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My son is in year 10, about to undergo controlled assessed practicals. How should he prepare? Should I get him a tutor to help him further? He loves the subject and is on par for at least a grade B says his teacher.
7 years ago

Biology Question asked by Bina

Hello, Please kindly get a tutor for him. I am fully available and interested to him. Thank you. Best regards, Ismail.
23/05/2016 00:35:13 | comment by Sikiru Oluwarotimi
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Hi there, could you provide a little more information? If you could let me know the subject I may be able to offer some advice! Kind regards, Nathan.
25/05/2016 18:59:05 | comment by Nathan
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8 Answers

I`m sure he will be fine as he would have been taught the subject matter prior to setting the controlled assessment, usually based on experiment he had done before and practiced at school.

Once he starts the assesents which lasst for few session, he can revise the topic he is been assessed. Most pupil do well in their course work.
If your son feels he needs help then you may arrange a tutor, but it is not necessary in my openion. It depends on your sons ability and confidence.

Good luck
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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You should check past practicals (ISAs) on the website for your son`s exam board. Check the papers as well as the mark scheme. This is very important as most of the questions are repeated even if the actual experiment he will be doing is changed.

Tutors can help with assessed practicals but it`s best if they`ve had experience running the practical in schools.
Answered by Sadaquat | 7 years ago
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Hi Bina,

If these controlled assessments are for the AQA Science board, the best way to prepare is to look at How Science works, which is the practical aspect of Science.

They test ability to see faults in experiments and ways to improve these infractions. Additionally, they test knowledge of how theories are developed through peer review and retesting.

Knowledge of how to assess reliability, accuracy and precision is also part of the syllabus.

I would suggest that you look at this chapter in the book and have a read through it. Use questions in the book to check your child`s understanding.

If you would like a tutor to assist with this. I am available immediately if necessary.

I hope this helps.

Answered by Daniel | 7 years ago
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A tutor may be the answer, but first I`d ask your son to take some tips for the controlled assessment from his teacher. A good idea is for him to "replicate" such an experiment/use a past paper and answer it, on his own time, under timed circumstances.

Get the teacher to mark this and give feedback to him. Try this first and then invest in a tutor or take further action.
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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He should look up the mark scheme to see what they assess and see if there are any online previous papers for the theory behind the controlled assessment practicals and to see which topics it could be based on and then revise around this topic. Also ask his teacher about all of this if he is still unsure.

A tutor for a practical is less useful than for theory however if they have knowledge (ideally experience) in actually undertaking the practical assessment with that particular exam board then that would be extremely useful.
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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For Biology I ran a couple of practice sessions where the pupils practiced drawing appropriate graphs (axes all labelled, good scales), tables for the data, lines of best fit and writing a scientific method in the correct tense. Controlled assessments can be stressful but the more practice your son has with handling data, the more prepared he will feel.
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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Although it has been a few years since I studied biology at A-Level/GCSE, I did have some controlled practicals, however this was A-Level not GCSE. A tutor would certainly help, but you would need to gain information on the practicals first. This is not as difficult as it may sound, typically controlled assessments such as these are repeated throughout different years, or at least similar experiments/assessments are done.
If you cannot find this information out, through the internet or directly from teachers, then I would advise revision of the content above all else. With any scientific subject you will find that there is a limited range of questions which they may ask you, open ended questions are not very popular, as such if the content is well known, no matter what the assessment is, with a basic understanding, I`m certain your son will do well.
Hope this is of some help/solace.
Kind regards,
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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Talk to his teacher, asking what the coursework will be testing, that way you will have som structure of what he needs to know. Get him to go over the class work regarding the topics that`s will be covered by the coursework. See if your son can also speak to older years in his school who have already done the coursework to give him some advice
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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