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					                                   Glossary of Terms
Dependent Variable – the variable you measure in a scientific test.   The
dependent variable is the heading for the right hand column of your results table,
and goes along the vertical axis of your graph.


Fair test – a scientific test in which variables are controlled.

Generalisation    – a statement which is generally or usually true eg “Summer
temperatures are usually hotter than Winter temperatures”. Generalisations often
include words like “most” and “many”.

Hypothesis – a generalisation which gives a possible answer to a question.              It is
usually based on observations and can be tested by doing an experiment. A
hypothesis can be rewritten if the results of the experiment show the original
hypothesis was incorrect.

Independent Variable – the variable you change on purpose in a scientific test.
The independent variable becomes the heading for the left hand column of your
results table and goes along the horizontal axis of the graph.

Inference – an explanation of your observations, which may be correct or
incorrect. The accuracy of an inference can be tested by doing more tests or
experiments.

Observing – using your senses to find out as much information as you can about
something.


Prediction – using what you already know to predict what a future observation
may be.

Qualitative – observations which use word descriptions rather than numbers eg
“It is very cold today”.


Quantitative – observations which use numerical                measurements eg. “It is 5 oC
today”.


Variables – factors which can affect the outcome of an experiment.                They can be
changed or measured.


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