SUBJECT GUIDE
SCIENCE

ICAS SCIENCE ASSESSES THE CAPABILITY

OF STUDENTS TO APPLY THEIR SCIENTIFIC

KNOWLEDGE TO GIVEN CONTEXTS

SKILL AREAS

Students are assessed across the key scientific areas of:

  • Observing and measuring: Noting and measuring features of items and phenomena
  • Interpreting data: Interpreting diagrams, tables and graphs
  • Applying data: Including inferring, predicting and concluding
  • Investigating: Experimental design, use of controls and notion of ‘fair test’
  • Higher-order skills: Including reasoning and problem-solving.

CONTENT

ICAS Science does not test knowledge of science although the questions may assume some knowledge appropriate to the students’ age. All the information that the students need to respond to the question is provided in the stimulus.

The papers cover content on:

  • Earth and Beyond (incorporating the Earth Sciences and Astronomy)
  • Energy and Change (incorporating Physics)
  • ƒLife and Living (incorporating Biology and Ecology)
  • Natural and Processed Materials (incorporating Chemistry).

ASSESSMENT STRUCTURE

CLASS PAPER QUESTION BREAKDOWN DURATION
2 Introductory 30 multiple choice 45 minutes
3 A 30 multiple choice 45 minutes
4 B 30 multiple choice 45 minutes
5 C 40 multiple choice 55 minutes
6 D 40 multiple choice 55 minutes
7 E 45 multiple choice 1 hour
8 F 45 multiple choice 1 hour
9 G 45 multiple choice 1 hour
10 H 45 multiple choice 1 hour
11 I 45 multiple choice 1 hour
12 J 45 multiple choice 1 hour

LEARN MORE

  1. Ask for an appointment at your school
  2. Download the comprehensive ICAS Science Assessment Framework
  3. View sample assessments
  4. Watch introductory videos

HOW IS ICAS DIFFERENT?

ICAS is developed annually by a team of highly experienced assessment developers and psychometricians, with rigorous reviews at each stage of construction. Subject matter experts develop new ICAS questions each year, drawing on their in-depth understanding of the way students learn. All ICAS assessments are reviewed by experienced teachers to ensure that they accurately assess students’ skills and are relevant to what they are learning at school.

This ensures that ICAS is:

  • Valid
  • Consistent from one assessment cycle to the next
  • Appropriately targeted for the students being assessed
  • ƒObjective and reliable
  • Fair (effect of gender, language background, cultural background is minimised through sensitivity reviews and statistical analyses)
  • Constructed using appropriate examples and authentic contexts
  • ƒRepresented in a visually appealing way to capture student attention and interest
  • ƒUnderpinned by methodologies from psychometric measurement theory
“From a diagnostic perspective, because ICAS Science targets skills in interpreting data, observing, predicting, investigating, reasoning and problem-solving rather than knowledge of content, we can identify gifted students who perhaps require more motivation to study. Where our whole cohort shows a relative internal weakness in one of these areas, we can develop resources to improve performance in that area.”
Steve Smith
Head Science Teacher
Merewether High School, Australia

SKILLS ASSESSED