Review your learners’ understanding of key ideas, words and phrases relating to chromatography

This resource features three different versions of a worksheet on chromatography: scaffolded, partially scaffolded and unscaffolded. Use the worksheets to identify learners’ knowledge gaps and misconceptions once you have taught this part of the curriculum. Find out more about how to use this resource or download the worksheets below.

  • Previews of the Review my learning: chromatography teacher guidance and scaffolded student sheets

    Download this

    Download the scaffolded, partially scaffolded and unscaffolded student worksheets.

    You will find model answers in the teacher guidance.

Curriculum topics

These worksheets cover the following topics:

  • terms used to describe paper chromatography
  • preparing a chromatogram
  • interpreting a chromatogram
  • calculating Rf values
  • using Rf values
  • thin layer chromatography

Independent learning and metacognition

The ‘What do I understand?’ page is common to all worksheets. Learners are encouraged to develop independent learning skills and can use their reflection as a guide for revision. The feedback will also help you to identify areas where a whole class needs attention.

When to use

The worksheets can be used in a variety of ways:

  • To assess learners’ knowledge at the beginning or end of a period of teaching. Match the level of the worksheet to the support needs of the learners.
  • To assess knowledge during a period of teaching once learners have completed the relevant topic.
  • As part of revision.
  • As a refresher exercise for teachers or non-subject specialists.

There is also scope to increase the level of worksheet used as learners progress through their curriculum.


The teacher guidance provides model answers for all questions, plus guidance on learners’ common misconceptions. Learners can use the model answers to self- or peer assess. 

More resources

  • Investigate the separation of inks using the Paper chromatography practical video with full teacher and technician notes, student worksheets and PowerPoint slides to support and consolidate live practical work.
  • Master your teaching of paper chromatography with these five teacher-tested tips and build on learners’ prior knowledge from 11–14.
  • Read the Teaching science skills article on practical planning from Education in Chemistry and use the exam-style questions to practise spotting mistakes in experimental methods, including chromatography.
  • Try this class practical to carry out chromatography using dye from different coloured sweets. Includes scaffolded and unscaffolded student worksheets, teacher guidance (with answers), technician notes and classroom presentation.
  • Share What analytical chemists do with your classes and highlight how these scientists play essential roles in safeguarding public health and the environment by ensuring the highest possible quality and safety standards.