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practical improve Limitations for proposed method Reason cannot make a valid
ments conclusion:

Seedling 1. difficult to control {all variables / or a named 1. named variable(s) will be

growth variable} affecting the growth of the seedling / difficult to control (in a field)
rate: affecting the results; / eq ;
2. idea of difficulty of measuring growth ; 2. the mineral content of the
3. possible infection of the plants with {bacteria / soil will vary / eq ;
fungi / virus} / eq ; 3. ACCEPT microbes / 3. effect of a named biotic
Microorganisms factor on mineral content
explained ;
4. effect of a named abiotic
1. difficult to control all variables affecting plant factor on mineral content
growth ; explained;
2. example of uncontrolled variable e.g. seeds 1. IGNORE age / genetic
do not variability
germinate at the same time, genetic differences 2. IGNORE nutrients
between the plants ; 3. ACCEPT effect on growth
3. reference to limiting factor(s) ; eg. herbivores might eat the
4. reference to need for more than one type of plant and reduce growth
mineral 4. ACCEPT effect on growth
for effective growth of plants ; eg. change in light intensity /
5. specified difficulty in measuring dependent change in pH would affect
variable/ ability to absorb minerals
eq ;
MP1. Needs to be related to plant growth
Simply stating that a particular variable was
not controlled only gains MP2
MP3. Accept contamination with
microorganisms may affect plant growth
MP5. Ignore reference to poor choice of
dependent variable
1. idea that a named
environmental factor may
have been taken into
consideration ;
2. small sample size / only
12 samples of each wheat
variety / eq ;
3. only one set of data ;
4. wide variability in results
/ comment on { large /
overlapping } range bars ;
5. difficulty of identifying {
larvae / infected shoots } /
eq ;
IGNORE genetic differences
1. e.g. soil type, mineral
humidity, temperature,
density, light intensity, wind
speed, pesticides, water
2. IGNORE only 12 plants
3. ACCEPT different times of
year / places
5. IGNORE counting errors
EFFECT OF 1. difficult to control all other factors affecting 1. idea that a named factor
TEMPERAT brine shrimp that may not have been
URE IN hatching / eq ; taken into consideration ;
DEVELOPM 2. a named environmental factor may fluctuate 2. not all hatching years are
ENT OG / eq ; represented / eq ;
ORGANISM 3. suitable reference to difficulty of counting / 3. small sample size / only
S/BRINE eq ; 18 birds / only 1 bird from
SHRIMP 4. an example of a possible limitation ; 1996 / data only from one
2. e.g. temperature, pH, light { nature reserve / migration
intensity, oxygen concentration, year } / eq ;
mineral concentration 4. idea of wide variability in
IGNORE nutrients results / overlapping or long
4. e.g. viability of eggs / species range bars ;
of brine shrimp / genetic 1.ACCEPT eg. genetic
differences / damage to eggs variation
between birds, starting
point (in
the UK), food availability
IGNORE factors linked to
age, eg
flying strength
IGNORE factors affecting all
birds, eg weather
2.ACCEPT data for some
not included
ECOLOGIC 1. difficult to control all other variables affecting 1. idea that other factors
AL M. perennis may not have been taken
SAMPLING abundance / eq ; into
2. recognition that light intensity can change consideration ;
during sampling / 2. sample size small /
angle of sun changes during the day / eq ; sample only taken at one
3. age / stage of plant growth that would affect time
percentage period / eq ;
cover / eq ; 3. reference to {wide
4. idea of difficulty of identifying plant correctly variability of data / eq} ;
; MP1. ACCEPT named factor
Ignore ‘difficult to control MP2. Ignore difference in
variables’ without qualification number of quadrats
MP3. Ignore overlapping
error / range bars
FISH 1. named
DEVELOPM {biotic /
ENT abiotic}
factor ;
2. how it
will be
{biotic /
factor ;
4. how it
will be
ANTIMICR 1. difficult to control variables which affect { 1. recognition that other
OBIAL production of factors may not have
PROPERTY inhibitor in leaves / size of clear zone } ; been taken into
2. difficult to control concentration of extract ; consideration / eq ;
3. idea of difficulty of measuring bacterial 2. specific factor named ;
inhibition ; 3. single type of bacteria
4. idea of { one species of this plant genus used / investigated / eq ;
limited 4. a control with zero
sample of oregano } / one bacterial { species / exposure time is not
type } used ; used / eq ;
5. idea that different parts of the plant produce 5. trend may not continue at
different longer exposure
inhibitors ; times / eq ;
3. e.g. zones of inhibition not 2. Factors should be directly
circular / edges of zone not clear relevant to the
1. difficult to control all variables (affecting experiment. ACCEPT e.g.
bacterial temperature, (UV)
growth) / eq ; light intensity, {number /
2. idea that other components of secretions may strain} of
affect bacteria. IGNORE humidity,
bacterial growth masking the effect of the pH, oxygen.
antibiotics / 3. NOT if mp2 awarded in
eq ; context of
3. Idea of difficult to standardise extraction of different bacterial strains.
secretion ;
4. reference to other variables related to frog
e.g. age,
size, gender ;
5. idea of uneven spread of bacteria ;
6. reference to a variable that may be acting as a
factor for bacterial growth / eq ;
7. idea of need to test effect on more than one
type of
bacteria / eq ;
EFFECT OF 1. another named variable
INSECTICIS related to larvae that
E IN might not have been
KILLING considered/eq;
LARVA 2. small sample size ;
3. credit a comment to
variability of results ;
4. errors of assessing dead
or living larvae ;
MP 3 eg large /overlapping
range bars
ENZYME 1.difficult to control {all variables/or a named
ACTIVITY variable} ;
2. idea that it is difficult to know the age of
leaves ;
3. idea of difficulty of judging end point ;

1. difficult to control all variables (affecting

amylase activity) ;
2. specific point relating to difficulty of
measuring the dependent variable;
3. idea of limitation linked to inhibitor
4. idea of {different / additional} inhibitors
present in different parts of plant ;
5. idea that some parts of plant may contain
{amylase / starch / glucose} ;
6. idea that plant(s) used may not be
{representative / typical} (of pigeon pea
plants in general) ;
1. ACCEPT named example of
uncontrolled variable
2. e.g. difficulty in judging endpoint
3. e.g. incomplete extraction of inhibitor,
extraction affects inhibitor activity
5. ACCEPT reducing sugars, enzymes
that break down starch
6. ACCEPT diseased / genetic variation /
growing conditions / age / eq

VITAMINE 1. difficult to control all variables affecting 1. idea that a small {number
C vitamin C (concentration) ; of apples / sample size} was
2. difficulty of judging endpoint of titration / eq ; tested ;
3. idea that assay for vitamin C may { lack 2. only 3 traditional and 3
specificity / measure other factors } ; modern varieties were
4. idea that experimental conditions may not tested ;
match the conditions normally used for keeping 3. {range / error / sd} bars
food warm ; overlap ;
5. idea that different foods may show different 4. named factor that has not
responses ; been taken into
1. ACCEPT a named example of an consideration during
uncontrolled variable apple growing ;
4. ACCEPT idea that pulping / blending may 5. named factor that has not
cause loss of been taken into
vitamin C consideration postharvest ;
5. ACCEPT only one type of vegetable 2. accept idea that sample is
used (3 not
4. eg. insolation, water
farming practices,
‘temperature at
which apples were grown’
5. eg. ripeness, storage
time, age of
apples, refrigeration,
damage during
IGNORE ref to traditional
sourced directly from the
SPIROMET 1. difficult to control all variables affecting VC / 1. idea that a named factor
ER eq ; has not been taken into
2. named example of relevant variable relating consideration e.g. health,
to participants age, gender, mass ;
that would be very difficult to control ; 2. small sample size / only
3. idea that participants will differ in their effort eight individuals / eq ;
; 3. idea that study only
4. idea that there may be a ‘ceiling’ on an carried out on one occasion
individual’s VC, even / eq ;
with training (which may already have been 4. idea that study does not
reached) ; represent the whole
5. idea that accurate measurement of VC is population e.g. narrow
reliant on the height range ;
subject exhaling fully (which may not be the 1. ACCEPT weight, smoking
case) ; 3. ACCEPT it would need to
6. idea that the {results / participants} may not be repeated
be representative
(of an individual / the population) ;
2. Accept E.g. genetic variability,
previous history of yoga, additional
activities outside of yoga sessions,
BRAIN 1. idea that a named factor
MASS- has not been taken into
FINDING consideration in the sample
2. idea that characteristics
of different { mammals /
species } affect speed of
finding food ;
3. idea that brain mass may
be linked to overall body
(which is not mentioned /
not controlled) ;
4. idea that actual brain
mass of mammals not
measured /
mammals may not have
typical brain mass ;
5. small sample size / only
three individuals of each
type /
eq ;
6. idea that results from
mammals cannot be
extended to
other animals ;
1. e.g. gender, age, size
2. e.g. eyesight, sense of
normal habitat or foraging
6. IGNORE ref to lab
reflecting real life
ACCEPT only mammals
MEMBRAN 1. idea that it is difficult to control (all) variables
E affecting
PERMEABIL {colour of the solution / activity of perforin /
ITY permeability of
the membrane } ;
2. idea of variation in tissue used, e.g. variation
in tissue
{pigment content / membrane composition /
precise piece
size / eq} ;
3. idea of {membrane damage / escape of
pigment} not due to
perforin, e.g. damage to cells when cutting
tissue pieces;
4. reference to difficulty of measuring
dependent variable, e.g.
absorbance by cuvette, uneven distribution of
pigment ;
5. idea that only one type of perforin tested /
perforins from
different species may not be inhibited in the
same way ;
2. IGNORE variables that could
easily have been controlled eg. age,
4. ACCEPT idea of subjectivity if
judging colour by eye
5. IGNORE only tested on one tissue
/ ref to difference between
membranes in different tissues
1. recognition that another
named { factor / variable }
not have been taken into
consideration ;
2. idea of { different /
limited } skill levels of
students in
identifying larvae ;
3. small sample size / only
16 fish / eq ;
4. idea of wide variability in
results ;
1. e.g. age of fish, size of
type of fish, when or where
fish was caught, only one
of fish tested
4. ACCEPT idea that { range
error } bars { are large /
overlap }
SPIDER 1. idea that it is difficult to control (all) the
AND variables ;
LARVA 2. and 3 two uncontrolled variables e.g.
ABUNDAN temperature
CE in field over a period of time, presence of
predator, health of organisms eq ;
4. limitations related to{ sampling / counting
leafhoppers / distribution of leafhoppers};
5. idea that laboratory conditions may not relate
what happens in rice fields ;
2. ACCEPT weather, migration,
light intensity
IGNORE genetic variability
5. ACCEPT reference to laboratory bred
CAFFINE 1 + 2. two marks for suitable
named variables that
were not controlled e.g.
age, gender, body mass,
previous coffee
consumption, lesson
commented on ;
3. only investigated regular
coffee drinkers / eq ;
4. idea that only one time of
day is investigated ;
IGNORE sample size, range