Exam Review: Physics

By Emma O’Brien Yeats College, Physics teacher

This physics paper was a fair exam that the well-prepared student would have welcomed. This was a nice paper that allowed the students to show off their knowledge of physics and not seek to catch anyone out.

In Section A, students had to answer 3 out of 5 experiment questions. With the experiment questions each being from a different topic: Mechanics, Light, Waves, Heat and Electricity, students had a huge amount of choice. Whereas in previous years there would have been two experiment questions from Mechanics or two from Electricity, for example.

The Experiment questions generally followed the same layout as in previous years and were very manageable. This was a very promising start to the paper.

In Section B, students had to answer 5 out of 9 questions. Question 6 would be the most popular question with students, consisting of a series of short questions. There was good variety in question 6 with a good mix of calculation and theory questions. The rest of the questions in Section B consisted of the topics of Mechanics, Waves, Radioactivity, Heat, Electromagnetic Induction, Particle Physics, Energy, Circular Motion, Electric Circuits, and the Photoelectric effect.

There was some mixing of topics in these questions, particularly in Question 8, as has become popular in the Physics exam. The Section B questions were very approachable questions following a standard layout students would be familiar with from practicing previous Exam Papers.