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TECHNIQUE

OF
ANSWERING SPM
CHEMISTRY

10/27/16

MISTAKES

normally made by students

I.Writing equations
II Describing colours
III Mistakes in drawing diagrams
IV Calculations
V Chemical Tests
VI Mistakes in experiment-based
questions
VII Incomplete/Inaccurate statements or
phrases.
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(I)Writing Equations
1. Equation not balanced
Eg: Na + O2 Na2O
2. Cannot differentiate between
Ionic equations : Zn + 2H+ Zn2+ + H2
Half equations : 2H+ + 2e H2
Zn Zn2+ + 2e
Chemical equations (complete equations)
2HCl + Zn ZnCl2 + H2
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Writing Equations
3. Do not write WORD EQUATIONS

4. Do not use symbol or formulae in


answering structured and essay questions.
(except for ions or in diagrams)
5. Wrong half -equation.
Eg: 4OH- - 4e O2 + 2H2O

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(II)Describing Colours
1. Not able to state the colour of
of chemical/reagent
accurately or correctly
2. Describing water or solution
which is colourless ,as clear

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Describing Colours
3. Fail to mention the initial colour when
there is a colour change
Eg: A pink coloured solution is produced

Correct: The colourless solution turns pink.

4. Change in colour of bromine water


Eg(1): bromine water is bleached

Correct: Brown bromine water is


decolourised
eg(2): Copper is formed at the cathode
Correct: A brown deposit is formed at the

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cathode

(III)Mistakes
in drawing diagrams
1.

Drawing the stopper below the mouth level of the test


tube. Eg
WRONG

Diagram A
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CORRECT

Diagram B
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2. No Heat beside the arrow


CORRECT

WRONG
No Heat label
Crucible
Crucible

Heat

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3. Gas passed through and excess gas must be


allowed to escape
WRONG
No gas outlet

Heat

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CORRECT

Heat

4. To represent solution drawing dash lines


WRONG

CORRECT

No indication of solution

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5. Drawing a battery in the circuit of a chemical cell


WRONG

CORRECT

Symbol for battery given in the diagram

Copper(II) sulphate
solution
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Copper(II) sulphate
solution
11

6. Certain apparatus not supported.Eg Burettes not


attached to clamp/retort or test/combustion tubes
floating while being heated
WRONG

CORRECT
Boiling Tube

Boiling Tube

Lead(II)
Carbonate

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Heat

Lead(II)
Carbonate

Heat

Lime water

12

Lime water

WRONG
7. Diagram not labelled

CORRECT
Excess
copper(II) oxide

Filter Paper

Filter funnel

Filterate
(Copper(II) sulphate
solution)
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13

WRONG

CORRECT

8.Wire gauge
should not be used

Clay
pipe
triangle

Wire
gauge

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Heat

Program Intervensi PPSMI 2007

Heat

14

WRONG

CORRECT

9.Delivery tube not


inserted inside lime water

Heat
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Lime water

Heat

Lime water
15

WRONG

CORRECT

Direction of water flow


is not correct

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WRONG

CORRECT
e

Copper(II) sulphate
solution

Copper(II) sulphate
solution

Direction of electron flow


shown is not right
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WRONG
Thistle funnel

Dilute
hydrocloric acid

Thistle funnel must be


immersed in solution
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CORRECT
Thistle funnel

Dilute
Hydrocloric acid

18

WRONG

CORRECT

All electron shells must be shown

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(IV)Calculations
1.

Steps not shown

6.62 g of lead(II) nitrate is dissolved in 500 cm3 of


distilled water. Calculate the concentration of the
solution formed.
Incorrect: Concentration = 0.04 mol dm-3
Correct : Relative formula mass of lead(II) nitrate,Pb(NO3)2
= 207 + 2(14 + 48)
= 331
Number of mole of lead(II) nitrate
= 6.62/331 =0.02
Concentration = 0.02/0.5 = 0.04 mol dm-3
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(IV)Calculations
2. 1/Time (Rate of reaction) should be given to 3
decimal place.
3. Units not shown or wrong unit given
Contoh:
wrong
H = a kJ mol -1
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correct
H = +/- a kJ mol -1
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(V)Chemical Tests

1. Add sodium hydroxide into a test tube


to test for Fe2+ ions.
2. Correct : Add sodium hydroxide
solution into a test tube until excess.
Green precipitate which cannot
dissolve in excess is formed.

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2. Incomplete method of testing for a gas.


Suggest a test for the gas given off when sodium
nitrate is heated
Incorrect Answer : Test with a glowing splinter
Incorrect Answer: Insert a glowing splinter into
the test tube containing the gas
Correct Answer : Insert a glowing splinter into
the test tube containing the gas.The gas
relights/rekindles the glowing splinter.
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(VI)Mistakes in experiment-based
questions
1. Leaving out the key action
words/phrase:
Add something to something else
Stir evenly
Mix together more than two
substances
Heat gently/warm
Heat strongly
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2. Not stating the quantities used


For solutions a certain volume(based
on apparatus used) and molarity(0.1
2.0 mol dm-3) should be mention
For change in temperature, a certain
range/increase/decrease in
temperature should be mentioned
For solids a certain mass should be
mentioned, or whether it should be
used in excess
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3. Describing an observation
Eg : Hydrogen gas is released
Correct : Effervescence or
gas bubbles released
4. Drawing graphs:
The axes not labelled and/or units not
mention
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5. Electrochemical Series confused


with Reactivity Series
Eg.Zinc can displace copper from copper(II)
sulphate solution because zinc is higher
than copper in the Reactivity Series(should
be Electrochemical Series)

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6. Not stating the state/size of substance


eg. Not stating aqueus potasium iodide or
potassium iodide solution
Not stating magnesium powder where
size of reactant matters

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7.Not knowing the meaning of compare


and contrast (differentiate)
Compare: find the similarities and
differences between 2 or more things
Contrast : to find only the differences
between 2 things

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7(b) Eg : Not knowing the meaning of


compare and contrast:
Ques: Compare the properties of ionic and
covalent compound
Students Ans: ionic compounds have high
boiling point/melting point, can dissolve in
water and conduct electricity in molten or
aqueous form.
(No mention about covalent compound)
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Incomplete/Inaccurrate
statement/phrases
1.Sodium donates electron.
Correct :One sodium atom donates one electron

2.Stable electron arrangement


Correct: Stable octet arrangement of electrons

3.Rate of reaction described as fast or slow


Correct:Fast reaction high rate
Slow reaction low rate
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4.Rate of reaction getting slower


Correct : Rate of reaction decreases
5.The smaller the size of substance
the bigger the surface area
Correct :

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The smaller the size of the


substance the bigger is the
total surface area.
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6.An ionic compound can conduct


electricity
Correct: An ionic compound can
conduct electricity in the molten
state/aqueous solution

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7.Relative atomic mass of an element is the


number of times an atom of an element is
heavier than hydrogen.
Correct : Relative atomic mass of an element is

the number of times an atom of an element is


heavier than one atom of hydrogen.

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8. A Hydrocarbon is a
compound that contains
carbon and hydrogen.
Correct : A Hydrocarbon is a

compound that contains carbon and


hydrogen only.

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9. A base is a substance that


contains oxide/hydroxide ions
Correct : A base is a substance
that produces hydroxide ions when
dissolved in water
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10. An acid is a substance that


contains hydrogen ions.
Correct : An acid is a substance
that produces hydrogen
ions when dissolved in
water.
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11. Calsium is situated in Period IV


Correct : Calsium is situated in
Period 4

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12. A chloride ion has three electron


shells
Correct : A chloride ion has
three shells filled with
electrons.
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13. When the temperature is increased,


the number of collisions also
increases
Correct : When the temperature is

increased, the number of collisions


between the named particles also
increases
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14. The oxidation nombor of


Fe 2+ ion changes/
increase
Correct : The oxidation

nombor of iron in Fe 2+ ion


changes/ increase from +2 to +3

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15. A polystyrene cup is used to


prevent heat loss.
Correct : A polystyrene cup is
used to reduce
heat loss.
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16. Attractive forces between molecules are


small /lower/higher
Correct Ans : Attractive forces between
molecules are weak / strong
17. Copper attracted to to the cathode
Correct Ans :Copper ions attracted to to
the cathode
18. The ions in the electrolyte can move
Correct Ans :The ions in the electrolyte
can move freely
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Thank
You

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