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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2012, High School Intro Physics

  Question 12: Open-Response  
The diagram below shows an incomplete parallel circuit and the components that will complete the circuit.
An empty circuit is shown with a battery and two loops.  Below the empty circuit are the components to use in the circuit: a lightbulb, a resistor, and an ammeter.
  1. In your Student Answer Booklet, draw the parallel circuit using all the circuit components shown. Place the ammeter in the circuit so that it measures the total current of the circuit.
  2. Calculate the current flowing through the resistor. Show your calculations and include units in your answer.
When the circuit is operating, the ammeter measures a total current of 1.5 A.
  1. Determine the resistance of the light bulb. Show your calculations or explain your reasoning. Include units in your answer.
  2. Describe one change that would result if the light bulb and resistor were placed in series instead of in parallel.

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

ScoreDescription
4 The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of series and parallel circuits, and the relationships between current, voltage, and resistance. The response correctly draws the circuit using all the components. The response correctly calculates the current through the resistor and correctly determines the resistance of the light bulb. The response also correctly describes one change that would result in the circuit if the light bulb and resistor were placed in series instead of in parallel.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of series and parallel circuits, and the relationships between current, voltage, and resistance.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of series and parallel circuits, and the relationships between current, voltage, and resistance.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of series and parallel circuits, and the relationships between current, voltage, and resistance.
0 The 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.

High School Intro Physics

Question 12: Electromagnetism
Question 23: Motion and Forces
Question 32: Waves and Radiation
Question 44: Motion and Forces
Question 45: Heat and Heat Transfer

Return to the MCAS 2012 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: November 24, 2004
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