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GCSE ISAs

 

You only need to do ONE good ISA in each science during the course, although here at Skinners' we do two, so your 'best one counts'. If you miss one through illness, it can not be repeated - you will need to wait until the next one.

The ISA you submit will be worth 25% of your final GCSE mark so it's worth getting as good a mark as possible. To do this, here are some useful tips:

bulletIt sounds obvious, but few bother to do this...READ THE HSW SECTION OF YOUR TEXT BOOK!
bulletTABLE - fully ruled? Units just in the header? Correct number of dp after each number?
bulletGRAPHS - axes labelled? Units? full use of graph paper?
bulletBar Chart if independent variable is categoric;    Line Graph if it is continuous
bulletRELIABILITY - repeat 5 more times; or compare with other pupil results
bulletPRECISION - use an instrument ( eg thermometer) with smaller divisions
bulletACCURACY - how close to the 'true' value you are; depends on the two above!
bulletAVOID - vague words like 'amount'. Use 'volume', 'mass', 'concentration' etc
bulletUSE the supplied data to support answers eg calculate a % change

 

So what’s left to do??  

1. A planning lesson where your teacher sets the context of the practical

2. A practical lesson where you generate your own results and draw a table and graph

3. A written evaluation lesson where you write about your own investigation (part a), and analyse results from a hypothetical situation / student (part b).            

  EVALUATION.          There were definitely errors in your technique, no matter how well you thought it went.

The apparatus and materials you used, the accuracy of the results (how ‘close’ the repeats were to each other – so called ‘anomalous’ results feature here), and the validity of the results ( how much they ‘matched’ the prediction.)

So for all those errors you identify, you should be able to suggest improvements to this investigation (note the plurals!). This makes your result 'more reliable'.

 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW IS IN THE 'HSW' CHAPTER OF YOUR TEXT BOOK - MAKE SURE YOU READ IT!!

 

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