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KSEF Marking Scheme Interpretation & Scoring Guide 2019


Document to use  

            1.write –up

            2. Posters on the display boards

            3. Date File

1.Write – Up

  • 0 Mark –if not available or not properly declared in page (ii) and Page (iii)
  • 1 Mark-For proper declaration and plagiarism in page (ii) and page (iii)
  • 1 Mark     if sections are Well labelled right from the cover page all the way upto chapter (v)

2. Evidence of background Research

  • Look at data file –shows data collected from various experiments.
  • Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the write up
  • Middle flap of the display under results.
  • Give 0 mks if the results or data is not generated from procedure/non-scientific.
  • Score 0.5 or 1 or 1.5 or 2 marks depending on how extensive it is.

 3. Written language in write-up and on posters

  • 2 marks are split, 1 mark for same aspect in the write-up and 1 mark for the same on posters
  • Check on correct use of scientific principles within the subject area to enhance the project output.
  • Check correct headings in the write-up and on display board.
  • Check for spelling mistakes/ unbalanced equations/ misplaced concepts
  • Penalise accordingly depending on the degree of errors upto maximum of 1 mark for the same aspect in the write-up and display board.( 0 or 0.5 or 1 or 1.5 or 2)

4. Objectives

  • split 1 mark in the write up and 1 mark for posters
  • give 0 mks if objectives are not SMART. 1 Mark for SMART objectives on posters and 1 Mark for SMART objectives in chapter 1 of the write –up for a total of 2 marks.( 0 or 1 or 2)

5. Methods and materials used in the write -up and on posters

  • Materials – the list of materials must be complete and expressed quantitatively and qualitatively.
  • Methods must be complete, logical/systematic and workable.
  • Penalize fully for any omission
  • 1 mark for same aspect in the write-up (chapter 3) and 1 mark on posters (middle flap) under apparatus/requirement and procedure.( 0 or 1 or2)

6. Variables identified in the write-up and on posters.

  • 0 Marks for merely listing variables
  • 1 Mark for correct demonstration of effect of change of variables in the write up ( chapter 3 and chapter 4) and 1 mark for doing the same on posters (middle flap – after procedure.) (0 or 1 or 2)

7. Results in the write-up and on posters

  • If part A – 5 (methods) scores 0 mark, then anything on the results or data scores 0 mark i.e part A- 7,8,9 and Part C 6 and 9)
  • 1 mark for diagramatic /graphical presentation of data in chapter 4 of the write-up and 1 mark for the same on the posters (middle flap)(0 or 1 or 2)

8. Analysis of results in the write-up and on posters 0 mark – if data being analysed is not scientific or if part A 5 and 7 have scored 0 mks.

  • 1 mark for statement correctly explaining the graphs in chapter 4 of write-up and 1 mark for correct statement on the relationship between variables in the graph on posters (middle flap).( 0 or 1 or 2)

9. Discussion of results in the write-up and on posters

  • 1 mark for correct explanation of trend noted or limitations noted or anomalies encountered in chapter 4. Of theWrite-up and 1 mark for the same aspect in middle flap of display board (results on posters.)( 0 or 1 or 2)

10. Future possibilities research in the write-up and on poster

  • 0 mark recommendation for adaption
  • 1 mark – for correct suggestions made to overcome limitation or improve performance of the project- check chapter 5 of the write – up and 1 mark for the same aspect in the last flap of the posters (conclusion)( 0 or 1 or 2)

11. Conclusions as reflected in write-up and on posters.

  • 0 mark not referring to objections and data to chapter 4
  • 1 mark for conclusion using data in chapter 4 to demonstrate the extent to which objectives in chapter 1 of the write-up have been achieve and 1 mark for same quality of conclusion on the last flap of display board.( 0 or 1 or 2)

12. References

  • 0 mark – if there are no citations in chapter 1 and chapter 2 of the write-up during introduction and literature review.
  • 2 mark for APA referencing
  • Penalize fully in case of an error in any of the reference (0 mark) ( 0 or 2)

13. Acknowledgement in write-up and on posters.

  • 0 mark – If there is no acknowledgement or it is not specific. ( ignore acknowledgment of judges)
  • 1 mark    –    for correct acknowledgement in page (v) of the write –up and 1 mk for the same correctly done in the last flap of the display board ( 0 or 1 or 2)

14. Display board.

  • 0 mark    –    for display with Misplaced poster (s) i.e All posters must be placed in prescribed places from left to right of the display board
  • 1 mark for being attractive or neat of artistic value ( 0 or 1 or 2)

15. Data file

  • 0 mark    -If data is not collected according to the work plan or research plan or if not signed or information given by individuals is not counter signed or if not handwritten or rough work or if data is not generated from procedure.

    Depending on the extent of research (how detailed and whether each objective has data to validate it) ( 0 or 0.5 or 1 or 1.5 or 2)

  • Written documents are still there.
    • Write – up
    • Data files
    • Display board
  • Exhibit/project itself and the presenters
  • Part B – looks at communication skills and is to score against one presentation.
  • Normally very subjective
1.     Capture of interest.
  • From introduction of the project title, how striking is it? Are judges anxious of knowing more about the project or how are communication skills being manipulated to sustain audience?
  • Score accordingly (0 or 0.5 or 1) depending on extent
2.    Enthusiasm /Effort
  • Pace of presentation- moderate pace, keen on moving with the audience.
  • Maintaining eye contact with audience
  • Drawing attention of audience to the display and project to make them understand
  • Score accordingly (0 or 0.5 or 1).
3.    Voice/tone
  • Flat tone/same tone from start up to the end shows the presenter has no areas of emphasis (0 or 1)
  • Variation of the tone maintains audience and shows areas/points of emphasis in the presentation -climaxes /tone variation is critical in communication
  • Observe and score accordingly (0 or 0.5 or 1).
4.    Self Confidence
  • Check on mannerism e.g. Avoiding eye contact completely shows lack of confidence – some presenters literally close their eyes to avoid detractors.
  • Use of words like – you know or I think or just parroting etc.
  • Check and score according (0 or 0.5 or 1)
5.    Scientific Language
  • Check on vocabulary level within the subject area of presentation – i.e use of one word to mean many correctly within the context.
  • Check out and score accordingly (0 or 1)
6.    Response to questions
  • Testing on patience to listen and courtesy to respond. A person who keeps quiet until a question is posed has good listening skill hence qualifies for 1 mark
  • One who is courteous to respond intelligently for example ‘I don’t know’ gets l mk for responding and loses marks in part C where the judge was seeking clarification to score.(0 or 1 or 2)
7.    Presentation of project
  • Logical flow of ideas right from introduction to conclusion
  • Presentation can be poor or fair or good (0 or 1 or 2).
8.    Limitations/weakness and gaps
  • Give 2 marks for presenters who verbally outline the correct limitations of the project ( 0 or 2)
9.    Possible suggestions/recommendation.
  • Give 2 marks for presenters who verbally make correct recommendations for improvement of their projects (0 or 2)
10.    Authenticity
  • Give 2 marks for the presenters who verbally acknowledges specific contributions of individuals towards their project (0 or 2 )
    [nextpage title=”PART C:    OVERALL ASSESMENT”]
  • The major question in this section is:

    It was written (write-up, data file, display board) and it was talked about during oral interaction, in your opinion as a judge was it done correctly or not?

1. Statement of the problem and objectives

  • 1 mark for statement of problem done correctly
  • 1 mark for objectives done correctly and score either (0 or 1 or 2)

2.    Introduction/background information

  • Did it bring out the relationship between the project and other research already done and identified gaps or not? (Chapter 1 of the write-up)(0 or 2)

3.    Application of scientific concepts to everyday life

  • Which scientific principles are being applied in the project / exhibit / prototype? How are they manipulated to enhance the results? It is awarded as follows: 1 mark for a model/project not working, 2 marks for partially working and 3 marks for a project working fully.

4.    Subject Mastery

  • Inaccurate information gives 0 mark.
  • Accurate and shallow information give 1 mark
  • Satisfactory and accurate information give 2 marks
  • Deep and accurate give 3 marks

5.    Literature Review

  • Four aspects each ½ mark, one must get the first ½ to get other halves.
  1. Existing knowledge related to the project and gaps ½ mark
  2. New innovation being introduced to bridge the gap ½ mark
  3. Scientific principles being used in the new approach or innovation ½ marks
  4. Important or usefulness of the new innovation 1/2 mark
  • Give 0 marks if no appreciation of previous knowledge related to the project.( 0 or 0.5 or 1 or 1.5 or 2)

6.    Data

  • No data / irrelevant data – award 0 mark
  • Shallow data collected from a procedure – award 1 mark
  • Sufficient data – award 2 marks
  • Adequate- sufficient data for each objective 3 marks


  • Correct manipulation and explanation of the effect of change of variables on the project output 2 mks
  • Give 0 mark for mere listing of variables or wrong illustration of the effect of change of variables.( 0 or 2)

8. Statement of originality

  • What inspired him or her or them to come up with a project? Personal encounter/ the issue of grandmothers etc just give the 2 marks and penalize at 11 if the idea is not original.

9. Logical sequence/ experimental design

  • Apparatus-complete list with correct specifications (2 mks)

    -complete list without proper specifications (1 mk)

    -incomplete list (0 mk)

  • Procedure-when apparatus/ requirements score 0 mks, then procedure also scores 0 mks, because without all the requirements the procedure cannot be executed.

    Procedure MUST be complete (all steps) for 1 mark and, logical or systematic and workable (1mark)

  • Correct illustrations– 0mks for no exhibit, 1mark for an exhibit not working, 2 mark for an exhibit partially working and 3 for an exhibit fully

Linkage to emerging issues

  • Check the statement of the problem and literature review, will give the issue(s) being addressed by the project( 0 or 2)

11. Originality

  • Copycats – award 0mark
  • Little imagination- 1mark
  • Modified – 2 marks
  • New/ novel – 3 marks

12. Creativity

  • Check for the level of improvisation in the project, the manipulative skills exhibited in the project, level of precision etc.( 0 or 0.5 or 1.0 or 1.5 or 2)

13. Skill- workmanship of the display

  • Look at the final product, the quality of the FINISH. How refined is it?
  • Check whether it is easy to maintain or not(0 or 1 or 2)


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