Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Testing an understanding of parallel 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 parallel circuits.

What to Prepare

  • printed copies of these questions (see below)

What Happens During this Activity

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

The Same circuit? question is designed to probe pupils' ability to recognise equivalent ways of drawing a circuit with two parallel branches.

In fact, all of the circuit diagrams are correct representations.

The Identical resistors question probes understanding about the relative sizes of the electric current at different points in a parallel circuit.

  • The current at c is the same size as the current at b.
  • The current at d is the same size as the current at b.
  • The current at a is bigger than the current at b.
  • The current at e is the same size as the current at a.

The Ammeter readings question probes whether pupils can apply their understanding of electric current to a parallel circuit.

Circuit a: A1 is 0.3 ampere Circuit b: A1 is 0.5 ampere; A3 is 0.3 ampere.

Resources

Download the support sheet / student worksheet for this activity.

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