Try some Top of the Bench-style questions with these past papers and answers

For students planning to take part in the Top of the Bench competition, working through past papers can help them understand what to expect and develop their skills and confidence. Find all our Top of the Bench past papers here, including younger and older papers from 2016, 2019 and 2021 to 2023.

Each paper focuses on a core topic or theme, while also including some questions on general chemistry knowledge. Use the papers as a whole, or take the parts relevant to the topic you’re teaching.

## Browse and download by year and core topic

### 2024 | Water

#### Older paper

#### Younger paper

#### Practical challenge

This practical activity explores the chemistry of water and salt in solution. In the first part, students investigate how temperature affects the solubility of a substance in water, and see how this can be used to obtain salt from sea water. In the second part, they analyse a sample of salt containing an additive that may help to support public health.

### 2023 | Sustainable energy

#### Older paper

#### Younger paper

#### Practical challenge

In this practical activity students investigate alternative fuels for powering vehicles. In the first part of the activity students compare the energy per gram each fuel provides using calorimetry. In the second part, they complete a table of densities by determining the density of one of the fuels. The final part of the activity requires students to use the outcome of their investigations along with further data on the cost and origin of each fuel to decide on which fuel is the best.

### 2022 | Sustainable chemistry

#### Older paper

#### Younger paper

#### Practical challenge

This practical activity explores sustainable chemistry, alloys and recycling. In the first part, students investigate an alloy used to remove unwanted gases from vacuum tubes in old televisions and computer screens. The second part requires students to determine the mass of copper actually present in ‘copper’ 2p coins.

### 2021 | The periodic table

#### Older paper

#### Younger paper

### 2019 | Materials chemistry

#### Older paper

#### Younger paper

#### Practical challenge

This practical activity explores material chemistry and recycling. In the first part, students explore the types of plastic used to make a variety of everyday items ready for recycling. The second part requires students to identify the type of plastic used to make a biodegradable plastic cup.

### 2016 | Energy

#### Older paper

#### Younger paper

### Downloads

#### Top of the Bench National Final 2024 – older paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.67 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2024 – older paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.7 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2024 – youner paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.63 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2024 – younger paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.5 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2024 – practical challenge

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.7 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2023 - older paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.54 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2023 - older paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.57 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2023 - younger paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 1.05 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2023 - younger paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.87 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2023 - practical challenge

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.35 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2022 – older paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.64 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2022 – older paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.45 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2022 – younger paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.71 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2022 – younger paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.51 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2022 – practical challenge

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.37 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2021 – older paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.23 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2021 – older paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.29 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2021 – younger paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.44 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2021 – younger paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.55 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2019 – older paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.97 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2019 – older paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 1.04 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2019 – younger paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.28 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2019 – younger paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.29 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2019 – practical challenge

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.38 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2016 – older paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.22 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2016 – older paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.23 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2016 – younger paper questions

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.19 mb#### Top of the Bench National Final 2016 – younger paper answers

**Handout**| PDF, Size 0.2 mb

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