Frequently asked questions ib physics sally

FAQ: How heavily examined is Topic 1?

frequently asked questions ib physics Aug 23, 2021


Does the IB examine students on Topic 1 (Measurements and Uncertainties)? Or is it just a physics-prerequisite chapter?


Soooo.... this is a difficult question to answer - depending on when your exams are and what level.

'Normal' Exams

In 'normal' years, Chapter 1 makes up an average of 8% in HL and 9% in SL of your FINAL IB Physics mark. A huge proportion of Paper 3 is devoted to the concepts in Paper 3. By the way, that percentage takes into account your IA (20%). Soooo.. if you answered all the questions in chapter 1 correctly - it could be the difference of a whole grade boundary in your exams.

'Covid' Exams

In 'covid' exams, paper 3 has been eliminated. That means that the average percentage devoted to chapter 1 in IB Physics exams is waaaaay down to about 1% in SL and 0.8% in HL Physics. This is because Paper 1 only ever examines Chapter 1 with one or two multiple choice questions.

So, if your exams are 'covid' exams, then you really do not want to prioritise chapter 1 in any revision. If your exams are after May 2022 - then you really DO want to prioritise Chapter 1.

Exam Consistency

All of the above advise depends on the IB being consistent with their exam writing. For the last few years, things have been very consistent (e.g. Q1 in Paper 3 is a data analysis question, etc). It would be out of character to change the goalposts significantly (especially in these very difficult times during Covid) without lots of warning first. Therefore, I think you can be pretty confident of the predicted percentages above.

Does that make sense?


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