Planning Investigations Level 2

‘Testable’ questions

‘Testable’ questions

Aside from the practical issues and three criteria for ‘testable’ questions, there are other considerations when determining if a question that students pose can be scientifically investigated.

Criteria for ‘testable questions’

  • Is it a question to which I do not already know the answer?

  • Is it a question that I will be able to investigate in my school/classroom within the required time?

  • Is it a question to which I want to know the answer?

A very useful guideline it to try to convert the question into the format of ‘What is the effect

of.... on.... ?’ Note that a ‘testable question’ is closely related to an hypothesis.

The list of questions in the activity below, posed by students, shows that a high percentage of questions suggested by students need to be clarified or modified to be able to be used in an investigation. The use of science mentors can be a great assistance to cope with the logistics.

If you want to test your understanding, do the matching activity where you link topics to questions.

Can you identify which of these questions are testable? Stage 2 questions on Energy, alternatively, Stage 3 questions on Disasters. Use the quiz to check your answers with the suggested answers and comments.