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Assessment Report
Level 2 Physics 2018
Standards 91170 91171 91173
Part A: Commentary
Candidates are advised to clearly explain what they are doing at each step in calculation questions. It is hard for markers to give credit to a space filled with numbers. Writing the relevant formula, then substituting numbers then giving the correct numerical solution with correct units, is expected. “Show” questions particularly require some sort of explanation.
When making comparative statements such as “resistance is increasing”, candidates should be clear whether they are referring to the total resistance or the resistance of a component in the circuit.
Candidates need to answer all parts of a question, in particular, when instructed to give a direction or state an assumption.
Part B: Report on standards
91170: Demonstrate understanding of waves
Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:
 used Descartes formula correctly
 explained what refraction is
 drew refracted rays on a diagram
 used basic wave equations and concepts to answer questions
 used Snell’s law correctly
 identified when diffraction occurs
 solved a simple wave superposition question.
Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:
 could not draw simple ray diagrams or draw refraction rays
 could not perform basic calculations or manage standard form calculations
 were unable to identify amplitude or wavelength on a diagram
 could not identify positions of constructive and destructive interference or explain their cause.
Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:
 drew correct ray diagrams
 correctly described images
 identified the appropriate mirror to use in certain situations
 explained how wavelength affects diffraction
 identified positions of constructive and destructive interference and gave a basic explanation of what causes it
 correctly used standard form in calculations.
Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:
 justified why they selected a particular mirror for a task
 explained how the wave equation and a constant frequency affects refraction
 used path difference to correctly describe interference
 explained how the wave equation and a constant frequency affects refraction.
Standard specific comments
Candidates should use a ruler for all ray diagrams, labelling points when asked. For Show questions, it is expected pupils provide full working, including the formula, substation and then the correct numerical answer.
91171: Demonstrate understanding of mechanics
Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:
 completed onestep calculations correctly
 explained simple physics concepts
 calculated spring constant correctly
 calculated elastic potential energy correctly
 explained conservation of energy
 calculated impulse correctly
 calculated speed from impulse correctly
 knew the travel direction of a projectile released from circular motion
 calculated velocity from distance and time.
Candidates work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:
 completed some onestep calculations in limited contexts
 explained some simple physics concepts in limited contexts.
Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:
 completed most multiplestep calculations accurately
 explained most physics concepts clearly and in depth
 calculated total elastic potential energy correctly
 explained the physics of changes that would increase launch speed of a projectile in context
 recognised all of the forces acting on a balanced beam, without including any nonexistent forces
 explained the physics of why the time of an impact reduces the force of that impact
 combined the use of an appropriate kinematic equation with trigonometry to calculate the vertical speed of a projectile
 explained clearly the effect of reduced gravity on the time of flight and hence the range of a projectile.
Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:
 wrote elegant, accurate solutions to numerical problems
 wrote clear, comprehensive explanations of physics phenomena
 drew closed vector diagrams correctly to scale and used them to calculate an unknown force
 discussed fully the physics of changes that could increase the launch speed of a projectile in context
 recognised the significance of impulse or change of momentum being the constant factor when stopping a moving object
 carried out a succinct calculation to show whether a projected balloon was in the correct position to be caught.
Standard specific comments
91173: Demonstrate understanding of electricity and electromagnetism
Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:
 applied E=V/d given two values to find the third
 knew negatively charged particles were attracted to the positive plate and could draw field lines between charged plates
 applied resistor combination formula
 applied the righthand rule for determining the direction of force on a current carrying wire
 Did not realise that although changing the distance between the plates changed the strength of the electric field it also reduced the distance the particle could move and these two effects cancelled each other out.
Candidates work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:
 confused magnetic and electric fields
 thought that increasing the distance between the plates increased the particles velocity.
 could not determine the direction of force on a current carrying wire in a magnetic field and did not use the words given in the question to convey the direction
 used the length of the rod and not the length of the magnetic field to calculate the induced voltage
 did not clearly show how a resistance was found in a show question
 thought the separation of charge caused by a moving conductor in a magnetic field was the induced current and did not realise this was the induced voltage
 did not know what the letters in formula stood for and applied incorrect formula
 thought the d in E_{p}=Eqd was the distance between the plates and not the distance moved by the particle.
Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:
 knew the electric field curved from the ends of parallel plates
 knew that adding parallel components lowered the total resistance of the circuit
 could consistently apply the right hand rule (or similar) to identify the positive end of a moving conductor or the direction of force on a current carrying wire
 determined the power of components in a parallel branch of a circuit
 knew you need and induced voltage and a circuit to get an induced current.
Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:
 calculated the speed of a particle accelerated by an electric field
 identified when a moving conductor in a magnetic field induced a voltage and current
 explained which bulb in a circuit was brighter and justify in terms of voltage and current
 explained the effects of adding an Ammeter to a circuit in parallel with a component.
Standard specific comments
Many candidates failed to realise that by increasing the distance between the plates you also lowered the electric field strength between the plates and therefore falsely claimed that increasing the distance between the plates would increase the speed of the particle.
Many candidates still do not understand how you can have an induced voltage and not an induced current with some thinking that the separation of charge that occurs is the induced current.
Most candidates were unable to explain what adding an ammeter in parallel would do to a circuit.
Physics subject page
Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 215KB)