The assessment objectives listed below reflect those parts of the aims that will be assessed in the
A Knowledge with understanding
Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in relation to:
1. scientific phenomena, facts, laws, definitions, concepts, theories
2. scientific vocabulary, terminology, conventions (including symbols, quantities and units)
3. scientific instruments and apparatus, including techniques of operation and aspects of safety
4. scientific quantities and their determination
5. scientific and technological applications with their social, economic and environmental implications.
The syllabus content defines the factual knowledge that candidates may be required to recall and explain.
Questions testing these objectives will often begin with one of the following words: define, state, describe or
explain. (See the glossary of terms)
B Handling, applying and evaluating information
Candidates should be able – in words or by using written, symbolic, graphical and numerical forms of
presentation – to:
1. locate, select, organise and present information from a variety of sources
2. translate information from one form to another
3. manipulate numerical and other data
4. use information to identify patterns, report trends, draw inferences and report conclusions
5. present reasoned explanations for phenomena, patterns and relationships
6. make predictions and put forward hypotheses
7. apply knowledge, including principles, to novel situations
8. evaluate information and hypotheses
9. demonstrate an awareness of the limitations of physical theories and models.
These assessment objectives cannot be precisely specified in the syllabus content because questions
testing such skills may be based on information that is unfamiliar to the candidate. In answering such
questions, candidates are required to use principles and concepts that are within the syllabus and apply
them in a logical, reasoned or deductive manner to a novel situation. Questions testing these objectives will
often begin with one of the following words: predict, suggest, deduce, calculate or determine. (See the
glossary of terms).
While candidates are not assessed on their practical skills, it is expected that they engage in practical work in
their routine lessons to support the learning of the subject and develop the necessary skills that are essential
in scientific exploration and investigation.