




Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System
2012, High School Intro Physics
Question 12: OpenResponse 

Reporting Category: Electromagnetism Standard: 5.3  Analyze simple arrangements of electrical components in both series and parallel circuits. Recognize symbols and understand the functions of common circuit elements (battery, connecting wire, switch, fuse, resistance) in a schematic diagram.

The diagram below shows an incomplete parallel circuit and the components that will complete the circuit.  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.
 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. Determine the resistance of the light bulb. Show your calculations or explain your reasoning. Include units in your answer.
 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.
Score  Description 
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: March 17, 2017


