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IGCSE Biology: Is there an option available which doesn't involve any assessment of practical skills?

No. Practical skills are as much an integral part of Biology as any other science. This reflects the importance of practical experimentation and investigation as the means by which Biologists have developed our knowledge of organisms and their physiology, biochemistry and interaction. In preparing your candidates for the assessment of practical skills, and in giving them an appropriate experience of IGCSE Biology, you are expected to provide a range of practical work for them to do, so that they can develop the skills necessary for success. A Biology qualification without a practical component would be a second-rate assessment of the subject, and Cambridge aims to provide valid qualifications acceptable in all areas of the world.

Whichever assessment route for practical work is chosen, the following points should be noted:

  • the assessment objectives are the same for all practical assessments;
  • the same practical skills need to be learned and developed by students for all practical assessments;
  • students will obtain the same benefits to theoretical understanding that come from practical work;
  • students and teachers will experience the same positive motivational effect, enthusiasm and enjoyments from doing practical work;
  • the same sequence of practical work is appropriate to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills required for success for all practical assessments.
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