Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

AS Assessment

The formal assessment includes a range of styles that reflect the aims of the course: one structured exam paper and two pieces of internally assessed work.

Full details of the assessment objectives and their weightings can be found on the approved specification on the AQA website.

The resources provided for each topic include one exam style question as well as other activities that can be used to evaluate learning and understanding.

Review questions in the textbook aim to encourage connections between different strands of the specification. They also encourage the development of skills required for formal internal assessment.

Unit 1 - SCIS1

AS Exploring issues

2 hour written paper externally assessed (90 marks)

60% of total AS marks
30% of the total A Level marks

Three strands of the Science in Society course are interwoven: the issues, the science behind the issues, and what study of the issues tells about science and society. Each section of the content considers a topical issue or episode from the history of science which provides the Context for teaching the Science explanation and ideas about How Science Works. In this unit all the Science explanations are drawn from areas of science included in GCSE Science or Additional Science courses. Each aspect of How Science works appear at least twice in the specification.

The examination paper will include a number of compulsory structured questions to assess understanding of the topics, ideas and concepts outlined in Unit 1.

Questions will include comprehension, data analysis and response. Some questions will require longer answers written in continuous prose that is also assessed for Quality of written communication.

A sample exam paper for unit 1 is available on the AQA website.

Unit 2 – SCIS2

Reading and research

Internal assessment (60 marks)

40% of the total AS marks

20% of the total A Level marks

Candidates’ work consists of two pieces of writing:

  • a critical account of scientific reading (40% of the marks for this unit)
  • a study of a topical scientific issue (60% of the marks for this unit)

The account of scientific reading of a substantial piece of writing for the general public is assessed for the way in which candidates provide a personal critical response which displays their understanding of the scientific ideas and concepts involved.

The study of a topical scientific issue is assessed for the way in which candidates document research for information, and seek, present and evaluate relevant evidence.