Past Questions on Movement of Substances in and Out of Cells



1. If you place a few drops of food coloring in a glass full of water, eventually all the water is colored. This is due to the process of 
A. Diffusion              
B. Active transport     
C. Osmoregulation 
D. Osmosis

2. Cells are small so that
A. they require fewer nutrients
B. they reproduce rapidly
C. materials can easily diffuse throughout the cell
D. they can more readily become components of tissues

3. Which of these require an expenditure of energy?
A. Diffusion       
B. Osmosis   
C. facilitated transport    
D. none of these

4. An animal cell always takes in water when it is placed in a(n)
A. hypertonic solution
B. osmotic solution
C. isotonic solution
D. hypotonic solution 

5. A carrier is moving a substance from an area of greater concentration outside to an area of lower concentration inside the cell. Which of these is occurring?
A. vacuole formation 
B. diffusion      
C. active transport   
D. facilitated transport

6. The thyroid gland contains a higher concentration of iodine than the blood of the body. This is most likely due to
A. diffusion            
B. active transport      
C. facilitated diffusion  
D. endocytosis

7. Which of the following is not true of osmotic process?
A. there must be a selective permeable membrane
B. the two solutions must be of different concentration initial  
C. the two solutions are of equal concentration at the begin of the experiment
D. It involves only the movement of water molecules

8. Unlike diffusion, active transport is
A. is a fast process
B. takes place in both light and in dark
C. occur in both plants and animal tissues
D. allow movement of substance against concentration gradient

9. Turgor pressure is essential in herbaceous plants because it.
A. is responsible for water storage
B. keeps the cool
C. provides support for the plant
D. prevent attack by pests 

10. All the following are examples of living semi permeable membrane except
A. pig’s bladder       
B. yam            
C. goat’ bladder         
D. cellophane paper

11. If cell is placed in a solution that is hypertonic to its cytoplasm, the net movement of water will be 
A. Equally balanced in both directions across the cell 
B. From the surrounding solution into the cytoplasm 
C. From the cytoplasm into the surrounding solution
D. From the cytoplasm into the nucleus of the cell 

12. Mineral salts can be absorbed into the roots by
A. osmosis only
B. osmosis and diffusion
C. diffusion and active transport
D. imbibition only

Use the diagram below to answer question 13 and 14

13. After 30 minutes, the level of sugar solution in the above figure will
A. rise in x only         
B. rise in Y only
C. be the same in X and Y    
D. fall in Y

14. The process by which water moves from X to Y through the semi-permeable membrane is called
A. diffusion           
B. osmosis     
C. active diffusion        
D. osmoregulation

15. All living cells require water because it
A. is a small medium for all metabolic reactions
B. is a medium that neutralizes the acids in cells
C. is the main source of energy for the cell
D. prevents the development of diseases in cells

Use the diagram below to answer question 16 & 17

16. Yam is used in this set-up because it
A. is a permeable to the salt solution
B. is a plant material
C. acts as a storage organ
D. acts as a semi-permeable membrane

17. Which of the following results is to be expected if the set-up is left for several hours?
A. decrease in the size of the yam
B. movement of the salt solution into the water
C. decrease in the volume of water inside the yam
D. movement of water from the salt solution into the yam

18. A plant parenchyma cell also acts as a supporting tissue when it
A. becomes flaccid      
B. contains crystals  
C. becomes turgid   
D. is pigmented

Use the diagram below to answer question 19

19. What would happen if solution Y is more concentrated than solution X in the figure above?
A. the level of X would rise, Y would fall
B. the level of X would rise Y would rise
C. level of X and Y would stay the same
D. level of Y would rise and X would fall

20. Which of the following statement is correct about diffusion?
A. it involves movement of water molecules only
B. Molecules move from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration
C. differentially permeable membrane must be present for diffusion to occur
D. It involves when a solute can no longer dissolve in a solvent of only solute molecules into the Bowman's capsule 


1. A

6. B  

11. C

16. D

2. C   

7. C  

12. C

17. C

3. D  

8. D  

13. B

18. C

4. D   

9. C  

14. B

19. D

5.  C  

10. D  

15. A

20. B


1. (SSCE, 1994 Q1) Explain the following terms and give two factors that may affect each of them 
(i) Diffusion                    
(ii) Osmosis 
(iii) Active transport 

2. (SSCE, 1996) (a) Explain the following terms: 
(i) Diffusion          
(ii) Osmosis 
(iii) Plasmolysis  

(b) State four factors that affect the rate of diffusion 

3. (SSCE, 2001 Q1) (a) Explain each the following terms 
(i) Isotonic solution
(ii) Hypotonic solution          
(iii) Hypertonic solution

(b) Describe in detail what happened to plant cell placed in 
(i) Water          
(ii) hypertonic solution 

4. (WASSCE 2008 Q1) Describe the process that will take place if the epidermal cell of a plant is placed in 
(i) distilled water; 
(ii) a highly concentrated solution for a few hours
(b) State three importance of the process you have described in (a) to plants 

5. (WASSCE 2012 Q5) (c)(i) What is plasmolysis? 
(ii) How can plasmolysis be demonstrated in a laboratory using a filament of spirogyra?

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