Unit 4 - Selecting Equipment
Always use the correct unit and the correct measuring device to ensure accuracy.

Unit 4 - Selecting Equipment

Selecting the correct equipment or choosing the right apparatus is an important part of any experiment and this GCSE Biology quiz will help you to do just that.

You should choose what apparatus you will use before an experiment, but you can change your mind and choose different equipment during your investigation if you feel it would be better. Choosing the most suitable apparatus is a very important skill in the design of investigations. Factors such as the accuracy of the equipment for measuring and appropriate sizes of glassware are very important considerations. A candidate who specifies a 'digital voltmeter with an accuracy of at least 0.1 volts' or 'a 25 ml pipette' demonstrates higher skill levels than someone who simply selects a voltmeter and pipette.

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You will be given credit for selecting appropriate equipment for an experiment, so even if you don't include the sizes, provided the equipment is appropriate, that's fine. The equipment list is usually written before the description of the method although you need to have decided on your method first.

An important consideration when selecting equipment for an experiment is safety. If you are going to be using corrosive chemicals (e.g. the Biuret test for proteins which involves sodium hydroxide) planning to use a test tube rather than a beaker would show that you understand the need for safety as this will reduce the likelihood of splashes. Additionally, you should always include safety goggles on your equipment list.

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  1. You want to do an experiment but the total volume of reactants is 100ml. Which is the most suitable vessel for putting your reactants into?
    You cannot use a test tube or boiling tube because the total volume exceeds their capacity. The two litre beaker is far too large
  2. This is used to separate insoluble solids from soluble materials.
    This needs to be in a filter funnel and should be clamped above the receiving vessel
  3. Accurate measuring equipment is essential, otherwise the results could be...
    More accurate equipment reduces systematic errors and improves precision, making results more reliable
  4. In order to measure the length of a line, we should use a ruler accurate to the nearest...
    Always use the correct unit and the correct measuring device to ensure accuracy
  5. Most accurate equipment for measuring the volume of a gas.
    An inverted measuring cylinder would do the job but is not as accurate
  6. Use this to accurately measure the volume of liquids.
    Pipettes and burettes are even more accurate ways of measuring the volume of liquids
  7. Name the equipment used in ecology for estimating populations.
    Usually this is a square wire frame with sides of 50 cm length
  8. For liquids, this needs to be on the graduated line.
    The meniscus is the surface of the liquid you are measuring. It is slightly curved at the edges and its lowest point must be lined up with the graduated line on your measuring equipment
  9. We use these to hold a flask in place.
    Always remember to include extra equipment for handling chemicals and equipment, including spatulas and glass rods
  10. If you were planning an experiment using a dangerous volatile substance, you must use this.
    Only one group at a time can use most fume cupboards

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