This page is intended to help students plan their science GCSE investigations. It has been written to assist students following the London GCSE Syllabus, but can be used by others.


  1. What the Syllabus says
  2. What you should do
  3. Subheadings for your plan
  4. Check List

First of all what does the syllabus say about marking your plan?

Well, here it is:

Plan a safe procedure. 2a.

Plan a fair test or a practical procedure, making a prediction where appropriate. 4a.

Select appropriate equipment. 4b.

Use scientific knowledge and understanding to plan a procedure, to identify key factors to vary, control or take into account, and to make a prediction where appropriate. 6a.

Decide on a number and range of observations or measurements to be made. 6b.

Use scientific knowledge and understanding to plan an appropriate strategy, taking into account the need to produce precise and reliable evidence, and to justify a prediction where appropriate. 8a.

Use, where appropriate, relevant information from secondary sources or preliminary work. 8b.

The numbers at the end of each paragraph represent the level you will achieve if you have fulfilled the criterion given in the paragraph.

These guidelines show marks 2, 4, 6 & 8. If you have written enough to score 4 but not quite enough to get 6 you will end up with a level 5. Level 8 is the highest level which you can get.

Now for what you should do:

firstly sketch out what you already know;

  1. secondly, you might need to do some further research;
  2. thirdly write your plan;
  3. lastly check that you have met the marking criteria given above.

Your plan could have the following sections:

  1. Aim
  2. Information
  3. Hypothesis (prediction & explanation)
  4. Apparatus
  5. Safety
  6. Proposed Methods

Information about what to include under these sub-headings is on the main investigations page.

When you have written the first draft of you plan use the check list given below to ensure that you have included ALL everything:

  1. What the investigation is about.
  2. What you already know.
  3. That your test is going to be a fair test.
  4. How many measurements you are going to make.
  5. If you are going to repeat any measurements.
  6. What equipment you will need.
  7. How you will do the experiments.
  8. Your safety precautions = risk assessments.
  9. What you expect to find out (predictions).
  10. How your knowledge helped you make predictions.
  11. Described previous experiments.
  12. Given information obtained from other sources.