The Homi Bhabha Practical exam mainly tests 2 things:
1. The ability to perform experiments accurately
2. The ability to answer the given questions correctly
So naturally, you need to learn two skills:
1. How to be a good experimenter
2. How to write good and scientific answers
It is our experience that the evaluation happens more on the second ability than the first one. But as a good science student, you should prepare for the first one too! In fact, this ability is more important for your future science studies.
How to be a good experimenter?
- Be a doer:
Start doing experiments (using our science kit box or material at home and school.) You can do lots of experiments using kitchen items too. E.g. what happen when you squeeze a lemon into milk?
- Use our Free Practical Experiment Booklet for reference. Maintain a separate notebook for this (lab-book). Write each experiment on a new page.
- Accuracy and First-Time-Right Approach:
Pay attention to accuracy in measurements and correct readings. Follow the given instructions precisely. Plan your experiment first so that you get it right in the first attempt.
- Instrument handling:
Learn correct ways to handle instruments (e.g. spring balance, overflow vessel), least count of an instrument, zero error (Refer to MPracts for this)
- Develop Hand skills and practical skills:
Do some house work, make an omelette, make a simple circuit with light, fan, etc. (using our Electricity Kit or material in your house or school)
- Application of the theory learnt:
E.g. You must have studied about magnets. But if three pieces are given, can you find out which of them are magnets?
- Observation Skills:
Be a good observer. Look around with an observant eye. Do you know where the drinking water in your house comes from, how is the electric wiring circuit in your house?
- Awareness of things around you:
Observe the foodstuff and the things used at home with a scientific perspective. Learn about their specialities, classifications. Visit a nearby market to learn about food grains, vegetables, fruits, spices, medicinal plants, etc. Visit a nature park and learn about different species of plants, insects, etc.
How to write answers at the Homi Bhabha Practical Exam?
Writing correct and scientific answers is extremely important from an exam point of view.
- Pay attention to completeness, and accurate answers.
- Show your understanding: Write scientific terms in your answers.
E.g. Terms like ‘Neutralization’, ‘action-reaction principle’, a brief classification of the sample in case of biology, etc.
Write one or two extra words (e.g. If you have identified a sample as sweet potato, add that ‘it is a food storing root’. This will help the examiner judge your understanding of the subject.
- Units are a MUST. No units = zero marks.
- Answer ALL the given questions.
- Give a neat representation. Answers should be readable. Be kind to the examiner! He should be able to understand what you have written!
- Answer should be to-the-point. Scientific terms are more important than long elaborate answers. Underline the important scientific terms.
Even if you are good at essay-writing, do not write – “I took a glass test tube carefully in one hand and poured the liquid A into it with the other hand and then I added a small amount of liquid B and then I observed that the colour changed.”
Liquid A – pink.
Phenolphthalein is pink in base. So, A is basic.
Liquid A + Liquid B – Colourless.
Phenolphthalein turned colourless, that means A got neutralized. So B must be acid.
A sample experiment
Given: 10 coins, scale
Description: Using the given apparatus, find the thickness of one coin.
- What is the thickness of one coin?
- Explain how you found the answer.
- Will the accuracy of the answer increase if we use 50 coins?
- What is the least count of the given plastic scale?
- 1 mm = ______ cm
Doing the experiment correctly
Some students did this experiment by directly finding the thickness of a coin. But that does not give an accurate answer. The correct method is to hold the 10 coins together and measure the total thickness and then divide the answer by 10.
Also in one case, one of the coins had fallen down. As the student did not actually count the coins, he ended up measuring the thickness of 9 coins but divided the answer by 10. What do we learn from this mistake?
- Alertness and awareness is important.
- What to do if you find out that there are 9 coins? You may look around a bit to see if you find it. But if you can’t find it, do not waste too much time over it! You can simply measure the total thickness of 9 coins and divide the answer by 9.
- Thickness of 1 coin = 1.5 mm.
Thickness of 10 coins = 15 mm.
So, thickness of 1 coin = 15/10 = 1.5 mm.
Some students found the answers correctly but did not write the units. Such answers carry zero marks.
- Yes, the accuracy of the answer will increase if we use 50 coins. This is because the error in measurement will get divided over 50 coins. So, error per coin will reduce.
- Least count of the scale is 1 mm.
- 1 mm= 0.1 cm.
Our Tools for Homi Bhabha Practical Exam
We conduct 4 practical sessions of 3 hours each at Mahim. Students do more than 40 experiments in a learning-oriented manner. They also see a few demo experiments + many biology samples and learn how to write scientific answers. (Contact Rahul Ogale – 9892013836)
2. MPracts App:
We have a special app ‘MPracts’ for practical exam preparation. It gives step wise instructions on how to set-up and do the experiments at home.
Also has detailed explanations (with photos and videos) and model answers (very useful for both parents and students).
About MPracts apps for 6th and 9th Std Homi Bhabha Practical Exam
3. Science Kits:
We have designed 2 types of kits for young science lovers and experimenters.
1) Do and Discover Science Kit – for Physics and Chemistry Experiments
2) Learn with Fun Electricity Kit – For making electric circuits, games and working models.
These are very also useful for Homi Bhabha Practical Exam Preparation
For more information, contact:
Rahul Ogale – 9892013836
- MPracts: An App for Practical Exam Preparation
- Practical Exam Experiment Kits
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