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SAASTA National Science Olympiad Exam Biology Question Paper 2017

Name of the Organization : SAASTA – South African Agency for Science & Technology Advancement
Examination Name : National Science Olympiad Exam
Announcement : NSO Biology Exam Question Paper
Subject: Biology
Year : 2017
Type : Past Papers
Website :
Download Question Paper :

SAASTA National Science Olympiad Biology Question Paper

Date : 2 MARCH 2017
Time : 12:00 – 15:00
** Please read the instructions carefully before answering the questions

Related : SAASTA National Science Olympiad 2018 :

** Three hours are allowed to answer the questions
** The NRF|SAASTA Education Unit wishes you the best of luck


** This is a multiple choice paper. Please answer all the questions on the answer sheet provided. Each question is followed by answers marked A, B, C and D. Only one answer is correct. Choose the most correct answer and shade the corresponding circle on the answer sheet completely using an HB pencil.

** NB! The answer sheets are marked electronically – do NOT make any other dots or marks on the answer sheet. Select only one answer for each question or your answer will be discarded. Ensure that you shade your selection clearly.

** Note that the question numbers 1 – 100 on the answer sheet moves from top to bottom in several columns. Ensure that the number of your selection on the answer sheet corresponds with the number of the question in your examination paper. Should you make a mistake, please erase the incorrect answer completely.

** The use of non-programmable electronic calculators is permitted.

** To Avoid Disqualification – You are required to complete all the information requested on the answer sheet. Please complete the information in script as well as shade the corresponding blocks. If the corresponding blocks are NOT shaded appropriately, your results will be returned without a name and you will be disqualified.

** Do NOT fold the answer sheets.

Life Science Sample Question

1. When we investigate traits, what does it mean to say that a characteristic of a species is inheritable?
A. The trait will evolve.
B. The trait can be passed onto offspring.
C. The trait will be beneficial to the species.
D. The trait will not differ in the population.

2. Metabolic rate in animals:
A. can measured by taking their temperature.
B. is the measure and rate of oxygen consumption.
C. is the measure and rate of glucose. consumption.
D. is the measure and rate of waste.

3. Which of the following is NOT applicable to the process of Glycolysis
A. An anaerobic process.
B. Takes place in the cytoplasm.
C. Forms part of fermentation.
D. Progressed after the citric acid cycle.

4. Which of the following is NOT correct about fermentation?
A. Only two ATP molecules are formed.
B. Takes place in the cytoplasm.
C. Process starts with glucose.
D. NADH gives off electrons to electron transport chain.

5. Which of these interpretations describe the most favourable enzyme activity in the graphs above?

These enzymes:
A. works greatest at a temperature of 38.5°C and a pH of 9.
B. works greatest at a temperature of 38.5°C and a pH of 7
C. activity are not affected by changes in temperature and pH.
D. works greatest at a temperature range above 40°C and a pH range above 10.

6. Which of the following best escribes a cross between a man who is homozygous dominant for freckles but heterozygous for finger length and a woman who is recessive for both traits? (F = freckles, f = no freckles, S= short fingers, s = long fingers)
A. FfSs X FfSs
B. FFSs X ffSs
C. Fs X fs
D. FFSs X ffss

7. Which of the following is NOT an example of a lipid?
A. Phospholipids
B. Steroid
C. Polysaccharide
D. Saturated fats

8. Which of the following is NOT a pathway of energy transformation?
A. A nail drops, changing potential energy into kinetic energy.
B. The sun’s rays shines onto a prism and splits into different wavelengths.
C. The glycolytic pathway is an energy flowing pathway in most prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
D. The human body converts chemical energy into mechanical energy in order to move around.

9. In a muscular tissue system, all three types of muscles share:
A. walls that are striated.
B. have voluntary control.
C. the ability to contract.
D. involuntary control.

10. Homeostasis:
A. is important to life .
B. is a state of internal balance.
C. keeps the maintenance of the internal. conditions of the body.
D. is all of the above.

11. Which of these combinations of statements is NOT correct?
A. Controls decisions, emotions and character = cerebrum
B. Controls motor and sensory centres = Thalamus
C. Controls body temperature and hormone release = hypothalamus
D. Controls movement and balance = cerebellum

12. Which of these system(s) take control when you read your favourite book on a sofa?
A. Sympathetic
B. Parasympathetic
C. Neither take control
D. Both take control

13. The electrochemical gradient in a neuron allows the movement of K+ across the cell membrane when it’s at rest. This gradient is created by:
A. lignand-gated K+ channels.
B. voltage-gated K+ channels.
C. Na+/K+-ATPase.
D. voltage-gated Na+/ K+ channels.

14. The annual tree rings are the:
A. middle nodes in a stump.
B. rows of vascular bundles in a monocot stump.
C. rows of xylem in a woody stump.
D. phloem rows in a woody stump.

Questions 15 to 18 refer to the sequence of a mRNA codon, which is UAC :
15. Which of these would be the corresponding anti-codon on a tRNA?

16. During translation, complimentary codons and anti-codons are held together by:
A. phosphodiester bonds.
B. petide bonds.
C. ester bonds.
D. hydrogen bonds.

17. The corresponding DNA sequence to the mRNA codon above would be?

18. Which of the following assists with protein synthesis during translation?
A. lysosomes.
B. ribosomes.
C. enzymes.
D. vesicles.

19. Absorption of most nutrients occur in the:
A. oesophagus.
B. colon.
C. small intestine.
D. stomach.

20. The part of a leaf where photosynthesis takes place, is the:
A. epidermis.
B. mesophyll.
C. epidermal layer.
D. stomata cells.

21. Light rays enter the human eye through the:
A. sclera, cornea, choroid, lens, cornea.
B. pupil, fovea centralis, aqueous humour, lens.
C. cornea, pupil, lens, vitreous humour, retina
D. retina, sclera, choroid, humours.

22. The function of the nephron in the kidney is controlled by the inhibition of antidiuretic hormones (ADH). Its presence:
A. increases water permeability of the descending limb of the loop of Henle.
B. decreases water permeability of the descending limb of the loop of Henle.
C. increases water permeability of the collecting duct system.
D. decreases water permeability of the collecting duct system.

23. In an animal population, individuals have repeated reproductive episodes. This population can live a long time, but the population experiences severe weather conditions and crashes. Which of the following can explain the type of selection of this population?
A. A combination of both k-selection and r-selection
B. K-selection only
C. R-selection only
D. Altruistic

24. In a single-loop circulatory pathway, blood in the gills of fish is oxygenated. Which of the following explain what happens to blood after passing through gills?
A. Blood pressure remain stable throughout the system.
B. Blood pressure starts to drop and its flow begins to reduced.
C. The oxygen supply in blood is directly to the heart.
D. The oxygen supply in blood is separated from deoxygenated blood.

25. What can be expected regarding the development of a foetus during the second trimester of a mother’s pregnancy? The foetus in the mother’s uterus is experiencing:
A. eye’s opening.
B. bones that are fully develop.
C. heartbeats.
D. both A and B is correct.

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