperatureconditions that the rock goes through to become metamorphic.


The Rock Cycle


  1. Name the three types of rock
  1. What happens during weathering?
    1. Rock pieces are deposited on the river bed
    2. Little pieces of rock are broken off
    3. Pressure forces the rock pieces together
    4. The lava cools


  1. Which kind of rock may be pushed so deep underground that it could                                                                          melt into the magma?
    1. Igneous
    2. Sedimentary
    3. Metamorphic


  1. What is the name given to how the sedimentary rock or metamorphic rock                                                       becomes exposed on the surface of the crust?
    1. Transportation
    2. Uplift
    3. Erosion
    4. Compaction


  1. Parts of metamorphic rock can also be used to make up parts of sedimentary rock.
    1. True
    2. False


6. How is igneous rock formed?


Through the cooling of lava or magma


  1. What is the difference between extrusive and intrusive igneous rock?
Extrusive rock is made cooling lava on the surface of the Earth.Intrusive rock is made by cooling magma underground.


8. How can sedimentary rock be turned into metamorphic rock?


If sedimentary rock is pushed underground and undergoes intenseheat/pressure, it will turn into metamorphic rock.


A Growing Population


  1. Since the 1800s, approximately how much has the global population increased by?
    1. 600,000
    2. 6 million
    3. 60 million
    4. 6 billion
    5. 60 billion


  1. What causes global warming?
    1. Too many radiators
    2. The Sun is getting closer to Earth
    3. Burning too many fuels
    4. Body heat from the increasing population


  1. What is smog?
    1. A different name for asthma
    2. A build-up of fog and smoke that can be seen in cities
    3. Liquid pollution
    4. The land left behind after deforestation


  1. What effect can acid rain have?
    1. People will melt
    2. It kills fish
    3. It can make trees turn orange
    4. It can cause global warming


  1. Why is recycling good for the environment?
    1. It means there is less waste
    2. It provides jobs
    3. It reduces the risk of asthma
    4. There is less chance of flooding


  1. Why is a rapidly increasing population posing a problem?
There is increased competition for resources such as food, clean water, space.Also, we are producing more waste than ever and burning more fossil fuels etc.




  1. Why is deforestation a problem now, when humans have been
  2. cutting down trees for millions of years?
We are cutting down trees at a much faster and much larger rate now so itis no longer sustainable as the trees aren’t being replaced quickly enough.


  1. Why is asthma more common in big cities, compared to the countryside?
There is more air pollution in big cities and air pollution has been proven tobe a trigger of asthma.


  1. What happened when toxic waste from factories is dumped into rivers and lakes?
The chemicals can kill marine life or build up in the food chain, killing predators.If ingested, they could cause diseases or deformities. In severe cases, they couldeven kill. The chemicals remain in the water cycle and cause acid rain.


10. Give examples of three materials that can be recycled.






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