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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2011, High School Technology/Engineering

  Question 23: Open-Response  
A battery, a variable resistor, and a light bulb are shown in the circuit below.
Circuit schematic with a 6 V battery, variable resistor, and light bulb.
  1. Explain the function of the battery in the circuit.
  2. Describe what will happen to the light bulb if the variable resistor is set at 0Ω.
  3. If the variable resistor is set at 18Ω, calculate the current in the circuit. Assume the resistance of the light bulb is 12Ω. Show your calculations and include units in your answer.
  4. Describe what will most likely happen to the light bulb if the variable resistor’s resistance is increased. Explain your answer.

Scoring Guide and Sample Student Work
Select a score point in the table below to view the sample student response.

ScoreDescription
4 Response demonstrates a thorough understanding of the components of a circuit. Response correctly explains the function of the battery, describes the light bulb when the variable resistor is set at 0Ω, correctly calculates the current in the circuit, and correctly describes and explains what will happen to the light bulb if the resistance is increased.
4
3
Response demonstrates a general understanding of the components of a circuit.
2
Response demonstrates a limited understanding of the components of a circuit.
1
Response demonstrates a minimal understanding of the components of a circuit.
0
Response is incorrect or contains some correct work that is irrelevant to the skill or concept being measured.

Note: There are 2 sample student responses for Score Point 4.

In 2011, the Department did not release any questions from the high school Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests.
This was done in order to support the future development of tests in these subjects.

Return to the MCAS 2011 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: December 2, 2010
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