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IB DP 2025 Biology Questions

1.1 Water

Question 1

Which property of water is primarily responsible for its capability to act as a medium for the various biochemical reactions necessary for life?

A. Viscosity

B. Surface tension

C. Solvent properties

D. Thermal conductivity

Question 2

The significance of water's polarity in the formation of hydrogen bonds is best illustrated by its:

A. Ability to dissolve ionic compounds

B. High specific heat capacity

C. Cohesive and adhesive properties

D. Role in enzymatic reactions

Question 3

How does the molecular structure of water contribute to its high surface tension?

A. Ionic bonding between water molecules

B. Covalent bonding within water molecules

C. Hydrogen bonding between water molecules

D. Van der Waals interactions between water molecules

Question 4

In the context of metabolic reactions, water's role as a solvent is crucial for:

A. Facilitating the correct orientation of substrates and enzymes

B. Providing the energy required for reactions

C. Forming covalent bonds with substrates

D. Acting as a catalyst to speed up reactions

Question 5

Which physical property of water is most significant for buoyancy experienced by aquatic organisms?

A. Viscosity

B. Surface tension

C. Density

D. Thermal conductivity

Question 6

a) Explain the significance of water's polarity in relation to its role as a universal solvent. [3]

b) Discuss how water's high specific heat capacity is beneficial to aquatic life. [2]

Question 7

a) Describe the process of hydrogen bonding between water molecules and its impact on water's properties. [4]

b) Contrast the properties of water with the properties of air in the context of an organism's adaptation to its environment. [3]

Question 8

a) Analyse the role of water in metabolic reactions, specifically in hydrolysis and dehydration synthesis. [4]

b) Hypothesise why the search for extraterrestrial life often focuses on the search for water. [2]

Question 9

a) Elucidate the phenomenon of cohesion and adhesion in water. How do these properties facilitate the process of transpiration in plants? [4]

b) Water has a high latent heat of vaporisation. Explain the biological significance of this property, particularly in thermoregulation. [3]

c) Discuss the implications of water's solid state (ice) being less dense than its liquid state for aquatic ecosystems. [3]

Question 10

a) Describe the molecular structure of water and how this structure gives rise to hydrogen bonding. [3]

b) Explain how water's role as a solvent is vital to biological processes, particularly in relation to hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances. [4]

c) Hypothesise on the role of water in the search for extraterrestrial life, considering its unique properties. [3]

Question 11

In the context of extraterrestrial life search, the presence of water is considered significant primarily because:

A. It's a universal solvent

B. It's essential for all known forms of life

C. It has a high specific heat capacity

D. It facilitates covalent bonding

Question 12

The thermal conductivity of water is critical for aquatic organisms because it:

A. Increases the rate of metabolic reactions

B. Facilitates oxygen diffusion in water

C. Maintains a relatively stable temperature environment

D. Enhances the buoyancy of organisms

Question 13

Which hypothesis primarily concerns the extraplanetary origin of water on Earth?

A. Primordial soup hypothesis

B. Hydrothermal vent hypothesis

C. Cometary hypothesis

D. Deep-sea vent hypothesis

Question 14

Adhesion of water is fundamental for which of the following biological phenomena?

A. Capillary action in plants

B. Metabolic reactions in cells

C. Buoyancy in aquatic organisms

D. Thermal regulation in mammals

Question 15

Comparing the properties of water and air, which of the following is true regarding thermal conductivity?

A. Air has higher thermal conductivity than water

B. Water has higher thermal conductivity than air

C. Air and water have similar levels of thermal conductivity

D. Thermal conductivity is not a property of water

Question 16

a) Analyse the effects of water's high surface tension on living organisms, both in aquatic and terrestrial environments. [4]

b) Discuss the concept of capillary action in plants and the role of water's adhesive and cohesive properties in this phenomenon. [3]

c) Contrast water's buoyancy with that of air, explaining the adaptations seen in aquatic versus aerial organisms. [3]

Question 17

a) Explain the significance of water in enzymatic reactions and metabolism within living cells. [3]

b) Describe how the properties of water contribute to its role in temperature regulation in large bodies of water like lakes and oceans. [4]

c) Discuss the hypotheses regarding the extraterrestrial origin of water on Earth and its implications for the existence of life beyond our planet. [3]

Question 18

a) Discuss the structure of a water molecule and explain how its shape contributes to its polarity. [3]

b) Elaborate on how hydrogen bonding between water molecules gives rise to its high specific heat capacity. How does this property impact coastal climates? [4]

c) Describe the process of osmoregulation in marine fish, highlighting the role of water in maintaining homeostasis. [4]

d) Hypothesise how life on Earth would be affected if water did not have the property of being a universal solvent. [4]

Question 19

a) Explain the phenomenon of surface tension in water and discuss an example of a living organism that utilises this property. [3]

b) Analyse how water’s adhesive and cohesive forces contribute to the movement of water in plant xylem. [4]

c) Contrast the buoyancy and viscosity of water with that of air, and explain how these properties influence the adaptations of aquatic animals versus terrestrial animals. [4]

d) Considering water's role in biochemical reactions, discuss the potential consequences of dehydration at the cellular level. [4]

Question 20

a) Describe the significance of water's high latent heat of vaporisation in relation to human sweating and temperature regulation. [3]

b) Discuss how the properties of water support its role in photosynthesis, particularly in the photolysis of water. [4]

c) Explain the concept of water potential in plant cells and how it influences the movement of water in and out of the cell. [4]

d) Evaluate the hypothesis that life on Earth originated in water, providing reasons to support this theory. [4]

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