GCSE Science/Coursework marking system

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[This page is of historical use only now, as the GCSE Science has changed - it no longer uses the POAE criteria.]

Each piece of coursework is split into four strands, of which three (Planning, Obtaining and Analysing) are worth 8 marks, and one (Evaluation) is worth 6 marks. In the event of a school prescribing more than one piece of coursework for a subject, the overall coursework mark will the be the sum of the highest marks in each strand. For example, if one obtained the marks 8 7 6 5 and 7 4 7 3, the overall mark would be 8 7 7 5, giving a total of 27 marks.

The coursework marking is the same for all the subjects – even if you are doing Dual Award science, you will still have to do at least three pieces of coursework.

As with all coursework, you will be required to fill in a sheet stating what help you received. The information in this section is merely a description of the marking scheme, and as such does not need to be included. However, if you use any of the rest of this book, you will need to acknowledge it as you would do with other textbook (see How do I cite a Wikibooks module in a paper).

N.B. The information describes the AQA coursework system. Although it is likely to be the same for other exam boards, check if you will be taking an exam from another exam board. Specifically, AQA's marking scheme is hierarchical – the lower marks need to be obtained before the higher ones are. This may not apply to other boards. The mark descriptions are taken verbatim from the AQA documents, and their use is contended to be fair use.

Planning (P)[edit]

You will have to perform a preliminary and produce a plan before you carry out the actual investigation. The plan is expected to use the results of the preliminary to suggest a possible experiment that can be carried out. This will typically involve a recommendation of which factor should be altered, what should be measured, and what range of results should be taken. It is important to make a prediction here, as it is needed for marks in the Analysis.

You should also make reference to safety and how your experiment will be fair, talk about the variables involved, your independent variable (the one you have chosen to investigate) and dependent variable (the factor you will be recording). These come in very helpful and pick up a few more marks.

Obtaining Evidence (O)[edit]

This strand is marked on how you perform while performing the experiment itself. You will be marked on both how you perform during the experiment and your results table, which must be handed in.

In the unlikely event of no results being obtained from the Obtaining, your teacher will issue you with a set of results to use for the Analysis and Evaluation. You will, however, receive no or few marks on this section if you do not take your own results.

Mark Descriptions[edit]

2 marks
O.2a collect some evidence using a simple and safe procedure
4 marks
O.4a collect appropriate evidence which is adequate for the activity
O.4b record the evidence
6 marks
O.6a collect sufficient systematic and accurate evidence and repeat or check where appropriate
O.6b record clearly and accurately the evidence collected
8 marks
O.8a use a procedure with precision and skill to obtain and record an appropriate range of reliable evidence

Analysing and considering evidence (A)[edit]

The analysis is intended as the longest section of the coursework, because it involves processing the data collected from the Obtaining Evidence section of the mark scheme. Graphs are notablly important here, as is a conclusion, which is required to sum up the data which has been processed.


Mark Descriptions

2 marks

A.2a state simply what is shown by the evidence

4 marks

A.4a use simple diagrams, charts or graphs as a basis for explaining the evidence

A.4b identify trends and patterns in the evidence

6 marks

A.6a construct and use suitable diagrams, charts, graphs (with lines of best fit, where appropriate), or use numerical methods, to process evidence for a conclusion


A.6b draw a conclusion consistent with the evidence and explain it using scientific knowledge and understanding


9-16 marks mention a naseebo lal song and analyse it refering to its social historical and vulgar context

finally for 17-20 marks mention the laws of naseebo mujra

A.8a use detailed scientific knowledge and understanding to explain a valid conclusion drawn from processed evidence

A.8b explain the extent to which the conclusion supports the prediction, if one has been made

Evaluating (E)[edit]

The Evaluation consists of identifying any anomalous data, and suggesting possible improvements to the experiment.

Mark Descriptions[edit]

2 marks
E.2a make a relevant comment about the procedure used or the evidence obtained
4 marks
E.4a comment on the quality of the evidence, identifying any anomalies
E.4b comment on the suitability of the procedure and, where appropriate, suggest changes to improve it
6 marks
E.6a consider critically the reliability of the evidence and whether it is sufficient to support the conclusion, accounting for any anomalies
E.6b describe, in detail, further work to provide additional relevant evidence