Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Questions on loops: simple electric circuits

Diagnostic Questions for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

These diagnostic questions can be used to check pupils' understanding of simple electric circuits.

What to Prepare

  • paper copies of these three questions

Support sheet

What Happens During this Activity

The questions might be used for homework or as the basis for discussion in class.

The Electric current question probes the pupils' ideas about what is actually happening (unseen) inside the wires of the circuit. The best description of the electric current in the circuit is that there is an electric current in the wires connecting battery to bulb and the same current in the bulb and the battery.

The Electric charge question probes whether pupils think of charge as flowing out of the battery into an empty wire, or picture (correctly) the wire already full of charge that the battery sets in motion.

Answers: incorrect; correct; incorrect; incorrect; correct; correct.

The Charge and energy question probes the pupils' understanding of the difference between charge and energy. The question also serves to emphasise the importance of accurate use of the scientific terms involved.

Answers: incorrect; correct; incorrect; incorrect.


Download the support sheet/student worksheet for this activity.

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