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Friday, April 02, 2010

[Science PMR] The Experiment Question

The last question in Paper 2 is usually question number 8, which carries 12 marks. This
question will be based on an experiment where you have to write down:

• Readings [Make sure the unit of measurement you use is correct]

• Variables
o Constant variable [This is the fixed variable]

o Manipulated variable [This is the factor that is changed in the experiment


to get the specific result. ie: Length of wire (cm)]

o Responding variable [This comes from the readings or the results of the
experiment. ie: Ammeter reading]

• Aim of experiment
o Example: To study/investigate the relationship between the manipulated
and the responding variable.

• Hypothesis
o This shows the relationship between the manipulated and the responding
variable.
o Writing format: "When the manipulated variable increases/decreases, the
responding variable will increase/decrease."

• Observation
o What can be observed or what you can see.

• Plot a line or bar chart

• Prediction
o This will be based on your graph, where you have to predict a reading for
the responding variable when given a value for the manipulated variable.
o Example of a question: From the graph, find out the value of T when the
mass is 10g.

• Inference
o This is the early conclusion based on your observations.
o Example: The change in the responding variable depends on the
manipulated variable.

• Conclusion
This is the same as the hypothesis.
Note: It is very important to get your manipulated variable and the responding variable
correct!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


[Science PMR] Exam Pointers I

A group of students carried out an experiment, using a spring and a set of slotted weights
as shown in the diagram below, to investigate the relationship between the length of the
spring and the weight.

Number of slotted weights Extension of spring / cm


1 10
2 20
3 30
4 40
5 50
Table 1

1. State the variables that are involved in the experiment


o Manipulated variable => Number of slotted weights.
Common error: Students only write "weights". You must write out the
answer in full.

o Responding variable => Extension of the spring.


Common error: Students only write "spring". You must write out the
answer in full.

o Constant variable => The type of slotted weight/type of spring.


Common error: "Retort stand" is not acceptable. The answer should be the
variable that when changed will affect the reading.

Tutor's comment: Look at the table 1, the first column is the manipulated variable
and the second column is the responding variable.

2. What is the aim of this experiment?


Answer: To investigate the relationship between the number of slotted weights
and the extension of the spring.

Tutor's comment: It is to investigate the relationship between the manipulated


variable and the responding variable.

3. What is the inference that you can make based on this experiment?
Answer: The extension of the spring depends on / is determined by the number of
slotted weights.

Tutor's comment: The changes in the responding variable depends on the changes
in the manipulated variable.

4. What is the relationship between the force applied to the spring and the
extension of the spring?
Answer: When the force applied to the spring increases, the extension of the
spring increases.

5. Based on the data, draw a graph to show the relationship between the length of the
spring and the number of slotted weights.
Tutor's comment: Use a pencil when drawing the graph. If the question did not
specify which type of graph to draw, draw a line graph.

6. Predict the length of the spring if 6 slotted weights are used.


Answer: 60cm

Tutor's comment: Draw the corresponding lines on your graph and get the
reading from the graph.

7. What conclusion can be drawn from the experiment?


Answer: When the number of slotted weights increases, the extension of the
spring also increases.

Tutor's comment: The conclusion will be the same as your hypothesis, that is
"When the manipulated variable increase/decreases, the responding variable will
increase/decrease."

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