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Table 2: Students' perceived confidence in using different pieces of equipment
 

Modal response is shown in bold.

Significant shift to:

*less confident p < 0.01

**less confident p < 0.05

^^more confident p < 0.05

^more confident p < 0.01

Equipment I can use with no help I would need some guidance I would need a lot of guidance I don’t know what this is
  2011 2017 2011 2017 2011 2017 2011 2017

Burette

91.9

94.9

7.9

5.1

0.2

0.0

0.0

0.0

Top pan balance

63.9

59.6

15.9

14.1

5.1

5.1

15.2

21.2

Steam bath*

52.2

28.8

29.1

30.1

10.8

19.9

7.9

21.2

Buchner funnel^

52.0

64.7

31.7

27.6

3.1

4.5

13.2

3.2

Fumehood^^

41.0

48.7

37.2

37.8

11.7

11.5

10.1

1.9

pH probe^

33.7

44.9

41.9

45.5

15.4

8.3

9.0

1.3

Magnetic stirrer^

27.3

53.2

27.1

21.2

16.1

10.9

29.5

14.7

Colorimeter

25.3

26.3

48.5

52.6

18.1

19.2

8.1

1.9

Water pump

24.9

18.6

36.6

33.3

21.6

25.0

17.0

23.1

Vacuum desiccator*

17.4

3.2

21.4

16.7

18.1

20.5

43.2

59.6

Isomantle

4.6

3.8

10.4

8.3

7.7

10.9

77.3

76.9

Vacuum drying line**

4.2

1.3

18.7

12.8

18.5

19.2

58.6

66.7

Refractometer

0.7

3.8

13.7

12.8

19.2

16.7

66.5

66.7 

Table 3: Students' perceived confidence in carrying out different techniques
 

Modal response is shown in bold.

Significant shift to:

*less confident p < 0.01

**less confident p < 0.05

^^more confident p < 0.05

^more confident p < 0.01

Procedure Easy I would need some guidance I would need a lot of guidance I don’t know what this is
  2011 2017 2011 2017 2011 2017 2011 2017

Titration^^

87.9

93.6

10.4

6.4

1.5

0.0

0.2

0.0

Calculating a solution’s concentration

80.8

79.5

17.4

19.2

1.8

1.3

0.0

0.0

Calculating percentage yield^^

74.7

85.9

23.3

13.5

1.8

0.6

0.2

0.0

Making up a standard solution^^

59.3

68.6

30.4

27.6

7.5

3.8

2.9

0.0

Calculating a solution’s molality

57.9

55.1

28.9

30.1

7.5

7.1

5.7

7.7

Heating under reflux^

45.6

58.3

37.9

35.9

13.0

4.5

3.5

1.3

Accurate measurement of a solid’s melting point

40.5

43.6

45.6

44.9

9.5

10.9

4.4

0.6

Purification of a solid by recrystallisation^^

36.6

45.5

47.6

46.2

11.5

7.1

4.4

1.3

Thin layer chromatography (TLC)

25.6

39.8

38.2

45.6

21.5

9.9

14.7

4.7

Hot filtration^^

23.1

21.2

43.6

51.9

18.7

19.9

14.5

7.1

Separating two immiscible liquids by separating funnel^

17.4

51.9

39.2

33.3

23.1

11.5

20.3

3.2

Separation of two miscible liquids by distillation^

17.2

42.9

44.9

40.4

24.9

12.8

13.0

3.8

Column chromatography

11.2

8.3

42.5

44.9

30.4

33.3

15.9

13.5 

Table 4: Frequency with which different skills are covered in school practical experiments
 

Values quoted are percentages of responses; 2011, (2017). Modal response is shown in bold.

Significant shift to:

*less confident p < 0.01

**less confident p < 0.05

^^more confident p < 0.05

^more confident p < 0.01

Skills Always Most times Occasionally Never
  2011 2017 2011 2017 2011 2017 2011 2017

Follow written instructions

51.4

49.4

43.9

46.2

4.0

3.8

0.7

0.6

Record detailed observations

41.3

35.3

44.4

46.8

14.1

15.4

0.2

2.6

Draw a conclusion from your results

34.0

26.9

38.4

44.9

24.3

24.4

3.3

3.8

Discuss your practical work*

33.6

21.2

39.1

37.8

23.2

34.6

4.2

6.4

Analyse a set of data eg draw a graph**

29.6

19.9

50.6

55.8

19.6

23.7

0.2

0.6

Work in groups and combine ideas/results

13.9

16.0

46.4

44.2

33.3

34.6

6.4

5.1

Evaluate the method used**

12.4

5.8

24.9

24.4

49.4

52.6

13.2

17.3

Calculate the reaction yield

11.7

9.0

38.4

50.0

47.0

39.7

2.9

1.3

Complete a full written report of your experiment including a description of the method used^

5.5

10.9

14.6

26.9

42.4

42.3

37.5

19.9