The New IB Physics Data Booklet for 2025+ Exams
The IB Physics data booklet is a complete lifesaver for any IB Physics student. This GradePod article will look at how you can make maximum use of the formula booklet at all stages of the new IB Physics syllabus.
For students sitting IB Physics exams in 2025 and beyond
Let’s fast-forward to your exams for a moment…
Imagine sitting in the exam hall, feeling that wave of confidence as you flip through a booklet filled to the brim with electrical symbols, essential mathematical equations, constants, and physics equations—all precisely curated to align with your exam needs. That booklet exists!
Your IB Physics data booklet is your exam best friend and you have to know how to use it.
You can download your copy below.
Download the IB Physics Data Booklet HEREYour exams might feel like they are far away, but trust me… you need to eat, sleep 😴, and breathe this booklet so that when the time comes, navigating its pages is as natural as breathing. Why? Because the exam doesn’t just test your memory; it’s all about interpretation and application.
Each student will be given a clean copy of the formula booklet during exams. The school must get these from the IBO to ensure every student is armed and ready.
In the meantime, you’ll need a copy now (and you know that GradePod has got your back - you can download your copy here!)
This article will go through how to understand and use this formula booklet.
CONTENTS
1. How The Data Booklet Has Changed In 2025
- Instructions for Downloading and Using The Data Booklet
- New Mathematical Equations
- Uncertainties and Vectors
- Electrical Symbols
- Electromagnetic Spectrum
2. How to Use the IB Physics Data Booklet
3. Key Points to Know About Each Section of the Data Booklet
- Vector Notation
- Constants to Memorise
- A.2 Forces and Momentum (Impulse)
- B.3 Gas Laws
- C.1 Simple Harmonic Motion (HL)
- D.5 Doppler Effect (HL)
1. How The Data Booklet Has Changed In 2025
The new booklet is in two sections.
Section 1
This section includes information which will be useful throughout the teaching of DP physics (e.g., mathematical relationships, fundamental constants, electrical circuit components, etc.).
Section 2
The second contains equations relevant to specific themes and topics in the IB Physics syllabus.
Instructions for Downloading and Using The Data Booklet
The 2016 booklet stressed the need for students to have a copy of the data booklet for exams. However, the 2025 booklet places more responsibility on schools to download and ensure sufficient copies from the IBIS or the Programme Resource Centre, reflecting possibly stricter guidelines or more structured administrative processes for the use of these booklets.
The 2025 booklet highlights the importance of the student using the data booklet throughout the course and using it to develop “understandings”. There has previously been concern that students were only getting a copy of the data booklet in the weeks before the exam and were not able to interpret and apply the formula inside the booklet.
SUMMARY: The new IB Physics data booklet should be used throughout the whole course and you should be provided a copy by your school.
You can also download a copy of the IB Physics Formula Booklet here.
New Mathematical Equations
IB Physics students were previously expected to memorise the mathematical relationships that underpinned IB Physics. Imagine having to memorise the volume of a sphere AND answer super hard questions about gravity! The new IB Physics data booklet makes mathematical equations much easier by adding the following relationships, which will be a massive help!
SUMMARY: There are more mathematical relationships in this new booklet
Uncertainties and Vectors
The previous IB Physics syllabus had a whole topic devoted to measurements, uncertainties, vectors, and units. You would have found the equations relating to these topics in the “Topic 1” section of the old data booklet.
The new IB Physics syllabus has scrapped that. You’ll now learn these concepts holistically as you progress through the course. All the relevant equations are still in the booklet and they can be found in these two subsections:
- Mathematical equations
- Uncertainties
SUMMARY: Whilst vectors and uncertainties are not taught as a topic in class, you are expected to be able to work with them. All the equations you’ll need are in section 1 of the IB Physics Data Booklet.
Electrical Symbols
The symbol for an AC power supply has been removed because the AC content has been removed from the new IB Physics Syllabus.
Light Emitting Diode, Motor and Earth have been added to the 2025 IB Physics data booklet (expect questions on these!)
SUMMARY: Expect to see the LED, Motor, and Earth in electric circuits from now on.
SUMMARY: You no longer need to learn the electromagnetic spectrum data.
NOTE: Download The Data Booklet HERE
Download HereThe IB Physics Data Booklet can be super useful and give you extra marks if you know how to use it properly. Let’s look at my tips on how to use the formula booklet throughout the IB Physics course to maximise marks in your final exams.
Throughout The IBDP Physics Course
Practice Problems
The most important advice is to complete as many practice problems and past paper questions as possible throughout the course - not JUST in the final few months before the exams. Regularly applying the equations and constants from the IB Physics Data Booklet will reinforce your memory but will also help you understand how and when to use specific pieces of information.
Be Aware
While doing all these practice problems, note which constants and relationships you use the most, and start to memorise key fundamental concepts and relationships. This will speed up the process of the exam.
Annotate
You’ll get a clean copy of the IB Physics Data Booklet in your exams, but you should annotate your copy throughout the year. I’d probably add notes on what symbols mean or limits to the equations, etc. You can download a copy of my annotated data booklet here - to get an idea of how to annotate your data booklet.
Study Groups
Discuss the contents of the formula booklet with peers in study groups. Explaining how you use the booklet to others can deepen your understanding and reveal alternative ways to approach the material.
SUMMARY: Regularly use the IB Physics Data Booklet for practice problems, annotate it for clarity, and discuss it in study groups to reinforce key concepts and relationships
During IB Physics Exams
Reading Time
Use the reading time before the exam to quickly review the booklet to refresh your memory on the locations of key formulae and constants. This will save valuable time during the exam.
Link to syllabus topic
Look at the problem you are solving in the exam paper. You can probably identify which topic the problem is addressing (e.g. A.1 Kinematics). Flip to the section of the data booklet that corresponds with the syllabus topic. You’ll be able to spot the correct formal much quicker. This will help you visualise how the booklet’s contents fit into the broader course structure and exam format.
Quantity symbols
Write down the symbols for every quantity given in the question. Here’s an example:
- For this question, you would flip to Topic B.5 Current and Circuits.
- Do any symbols match those shown in the data booklet for that topic? YES!
- You can see the symbols match the equation for internal resistance and you'd use that equation.
Estimate
This tip probably applies more to multiple-choice questions in Paper 1A. However, using the constants and relationships from the booklet to estimate expected answers before performing detailed calculations will help you check the reasonableness of your answers.
SUMMARY: In IB Physics exams, use the reading time to review the data booklet, link questions to syllabus topics, write down given symbols, and estimate answers using booklet constants to save time and improve accuracy.
NOTE: Download The Data Booklet HERE
Download Here3: Key Points to Know About Each Section of the Data Booklet
As you progress through the data booklet, you'll notice some nuances and crucial points that will make or break your exam performance. I want to use this section to highlight some of the key points I've noticed. I'll break down what you need to know and why it matters.
Inside TrIBe Physics you'll make active use of the data booklet as you work through video tutorials, past papers and mock exams with me.
Honestly.... the TrIBe Physics program is awesome! You get personalised support and guidance from me (with direct access), meaning you can significantly improve your understanding of Physics concepts and excel in your exams. Don't forget there is a 💯 money-back grade guarantee on the lifetime plan - meaning there is no risk for you 💪😊 |
In the IB Physics Data Booklet, all equations relate to the magnitude of the quantities only. Vector notation has not been used.
SUMMARY: You’re not expected to use vector notation in your exam paper.
Constants to Memorise
The fundamental constants below are in the data booklet; however, if you commit them to memory, it will speed up your problem-solving in the exam and improve your exam technique:
- Acceleration of free fall: g = 9.8 ms^{-2}
- This is the gravitational field strength on the Earth’s surface.
- You can use g = 10ms^{-2} in Paper 1A. This is because most answers will require an estimation, rather than an exact answer.
- In the previous specification, I encouraged students to use g = 9.81ms^{-2} (3sf), but it's clear that the IB are happy with 2sf.
- The gravitational constant: G = 6.67 ×10^{−11} Nm^{2} kg^{−2}
- Note the difference between G and g.
- You'll use this constant when you're dealing with macroscopic scales of gravity and radial fields.
- Coulomb constant: k = 8.99x10^{9 }Nm^{2} C^{−2}
- The IB have include this constant in the IB Physics specification in a confusing way... we go through it fully inside TrIBe Physics.
- Basically:
Where ε_{0} is the permittivity of free space (vacuum). This value of ε changes in different media.
If you experience a exam question that requires you to analyse electric fields that are NOT in free space, you cannot use the coulomb constant.
SUMMARY: You can only use the coulomb constant, k, when the system is in free space.
C.1 Simple Harmonic Motion (HL)
Many exam questions ask you to find the maximum speed of a particle undergoing SHM. The equation is in the data booklet, but it’s not very obvious. You need to manipulate this equation. We talk about this lots inside TrIBe Physics.
D.5 Doppler Effect (HL)
If the question relies on the wave being reflected, then you should have to apply the doppler effect twice. I don’t think the data booklet makes that very clear. We talk about this in detail inside TrIBe Physics.
NOTE: Download The Data Booklet HERE
Download HereWhere can I download the IB Physics Data Booklet for the 2025 syllabus?
Can I use my annotated data booklet during the IB exams?
What are the major changes in the 2025 version of the data booklet compared to the previous versions?
How should I use the data booklet during the exams to maximise my performance?
Are there any constants or formulas I should memorise despite having the booklet during exams?
How has the approach to teaching vectors and uncertainties changed with the new syllabus?
What should I do if I find discrepancies or errors in the data booklet during the course or exams?
5. TrIBe Physics (Direct Access to Me!)
I've given lots of free advice in this article on how to use use the IB Physics data booklet for maximum advantage during the whole course AND when you're actually sitting in your exam.
Hopefully, you've also downloaded your own copy of the data booklet and are ready to work your way to a 7 in IB Physics!
If you need help understanding and applying the physics concepts you've learned in class to get better scores in exam questions.
AND
If you'd like that extra help from me...?
Then I suggest you join TrIBe Physics!
TrIBe Physics offers step-by-step guidance, personalised checklists, video tutorials, past paper question banks, feedback reports AND direct access to me, Sally Weatherly. You'll master concepts, learn to apply them in exams, identify your weaknesses, and optimise your study techniques. Let's transform your IB Physics experience together! |
The BEST BIT about TrIBe Physics
TrIBe Physics is not just about the data booklet.
TrIBe Physics is EVERYTHING you need to score a 7 in IB Physics - or your money back.
I've put EVERY SINGLE BIT OF SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE into TrIBe Physics and I'll support you through the complete IB Physics syllabus all the way until that final IB Physics exam.
It’s the new way of learning and I'll be here for you every step of the way
It may come as no surprise to you that I believe the TrIBe Physics online course is the best IB Physics resource you'll ever find - or your money back! |
We can, of course, part ways and you have plenty of great stuff to start you down your journey towards a 7 in IB Physics….
OR….
You can join me for the next step and enrol in TrIBe Physics.
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