IB Physics: Everything You Need To Know About Topic 2 Mechanics

exam facts exam technique ib physics

In my online program, Ace Your IB Physics Exams, I teach IB Physics Topic 2: Mechanics in a step-by-step program that is designed to improve grades in Mechanics in the most effective and efficient way.


We discuss the concepts that are most frequently examined first and make sure that the understanding and exam technique is 100% on those concepts before working down to lesser examined concepts. Students have access to my pre-recorded videos, downloadable resources AND direct access to me at any time to ask questions.


I'm delighted to report that my step-by-step method is really successful! I have hundreds of students work through the program and the consistent improvement in results is phenomenal.


I thought it would be useful to share some of the facts that my step-by-step strategy is built upon and I'm going to focus particularly on Topic 2: Mechanics.



How heavily weighted is Topic 2 in IB Physics?

In 2023 and 2024 IB Exams (i.e. where Paper 3 is being assessed)

Standard Level: 14.8%
Higher Level: 8.6%

This means that 14.8% (or 8.6% in HL) of your final IB Physics mark is down to answering questions about Topic 2 in your final exam...... That's HUGE!


You cannot ignore Mechanics.


Topic 2 Mechanics Past Paper Questions

When you start to work on past paper questions for Topic 2 Mechanics, you'll notice that they are really quite difficult. The questions tend to be worth lots of marks and they span a number of different concepts within the topic.

My advice is to start practising them now.

Get good at mechanics past paper questions now.

I have a couple of resources that will help you get better at mechanics past paper questions.

Magic Marking Grid

My Magic Marking Grid is a specific (free) tool that will help you improve your exam technique in Mechanics and learn from your mistakes quicker than just 'using past papers'.

If you make mistakes when completing Topic 2 Mechanics past paper questions, it is really important that you learn from those mistakes. It’s not enough just to chalk up your marks and hope that you’ll do better in the next paper. 

My magic marking grid will help you improve with every past paper question (or homework problem) you complete. It is a tool you can use to receive personalised feedback on your performance in topic tests and past papers.

You can get a copy of my Magic Marking Grid inside my IB Physics; Starter Study Kit.

It's free. It's here for you. Download here

Ace Your IB Physics Exams

In a 'normal' classroom setting, it might take your teacher 1-2 months to get through Topic 2 Mechanics in class. This is limited to their access time to you (3-4 hours per week) and the fact that you can only be in school for certain hours/days!

For the whole IB Physics course, it takes two years to get through the content AND to develop the problem-solving skills / exam technique necessary to get that 7 in IB Physics. However, combining my passion for online learning AND the desire to be as effective and efficient as possible - I have developed a step-by-step system that accelerates you through IB Physics. Quite simply, hundreds of students have gone through it to support their classroom learning and seen amazing results. You can read more here


The following three concepts within Topic 2 are most commonly examined. You need to be sooooo good at these concepts.

  • Projectile Motion
  • Forces in Equilibrium
  • Conservation of Momentum



Not drawing a diagram is about the worst thing you can do!

​Please, please, please draw a diagram. It will make your life much easier. I talk you through how to draw the correct diagrams in Ace Your IB Physics Exams.



(You need to memorise this)

For an object in freefall in a gravitational field, the total energy in the system is (assuming no air resistance or drag):

Power in terms of work done:

Hope this helps!


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