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Physics

Physics
Aims
A course based on this specification should encourage candidates to:

  • develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, science
  • develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods
  • acquire and apply skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works and its essential role in society
  • acquire scientific skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for progression to further learning.

 

6 Assessment Objectives

6.1 The scheme of assessment will require candidates to demonstrate the abilities detailed under assessment objectives below in the context of the subject content in Sections 10-13.

 

 

6.2 Assessment Objective 1 (AO1) Knowledge and understanding of science and how science works

Candidates should be able to:

a) demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the scientific facts, concepts, techniques and terminology in the specification

b) show understanding of how scientific evidence is collected and its relationship with scientific explanations and theories

c) show understanding of how scientific knowledge and ideas change over time and how these changes are validated.

 

 

6.3 Assessment Objective 2 (AO2) Application of skills, knowledge and understanding

Candidates should be able to:

a) apply concepts, develop arguments or draw conclusions related to familiar and unfamiliar situations

b) plan a scientific task, such as a practical procedure, testing an idea, answering a question or solving a problem

c) show understanding of how decisions about science and technology are made in different situations, including contemporary situations and those raising ethical issues

d) evaluate the impact of scientific developments or processes on individuals, communities or the environment.

 

 

6.4 Assessment Objective 3 (AO3) Practical, enquiry and data handling skills

Candidates should be able to:

a) carry out practical tasks safely and skilfully

b) evaluate the methods they use when collecting first-hand and secondary data

c) analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data from different sources

d) consider the validity and reliability of data in presenting and justifying conclusions.

 

 

 

7 Scheme of Assessment

7.1 Assessment Units The Scheme of Assessment comprises four or five units: Physics 1, or (Physics 1a and Physics 1b), Physics 2, Physics 3, and the Physics centre–assessed unit. The objective tests are available as paper-based and from November

2007 as on-screen tests in centres.

 

 

Physics 1 Written Paper 45 minutes
25% of the marks 45 marks
The unit comprises a written paper with short answer questions.
The questions assess the subject content in Sections 10 (up to 9 marks) and 11 (at least 36 marks). The paper is available at Foundation and Higher Tier. All questions are compulsory.
Either Physics 1 or (Physics 1a and Physics 1b) should be taken.

 

 

Physics 1a Objective Test 30 minutes
12.5% of the marks 36 marks
The unit comprises an objective test with matching and multiple choice questions. The questions assess the content in Sections 10 (at least 7 marks) and 11a (up to 29 marks). The test is
available at Foundation and Higher Tier. All questions are compulsory.

 

 

Physics 1b Objective Test 30 minutes
12.5% of the marks 36 marks
The unit comprises an objective test with matching and multiple choice questions. The questions assess the content in Sections 10 (at least 7 marks) and 11b (up to 29 marks). The test is
available at Foundation and Higher Tier. All questions are compulsory.

 

 

Physics 2 Written Paper 45 minutes
25% of the marks 45 marks
The unit comprises a written paper with short answer questions.
The questions assess the subject content in Sections 10 (up to 9 marks) and 12 (at least 36 marks). The paper is available at Foundation and Higher Tier. All questions are compulsory. General Certificate of Secondary Education.

 

 

Physics 3 Written Paper 45 minutes
25% of the marks 45 marks
The unit comprises a written paper with short answer questions.
The questions assess the subject content in Sections 10 (up to 9 marks) and 13 (at least 36 marks). The paper is available at Foundation and Higher Tier. All questions are compulsory.

 

 

Physics Centre-Assessed Unit
25% of the marks 40 marks
The unit comprises an Investigative Skills Assignment, which is normal class practical work
followed by an externally set, internally assessed test taking 45 minutes, and a Practical Skills Assessment which is a holistic practical skills assessment. The unit assesses parts of the content in Section 10 (these are detailed in Section 17).

 

 

7.2 Weighting of Assessment Objectives

The approximate relationship between the relative percentage weighting of the Assessment

Objectives (AOs) and the overall Scheme of Assessment is shown in the following table:

 

 

Assessment Objectives

Unit Weightings (%)

Overall Weighting of AOs (%)

Physics 1

Physics 2

Physics 3

Physics Centre Assessed Unit

AO1
AO2
AO3

12
13
-

12
13
-

12
13
-

-
5
20

36
44
20

Overall Weighting (%)

25

25

25

25

100

 

 

8 Summary of Subject Content

8.1 How Science Works

10.1 The thinking behind the doing

10.2 Fundamental ideas

10.3 Observation as a stimulus to investigation

10.4 Designing an investigation

10.5 Making measurements

10.6 Presenting data

10.7 Using data to draw conclusions

10.8 Societal aspects of scientific evidence

10.9 Limitations of scientific evidence

 

 

8.2 Physics 1 Physics 1a

11.1 How is heat (thermal energy) transferred and what factors affect the rate at which heat is transferred?

11.2 What is meant by the efficient use of energy?

11.3 Why are electrical devices so useful?

11.4 How should we generate the electricity we need?

Physics 1b 11.5 What are the uses and hazards of the waves that form the electromagnetic

spectrum?

11.6 What are the uses and dangers of emissions from radioactive substances?

11.7 What do we know about the origins of the Universe and how it continues to change?

 

 

8.3 Physics 2 12.1 How can we describe the way things move?

12.2 How do we make things speed up or slow down?

12.3 What happens to the movement energy when things speed up or slow down?

12.4 What is momentum?

12.5 What is static electricity, how can it be used and what is the connection between static

electricity and electric currents?

12.6 What does the current through an electrical circuit depend on?

12.7 What is mains electricity and how can it be used safely?

12.8 Why do we need to know the power of electrical appliances?

12.9 What happens to radioactive substances when they decay?

12.10 What are nuclear fission and nuclear fusion?

 

 

8.4 Physics 3 13.1 How do forces have a turning effect?

13.2 What keeps bodies moving in a circle?

13.3 What provides the centripetal force for planets and satellites?

13.4 What do mirrors and lenses do to light?

13.5 What is sound?

13.6 What is ultrasound and how can it be used?

13.7 How can electricity be used to make things move?

13.8 How do generators work?

13.9 How do transformers work?

13.10 What is the life history of stars?