OCR AS Physics

Revision Notes

1.1.4 Investigative Approaches & Methods

Investigative Approaches & Methods

  • Practical skills are a crucial part of science education
    • These require investigative approaches and methods to succeed
  • Some of the key skills that demonstrate proficiency in practical work are as follows:
    • Using a range of apparatus / instruments including some ICT, such as a datalogger, an app, or a computer
    • Using apparatus / instruments with confidence and reasonable accuracy
    • Carrying out steps in a practical in the correct order
    • Recording readings whilst still observing the apparatus
    • Being able to ‘fine‐tune’ the apparatus / technique in order to obtain a suitable range of readings
    • Appreciating the importance of independent, dependent and control variables
    • Considering factors that may affect the experiment, so need to be controlled e.g. by using a water bath; or solutions of the same concentration
    • Planning to measure a variable affecting the experiment, such as room temperature, before and after the readings are taken and noting whether it has changed

Exam Tip

Evidence for how you apply investigative approaches and methods to your practical work may come from written work, such as a planning exercise so make sure you keep a well organised practical workbook!

Keep in mind, however, this may be ascertained in other ways such as by teachers asking you about control of variable during practical lessons

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