Overview Of The Exam

A-Level Physics Paper 3(Advanced practical Skills) is a 40 mark 2-hour exam. 2 questions each of 20 marks are provided where each question is to be done in 60 minutes.In many areas two variants are offered:

  • Advanced Practical Skills 1
  • Advanced Practical Skills 2.

Physics Paper 3 is a laboratory-based practical exam that is based on 3 major experimental skills that each student should possess while they appear in the exam.

  1. Manipulation – your measurement and observation skills
  2. Presentation – Layout of your data, observations and graphs; and,
  3. Analysis

In the first Question you would be asked to draw a graph and make conclusions. Occasionally a 1 or 2 mark question that will test your physics laboratory skills and physics knowledge sometimes. The second question would require you to collect data and draw conclusions. Plotting a graph may or may not be required. The experiment set-up will have some errors. Students are required to spot four errors and then suggest improvements for the experiment.

Any previous knowledge of the experiment will not be required, and both questions would be set from two different sections of Physics syllabus.

How are marks divided in each Question?

Marks are allocated in a different manner in both of the questions. These are the minimum mark allocated to each Question.

Question 1

  1. Manipulation – 7 marks based on range and distribution of values, collection and quality of data
  2. Presentation – 6 marks based on making table of results, calculations and graph.
  3. Analysis – 4 marks based on interpreting graph and drawing conclusions from it.

Question 2

  1. Manipulation – 5 marks based on collection and quality of data
  2. Presentation – 2 marks based on recording of data
  3. Analysis –  10 marks based on drawing conclusions, spotting uncertainties, error identification and giving suggestions.

Students must have a look at the grade thresholds and examiner reports and mark schemes. This would help you know how examiners mark your exams and what are the average scores of students globally.

Physics A-Level 9702

How to prepare for physics paper 3

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