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Testable vs. Non-Testable Questions

Instructions on how to write testable questions and the basics on identifying them using independent and dependent variables.
by

Laurie Lundberg

on 15 September 2015

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Transcript of Testable vs. Non-Testable Questions

How to write and identify them
Testable Questions
A testable question is one that can be answered by designing and conducting an experiment.
What is a testable question?
Testable questions always have the same format...

How does ______________ affect _________________?

test variable

outcome

variable
When determining whether a question is testable or not always
identify
the
test

(independent)
and
outcome

(dependent)
variables first!
How do you write a testable question?
STEP ONE: Read the question carefully.

Which brand of shoes makes you run faster, Nike
or New Balance?

What's the
test (independent)
variable?
outcome (dependent)
variable?
How to turn a non-testable question into
a testable one.
STEP TWO: Determine
test (independent)
and
outcome (dependent)
variables.
Which brand of shoe makes you run faster, Nike or New Balance?
Independent variable
(what's being changed on purpose?)

Dependent variable

(what's being measured?)
test variable (independent)
brand of running shoe
outcome variable (dependent)
how fast you run
How does
test (independent) variable
affect
outcome (dependent) variable
?
STEP THREE: Plug the variables into the
"How does _______ affect ______?" format.
Testable Question:
How does
the

brand of running shoe
affect
how fast you run
?
Non-Testable Question:
Practice
Does carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cause the atmosphere to get warmer?
STEP 1: Read the question carefully for
test
&
outcome
variables.
STEP 2: Determine the
test
&
outcome
variables.
STEP 3: Plug them in the testable question format:
How does ______________ affect _______________?

test variable

outcome var.
Testable Question
How does the amount of carbon dioxide affect the temperature of the atmosphere?
Do students get higher test scores when they are allowed to drink Monster during tests?
More Practice
STEP 1: Read the question carefully for
test
&

outcome
variables.
STEP 2: Find the
test
&
outcome
variables.
STEP 3: Plug them in the testable question
format:
How does ___________ affect ___________?

test variable

outcome var.
So are these the only types of questions in science?
Not exactly. In science we start with broader questions and then narrow them down to testable questions.
Broad Question
How do rockets work?
Testable question:
How does the shape of a rocket's fins affect its flight path?
No - the independent variable is Coke or Pepsi and the dependent is taste but remember, it has to be in the How does _____ affect ______? format to be testable.
How to turn a broader question into a testable one.
How do plants grow?
How about these?
How does the amount of sunlight affect the height of daffodil plants?

How does the type of soil affect the diameter of sunflowers?
The End
For now...
Directions
1. Put a heading on a piece of notebook paper.
2. Organize your notes by creating 2 columns. YOUR NOTES MUST HAVE ORGANIZATION OR YOU WILL HAVE TO REDO THEM.
3. At the beginning of each section are "Essential Questions". Write these
down on the left side of your notes,
skipping lines between them.
4. You must answer the questions
while completing the notes
section.
Essential Questions Section 2
1. How do you turn a non-testable question into a testable one?
(Skip lots of lines for this one. I suggest 6 or 7 lines.)
2. What is an example of how to do this?
Essential Questions Section 3
1. Do all questions in science start with testable questions?
2. What is an example of another type of question?
3. How do you turn a broader question into a testable question?
Essential Questions Section 1
1. What is a testable question?
2. How are testable questions
written?
How does the amount of water affect tomato plant production?
Remember how to set up Cornell notes?
Time for a summary

Explain what testable questions are & how they
are written. Include descriptions of T.V. and O.V.
Don't freak out if it's not at the bottom of the page.
Just call it "Summary 1" and do the summary in your
notes where you are right now.
skipped 6 - 7 lines
Example Broad Question:
STEP ONE: Think of factors that affect
or could affect plant growth.
STEP TWO: Think of ways to measure
plant growth
STEP FOUR: Choose your factor
(test variable)
and way to measure
(outcome variable)
and then write the testable question.
Factors affecting plant growth:
amount of water
amount of sun
type of soil
amount of plant food
Ways to measure plant growth
plant height
size of flower
size of fruit
amount of flowers
amount of fruit
Time for a summary
Explain what this last section was about.
You can share yours but you won't see
my example.
Mwahhh, hahh, hahhh!
Full transcript