This APU report for teachers focuses on the performance of students aged 15 in a range of test questions concerning metals. This subject was chosen since metals are the commonest examples of elements which students meet in their everyday lives. Questions reported were drawn from the pool used in APU surveys, supplemented by others specially written for this study. The first section reports ways in which students classified substances as metals. Later sections deal with everyday aspects of metals, some common laboratory reactions and properties, and more abstract areas including electronic structure and electro-chemical behaviour.

Contents
Preface
1. Introduction
2. Identification and properties of metals, non-metals and alloys
3. Everyday aspects of metals
4. Simple laboratory properties of metals
5. More advanced theoretical ideas
6. Summary
7. Discussion
Appendix 1: List of references
Appendix 2: List of related APU science publications

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