Assessment Report

Level 1 Physics 2018

Standards 90937  90938  90939

Part A: Commentary

Diagrams are an important method of communicating complex ideas and need to be drawn with care.

Many candidates attempt to answer questions without using precise physics words and so hamper their chances of correctly identifying the concepts required.

Some candidates attempted explanations by describing mathematical relationships instead of relating phenomena to underlying physics concepts.

 Many candidates have issues with use of scientific notation, and have difficulty correctly carrying out calculations or expressing answers with them.

Part B: Report on standards

90937:  Demonstrate understanding of aspects of electricity and magnetism

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • gave explanations that lacked detail
  • used the correct formula in attempting to solve problems
  • named the correct rule or phenomena relevant to the given context.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • used general rather than specific terms (e.g. change rather than increase)
  • rearranged formulae incorrectly or used the incorrect formula in calculations
  • confused electric and magnetic fields.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • rearranged formulae correctly in calculations
  • qualitatively explained relationships between physics quantities/concepts
  • used rules and conventions to identify and show the direction of magnetic fields.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • confidently used standard prefixes, particularly mA to A
  • gave written explanations that were both precise and concise
  • understood how two magnetic fields combine.

Standard specific comments

 


 

90938:  Demonstrate understanding of aspects of wave behaviour

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • correctly identified wavelength and amplitude
  • recalled what diffraction was
  • defined frequency
  • recalled order of colours dispersing through a prism
  • knew the requirements for Total Internal Reflection to occur.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • incorrectly performed simple calculations
  • failed to draw correctly the shape of diffracted waves
  • did not identify diffraction and refraction by name in questions concerning them
  • gave the incorrect order of colours in prism dispersion
  • did not identify wavelength or amplitude of a transverse wave
  • did not state that the angle of incidence and reflection are the same
  • did not identify requirements for Total Internal Reflection.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • drew diagrams with care
  • correctly represented diffraction, reflection and refraction in diagrams
  • identified transverse waves as having perpendicular particle motion
  • described that diffraction did not change any of the wave parameters, only direction of the wave.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • recognised that rays travelling to the eye can take different paths when originating from the same point, but still end up in the eye.
  • could convert between units (e.g. seconds and milliseconds).

Standard specific comments

Many candidates could not recall the simple law of reflection.

Many candidates did not know the modes of vibration of transverse/longitudinal waves.


90939:  Demonstrate understanding of aspects of heat

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • chose the correct equations and to substitute the correct numbers into chosen equations
  • incorrectly interpreted the stages of a heating curve and/or did not use correct terms for the phases of water shown on a heating curve
  • did not make the link between (no) change in temperature and (no) change in kinetic energy during a phase change
  • linked the concepts of heat transfer to the question context but answers lacked depth e.g. not stating the relevant physical features or not identifying the specific method of heat transfer
  • partially answered questions e.g. when asked for the change in temperature of both ice and water candidates often only stated the change in temperature for either ice OR water.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • were unable to link the concepts of heat transfer to the context of the questions e.g. referring to insulation without reference to conduction or convection
  • were unable to interpret the stages of a heating curve correctly
  • did not use correct terms for the phases of water, opting instead to say water and/or ice instead of solid and/or liquid
  • chose incorrect equations and/or did not substitute the correct numbers into their chosen equations
  • did not convert minutes to seconds for use in calculations
  • attempted to answer questions by rephrasing the question
  • gave vague answers that did not identify the direction of heat transfer, or that described temperature change without indicating whether the temperature increased or decreased.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • substituted correct numbers into chosen equations
  • gave the correct units with calculated answers
  • often did not link the relevant concept (e.g. conservation of energy) to support correct calculations
  • clearly explained a range of concepts within each question.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • explained and discussed relevant concepts within each question e.g. made the link between (no) change in temperature and (no) change in kinetic energy during a phase change
  • clearly and comprehensively answered all aspects of each question
  • correctly interpreted the stages of a heating curve, using correct terms for the phases of water shown on the heating curve
  • made links between the methods of heat transfer and the various contexts of the exam questions e.g. insulation linked to reduced heat conduction.

Standard specific comments

Large numbers of candidates were:

  • unable to make the link between (no) change in temperature and (no) change in kinetic energy during a phase change
  • unable to identify the specific method of heat transfer involved in an unfamiliar context.

Physics subject page

 

Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 232KB)

2017 (PDF, 43KB)

 
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