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

Requirements and Criteria

The requirements and assessment criteria for Unit 2, Reading and writing about science, are set out in full in the specification from AQA in Section 3.2.

The critical account of scientific reading
Based upon a substantial piece of popular science writing (at least 15,000 words) this should be a succinct review (500-800 words) in which students analyse and communicate accurately and effectively their understanding of the main scientific content alongside a critical discussion of the style and language used in the text, including its effectiveness for purpose.

The study of a topical scientific issue
Based upon their own wide ranging research this should be a formal report that argues a response to a research question. It should be of 1500-2000 words in length with the following structure: a title, an abstract, an introduction, the main points of evidence with full citation of source, a discussion of the evidence (including an evaluation of the sources), a conclusion, a full list of references used in the study.

Guidance on interpretation of the assessment criteria is provided by AQA through required standardising meetings and associated materials. Specific advice and guidance on the setting of tasks and their supervision is available through advisers who are members of the moderation team appointed by AQA. It is important to ensure that your centre is registered with AQA if you are intending to enter candidates so that you are invited to appropriate meetings and given the name of an adviser. If you are unsure whether your examinations officer has already indicated an intended entry you are encouraged to check by contacting Philip Bridgehouse at the subject office directly.