Tips for Practicals

Develop your own practicals


When using LabCity, consider designing and developing your own experimental set up when using the programme.

Questions you might want to consider include:

◆   Defining the problem – what are you investigating?

◆   Methods of data collection – how will you collect data and which data do you require to solve the problem? Consider what you want to measure, think about the equations you have learnt and consider which apparatus you need to measure these quantities.

For example, if you need a reading of velocity to calculate the value you require, you might need light gates, timers and something to measure distance!

◆   Setup for the apparatus – how will you put the apparatus together? Spend some time thinking about this – how will you ensure that everything is connected properly? What do you have to test as you set up the equipment?

◆   Method of Analysis  – Which readings will you note and where will you make a note of these?

◆   How will you use these readings to find the final value?


Keep in mind the following while making notes as you design your experiment:

1.  Which theory do you want to investigate?

2.  What are you trying to find?

3.  Title of the experiment

4.  What are the objectives of the experiment?

Write down a list of all equipment used – make sure to specify what you are using! For example, specify that you are using a 3 Ohm Resistor as opposed to just writing resistor.

5.  Methodology

Make notes on the method, including all details step by step (eg temperatures, volumes, settings of pieces of equipment).

Justify where necessary to make this as useful as possible in an exam context!

6.  For sixth formers : includes measures on uncertainty and an estimate of the uncertainties as much as you can.

7.  Take a screenshot of your experimental set up to include in your own personalised folder of experiments with your conclusions. This is especially useful if you have a lab book!

8.  Make a note of any data or observations – remember that although this is virtual, readings are key!

9.  Make a table of your data. Include a note on the independent variable (the one you change) and the dependent variable (the one you measure).

10.  What can you calculate from your results? Can you plot a graph?

11.  Write down a conclusion based on your results.

12.  Can you link this to the theory you have learnt?