Testing an understanding of parallel circuits(Activity)

Diagnostic questions on parallel circuits

What the activity is for

The diagnostic questions can be used to check the pupils' understanding of key ideas introduced in this episode.

What the activity is for

  • printed copies of these questions

  • Support sheet

    What happens during this activity

    The questions might be used for homework or as the basis for discussion in class.

    The Same circuit? question is designed to probe pupils' ability to recognise equivalent ways of drawing a circuit with two parallel branches.

    In fact, all of the circuit diagrams are correct representations.

    The Identical resistors question probes understanding about the relative sizes of the electric current at different points in a parallel circuit.


  • The current at c is the same size as the current at b.
  • The current at d is the same size as the current at b.
  • The current at a is bigger than the current at b.
  • The current at e is the same size as the current at a.
  • EndList

    The Ammeter readings question probes whether pupils can apply their understanding of electric current to a parallel circuit.

    Circuit a: A1 is 0.3 ampere Circuit b: A1 is 0.5 ampere; A3 is 0.3 ampere.

    Prepare for teaching across the topic using these links

    topic kitset topic path core ideas (topic) decisions to make (topic) suggestions (for the topic) topic issues

    This is a nugget in the TA thread – connect all three threads from any link

    Physics Narrative (PN) Teaching & Learning Issues(TL) Teaching Approaches(TA)


    SPT and IoP Logo