Can you spot the winning cyclist?
By Sarah Collins
08 Aug

Scientists are always asking questions, exploring the world around us to make sense of it. In the 11 plus you will be asked to think like a scientist and show a methodical approach to answering questions in order to work out and explain what is going on in various events and experiments.
Just as you have done in the previous blogs in this series, use the knowledge you have learned in school to help you understand the questions being asked. It is also important that you identify the variables in any experiment: both the independent variable (this is the factor that changes during the experiment) and the dependent variable (the factor you are measuring to get the result).
Always read the questions carefully, drawing charts or graphs if that helps you to interpret the information you are given and pedal through the problems to get ahead of the field!

Work out whether one of these children has the skills and stamina to be the overall winner in this race-day challenge ...

Judith, Floyd and Nathan have decided to race each other in a series of conditions to see which of the three of them is the ‘champion’ cyclist. They have each devised a challenge for the day and set out full of confidence.
Judith has a new bike so thinks she is bound to win a head-to-head race if they all pedal at the same speed:

  • Judith’s bike has 30 cogs on the gear wheel attached to the pedals and 10 on the one attached to the back wheel.

  • Floyds bike has 60 cogs on the gear wheel attached to the pedals and 30 on the one attached to the back wheel.

  • Nathan’s has 25 cogs on the gear wheel attached to the pedals and five on the one attached to the back wheel.

Q1.  Assuming all other factors are the same, who is first, second and third after a 30-metre race?

After the results of the first challenge, Nathan decides to borrow his two brothers’ bikes (identical to his own) to make the race fairer. Nathan’s challenge is on a hill as he thinks that will give him an advantage.  


  • Judith goes down the centre on the smoothest part of the road.

  • Floyd runs down the newest part of the road on the left-hand side that has been recently been re-graveled.

  • Nathan goes down the hill to right of Judith on the slightly worn surface.

Q2.  Assuming all other factors are the same and the children set off together, who is first to the bottom of the hill? Explain why you have chosen your answer.

Floyd sets the final challenge and explains that they will all take it in turns to use the same bike to which he has fitted a cycle computer. They will cycle a 500 metre flat stretch of deserted road, checking the speed of the bike as they hit the 500-metre finish line. The winner will be the person travelling the fastest at this 500 metre point. They all think this is a fair test because they can check it independently on the computer.
Here are the results of their race with the results on the finishing line missing. (The children all continued 100 metres past the finishing line to make sure they were not slowing down at the end.)































Q3)  Plot these results on a graph and then complete the table to work out who wins Floyd’s challenge. Assume no factors, other than the children’s fitness, will affect the results.

Q4) Is there a winner of the race day challenge or is it a draw? If you think there is a winner, who is it?


We'll be revealing the answers to our winning cyclist questions next Wednesday. 
If you've got the answers, why not let us know on Twitter @galore_park, Instagram @galore_park or Facebook @galore1park.

In the meantime, if you need a little science help, take a look at our Science Revision Guide for 11 plus and pre-tests. Covering all the key content for pre-tests and 11 plus independent school entrance exams, this vital revision guide will ensure confidence in every topic with end-of-chapter tests and a comprehensive progress record.
Buy now for only £12.99

We also sell an 11+ Science Revision Pack 
which will take your child step-by-step through their science revision - consolidating knowledge, teaching children how to apply this knowledge in questions, and finally building confidence and exam technique.


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