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  • Ottodot Singapore

Materials: Most Common Open-Ended Questions in Science Exam Papers

Updated: Jun 11

3 types of Open-Ended Questions

  • Stating Questions

  • Comparison Questions

  • Explanation Questions

Open-ended questions (OEQs) in science exams can be challenging, particularly when dealing with complex topics like materials. But fear not! By familiarizing yourself with the common types of OEQs and employing some smart strategies, you can handle them like a pro. Here’s a breakdown:



Type # 1 - Stating Questions


This type of questions requires students to recall and state key Science concepts.


You must:

  • Recall the correct Science concept

  • Use Science keywords

How can you identify such questions?

  • Look out for questions that use

  • terms like 'state', 'list', 'describe', 'which', 'suggest' and

  • phrases like 'state two ways/another way'

Thinking process

Ask yourself:

  • What is the concept involved here?

  • What keywords do I need to use?


Question 1

Thinking process

  • What is the concept involved here?

______________________________________________________________________


  • Answer

______________________________________________________________________


Question 2

Thinking process

  • What is the concept involved here?

______________________________________________________________________

  • Answer

______________________________________________________________________


Type # 2 - Comparison Questions


This type of questions requires students to contrast two different setups or

observations.


You must:

  • Structure answers to show the comparison between two setups or observations

  • E.g. ‘... less than/more than ...’ or ‘... is stronger than/weaker than...’


How can you identify such questions?

  • Look out for questions that use

  • Terms like 'than', 'compare' and

  • Phrases like 'what is the difference between ...'


Thinking process

Ask yourself:

  • What are you comparing here?

  • How are they different?

  • What is the concept that can explain this difference?


Question 1

Thinking process

  • What are you comparing here?

______________________________________________________________________

  • How are they different?

______________________________________________________________________

  • What is the concept that can explain this difference?

______________________________________________________________________

  • Answer

______________________________________________________________________

Question 2

Thinking process

  • What are you comparing here?

______________________________________________________________________

  • How are they different?

______________________________________________________________________

  • What is the concept that can explain this difference?

______________________________________________________________________

  • Answer

______________________________________________________________________


Question 3

Thinking process

  • What are you comparing here?

______________________________________________________________________

  • How are they different?

______________________________________________________________________

  • What is the concept that can explain this difference?

______________________________________________________________________

  • Answer

______________________________________________________________________



Type # 3 - Prediction Questions


This type of questions requires students to elaborate on the observation and explain using a Science concept.


You must:

  • Elaborate on the observation

  • Explain why it happens using a science concept

  • Use the right Science keywords


How can you identify such questions?

Look out for questions that use phrases like 'explain why', 'explain her observation',

'why do you think ...' or 'give a reason'


Thinking process

Ask yourself:

  • What do you observe in this question?

  • Why do you think this happens?

  • What are the science keywords that you should use?


Question 1

Thinking process

  • What would you observe based on the question?

______________________________________________________________________

  • What is a science concept that explains your answer?

______________________________________________________________________

  • What are the keywords that you should use?

______________________________________________________________________


  • Answer

______________________________________________________________________


Question 2

Thinking process

  • What would you observe based on the question?

______________________________________________________________________

  • What is a science concept that explains your answer?

______________________________________________________________________

  • What are the keywords that you should use?

______________________________________________________________________


  • Answer

______________________________________________________________________

Question 3

Answer: ______________________________________________________________________

Thinking process

  • What would you observe based on the question?

______________________________________________________________________

  • What is a science concept that explains your answer?

______________________________________________________________________

  • What are the keywords that you should use?

______________________________________________________________________


  • Answer

______________________________________________________________________

For open-ended questions in science exams, it is important that students approach them in a systematic manner. The ability to break down a complex question into steps and tackling them one by one would steer students towards mastery.

At Ottodot, we equip our students with the right techniques to master open-ended questions. We work with MOE teachers to build open-ended question games that scaffold the answering process and equip students.


Now, your child can reinforce their understanding of materials and other science topics through engaging and enjoyable activities, all from the comfort of home.


For a limited time, enroll in the First Class for just S$25 and unlock a world where learning meets excitement. Empower your child's scientific curiosity today with Ottodot!


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