Collecting Evidence

This page is intended to help students doing experiments and writing their results section for their science GCSE investigations. It has been written to assist students following the London GCSE Syllabus, but can be used by others.


What the Syllabus says

What you should do

Sub-headings for your Method and Results

Check List

First of all what does the syllabus say? Here it is:

Use simple equipment safely to make some observations or measurements. 2a.

Make appropriate observations or measurements which are adequate for the activity. 4a.

Record the observations or measurements. 4b.

Make sufficient systematic and accurate observations or measurements and repeat them when appropriate. 6a.

Record clearly and accurately the observations or measurements. 6b.

Use equipment with precision and skill to obtain and record reliable evidence which involves an appropriate number and range of observations or measurements. 8a.

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 do the experiments with help from other students if necessary;

secondly, record ALL you results, make as many measurements as possible;

thirdly set your results out in neat tables

fourthly make graphs, pie charts or diagrams to show your results clearly;

lastly calculate totals and averages where appropriate.

Your methods and results section could have the following sections:

  1. Methods
  2. Tables of Results
  3. Graphs, Diagrams and//or Charts

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

When you are doing the experiments use the check list given below to ensure that you have included everything:

You know how to use the apparatus.

  1. You know which factors have to be controlled.
  2. That you have measured to controlled factors.
  3. Taken as many measurements as possible.
  4. Repeated measurements.
  5. Made your measurements as accurately as possible.
  6. Recorded your results clearly. Put the units in.
  7. Recorded any changes to the proposed methods.
  8. Used the appropriate safety precautions.