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Don’t Ignore A Topic That You Don’t Understand
If you learn about a new topic in class and don’t quite understand it, it can be be tempting to just forget about it and move onto the next lesson. Don’t do this! The longer you wait to go over the topic, the harder it will be to actually understand it because you will have forgotten more of what you learned about it in class. If you’re not sure of a certain concept or equation, use these notes to learn more, read the corresponding chapter in your textbook, and/or ask your teacher for more explanation.
Be Thoroughly Familiar With The Ib Physics Syllabus
All exams and tests are closely structured around the syllabus. Before the start of the course, take some time to go through and mark concepts that are connected, so you can pay special attention to them when you cover them in school. The goal is to use the annotated syllabus during the course of your study to track your strong and weak areas. Remember, physics builds on itself, so its best to interlink as many concepts as possible while youre studying. This also means that you need to make sure that you understand every point before moving on to the next.
Here are the core topics tested, and the overarching ideas you need to focus on:
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I Always Say To Students That Nothing Is Impossible But Actually In Physics Somethings Are Impossible
If youre completing a calculate question in your IB physics exams and, for example, you get the answer of 4×10^8 m/s, its incorrect. Its clearly wrong.
Know whats IMPOSSIBLE to get better marks.
Another example would be if you calculate the refractive index of glass to be n=10.45. Thats clearly incorrect. We know the refractive index of optically active substances tends to be in the region 1< n> 2.5.
Its really important that you understand and have an idea of what is reasonable and conduct a reasonableness check at the end of every calculate question.
If I calculate the mass of a car to be 20,000kg, I know the answer is incorrect because I have an understanding that the mass of a car is around about 1000kg. Being able to estimate and evaluate answers like this in your head can help you conduct a reasonable check at the end of your calculation questions.
Lots of students make this mistake, they dont do reasonableness checks and end up losing marks. Dont be that student!
Dont make mistakes that can be easily rectified!
Get To Know The Syllabus
This may surprise you, but the IB Physics syllabus is a relatively simple read-through.
It contains absolutely everything you need to know for the exam, nicely bullet-pointed and organized into sections for your convenience.
If you havent done so already, getting hold of the syllabus and treating it as a checklist for your revision is an absolute game-changer.
No longer do you need to worry about what to cover for the exam!
Not only can the syllabus be a guide for your revision, but it is actually also a guide for exam-writers.
Thats right, IB physics exams tend to be structured very closely to the syllabus, such that the first questions are from topic 1 and 2, and the rest go through the remaining topics more or less chronologically.
Hence, if you know your syllabus well, you can be confident that you know what will meet you when you open the exam paper!
You will also notice connections between topics you may not have seen before for example, you might spot that concepts from circular motion in topic 6 are ubiquitous to simple harmonic motion as described in topic 9.
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Key Features Of The Curriculum And Assessment Models
- Available at standard and higher levels
- The minimum prescribed number of hours is 150 for SL and 240 for HL
- Students are assessed both externally and internally
- Physics students at SL and HL undertake a common core syllabus and a common internal assessment scheme.
- While there are core skills and activities common to both SL and HL, students at HL are required to study some topics in greater depth, to study additional topics and to study extension material of a more demanding nature in the options. The distinction between SL and HL is one of breadth and depth.
- A practical approach to the course delivery is emphasised through the interdisciplinary group 4 project and a mixture of both short-term and long-term experiments and investigations.
- Internal assessment accounts for 20% of the final assessment and this is assessed through a single individual investigation. This investigation may involve a hands-on approach, use of data-bases, modelling, simulation or a hybrid. Student work is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB.
Much of this information is taken directly from the physics subject guide, available to all IB teachers on the programme resource centre.
Highlights From The November 2020 Paper 2
Compared to the former IB DP Physics exams, the November 2020 paper 2 assessment is relatively straightforward as it covers basic classical physics problems in mechanics, thermal physics, waves, electricity and nuclear physics. It is important to recognise that some questions tackled multiple topics. Required math calculations were limited to simple arithmetic and the nuclear fission question should have been easily answered using the log-function. Note that this is an insight from a past year paper, and that with the syllabus changes , future papers have heavier grade weightage. It would be best to prepare rigorously and expect a more challenging set of questions in the following years.
The following are types of questions that I would like to highlight to provide candidates with an insight on how to apply different Physics concepts to problem-solving.
The Unmanned Aircraft
This question dealt with an aircraft carrying a package and is hovering motionless. The horizontal blades propel air vertically downwards.
The candidate had to explain and calculate forces, equilibrium, velocity, acceleration and give the answer to an appropriate number of significant figures.
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Strategies For Paper 1
At the end of your two year course, you will sit three papers for IB Physics. Each paper has its own quirks and trends that we can use to revise strategically using our plan of action. This will allow you to maximise your marks and prevent you from wasting time on inefficient revision in your short term revision .
FACTS about Paper 1:
- The Standard Level paper is 45 minutes long and has 30 multiple choice questions. It makes up 20% of your final IB Physics mark.
- The Higher Level paper is 1 hour long and has 40 multiple choice questions. It makes up 20% of your final IB Physics mark.
- No calculator is allowed but you can use the IB Physics data booklet
- Paper 1 is designed to be difficult and around 50% of questions required multiple steps.
- Grade boundaries are usually quite low for Paper 1
Heavily Examined Topics in SL Paper 1:
- Topic 2: Mechanics
- Topic 5: Electricity and Magnetism
- Topic 7: Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Heavily Examined Topics in HL Paper 1:
- Topic 2: Mechanics
The Three Reasons To Believe What We Say
The First Reason:
Our company’s name is Mometrix Test Preparation, and we have a team of standardized test researchers who have worked on developing our study guide for the IB Physics test. The standards for who gets to work on the team are very strict. We demand the best for our customers, and only those who met our exacting standards made the cut. The dedicated research staff have years of combined experience in mastering the content and skills necessary to succeed on the toughest exams.
The Second Reason:
Some academic studies have revealed that test takers do not really benefit from the traditional test preparation process. But we knew there had to be a solution. If test takers were not doing well on the IB Physics test despite high intelligence, there had to be a set of secret keys to the test that would open the door of success for these test takers.
We believe we have succeeded in finding the secret keys of the exam. What we found was surprising, and in some cases ridiculously simple once explained to the average test taker.
We put the findings together in a thorough, concise study guide that we believe allows any test taker, at any skill level, to improve his or her results dramatically with a minimum of effort.
The Third Reason:
We created the product in part because we were frustrated by the options available to test takers who really wanted to do well on the IB Physics test.
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Exam Hack #: Just Memorize Stuff For 9
Well, what’s the stuff?
Let’s talk about that stuff.
I’ve gone through the last 14 years of past papers, and I’ve done a deep dive, a deep analysis of what those past papers are asking for. I’ve done a deep analysis of the strategy to really acing those past papers. And what I found is that 9 – 11% of your final IB mark, is just down to memorizing stuff. And by stuff, I mean,
So let’s talk today about how we tackle those three areas of stuff to make sure that your grades increase by 9 – 11%.
Well, that’s great news for Anders!
Go Through Past Papers
It might be helpful to go through past years papers as well and make note of topics that are frequently tested, or question types that are common. Doing this will help you identify right from the start the key areas to work on. As try to solve these past papers, you will be able to understand where you stand and how much more effort is needed to get to your target score. Youll also soon get a sense of what theories and definitions are frequently tested. Additionally, be familiar with the mark scheme you should know whats needed for an answer to be good.
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Assessment Model For Ib Physics
Studying for IB Physics requires dedication and could be time consuming. Always seek for help from your teachers or peers when you are stuck or unsure about a topic so that you can study efficiently without wasting time. Time management is also crucial for your exams. Make sure you know how much time you should spend on each question so that you wont have trouble finishing the entire paper!
Manage Your Time Wisely
If you are organised and efficient with your time, then you will obtain better grades compared to other students. Efficient time management can be the difference between two grades. It is important to remove distractions and it is important to take breaks. Your brain cannot function hour after hour without a break or refuelling. Here is an idea that works for me: I sit at my desk, get out my work and turn on my computer and mobile. For the first ten minutes I check everything and anything on my computer and mobile. My brain now tells me I do not need to worry about emails, text messages or social media because I have checked. Unless I am using my computer to work I turn off my mobile and computer because I do not want any distractions. You need peace and quiet to work properly.
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Be In Perfect Tandem With Your Teacher:
In order to maximize your score, it is important for you to follow the topic that is being covered in the classroom session. Make sure you understand each and every point that is being covered before moving on to the next topic.
You may also seek your teachers advice on the Internal Assessment preparation, as discussed above in point no.3.Your teacher may also guide you on how to maximize your overall score and how to prepare for different topics.
Insufficient Resources For Additional Learning And Revision
With the IB route being less common than the A Level route in Singapore, there would naturally be fewer resources and assessment books available for IB students than for the A levels. In fact, there are only a few credible IB Physics assessment books that are in line with the IB syllabus, one of which being the Oxford IBDP Assessment books.
Apart from resources and assessment books, there is also the lack of past year IB Physics Examination papers that students can access for their revision and practice towards their examination. As a result, students may not have enough practice to be truly confident to sit for their various Internal and External Assessments, which could prove to be detrimental to their IB Physics grades.
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Feeling Uncertain During Practical Sessions
While some students are competent in learning, understanding and communicating the scientific information taught under the IB Physics Curriculum, it becomes a different ballgame when students have to conduct scientific research and experiments. This involves students applying the relevant concepts and methodologies while conducting hands-on activities to find the accurate answer to the question.
In practical sessions, some students might be confused about the steps on how to get started with conducting scientific experiments, and may also be uncertain about whether they are applying the correct concepts and theories into their experiments. Additionally, different experiments conducted by different students would result in varying results, which further adds to the uncertainty that some students have as to whether they have done the experiment accurately.
Ib Hl Vs Sl: Whats The Difference
IBDP is a two-year long course, where students choose six subjects from six subject groups. Of these six subjects, at least three are specially curated classes called higher level , and the rest are standard level . In this blog, well be focusing on group 4, the experimental sciences, specifically Physics.
SL and HL courses are different based on difficulty and amount of the coursework to be taught to the student. Such differences must be noted prior to signing up for classes, and trying to align your HL selections with what might match your pursuits for further education could be useful. This would better prepare you for the future and depending on your school, might get you some extra course credits! Additionally, while you can do more than three HL subjects, its never recommended since three is a lot of load on the student already. Its important to remember that even though this guide will be focusing on the SL aspects of Physics, a lot of the concepts in SL carry over to HL.
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Stop Inefficient Revision Now For Your Ib Physics Exams
Shocking Fact! Not all topics in IB Physics are represented equally in the final exams and you must be strategic to maximise marks and minimise effort.
If your aim is to get good marks in your IB Physics exams then you need to study strategically. This means you should have a plan of action for your exam revision. This plan should be based on evidence and calculated hunches. I’ll walk you through a detailed plan below.
NOTE:In the video above I mention the IB Physics: Starter Study Kit – you can download that here if you want free kit.
I get it. You dont have the time or resources to build out a plan of action based on evidence and calculated hunches. What does that even mean??
Good news. Ive got time.
Great news! Ive built out a plan of action and revision strategy for you and it starts with prioritising the most heavily examined concepts . The 13 minute video above will help.