Sunday, November 8, 2015

A-Levels to MCAT - Physics Guide (part 1)

  • A-Levels to MCAT - Physics Guide (part 1)

The Physics guide will be divided into 2 parts. This is the first part.

Expected duration: 7 days

Page 6 (Table of Specification)
The number of questions each topic will have is given. Every question counts.

Back to page 2 (start of the learning outcomes)
Read you’re A-level notes on the particular chapter first, then move to your FSC books.

Chapter # 1
Questions asked: 02

The entire chapter is included except the subtopic of errors and uncertainties. The 'Tidbits' and 'Do You Know's and 'For your Information's etc on the sides of the pages are VERY IMPORTANT IN EVERY CHAPTER.

Now it is very unlikely that they will ask you about all of the 'Areas of Physics' as mentioned on page 2. But they can very well ask you the diameter of a nucleus as given on page 3. Cram the figures and values. You don't really have a choice in it. And if it's getting too hard to memorize, then cram the ones you think are important. What seems to be important are:

• 'For you information' on page 3
• Table 1.1 & 1.2 on page 4
• Table 1.4 on page 6 (Very important!!)
• 'For your Information' on page 14

But if you can; try and memorize all of the values given in the text and tables.

Practice the example questions along the way because they might ask you exactly them.

Now as for the learning outcomes mentioned...

• Point (a) is covered on pages 1 - 3
• Point (b) is covered on pages 3 -5
• Point (c) is covered on pages 16 - 17

Pages 6 - 15 aren't included so you don't need to waste your time on them. If you still don't feel satisfied with leaving so many pages you can always just read them but you really won't be asked anything out of the syllabus.

Chapter # 2 & # 5
Questions: 02

Forces is a very small and easy chapter in the MCAT syllabus contrary to the A'levels one. A lot of topics are skipped in the syllabus. And many chapters are excluded as well so you don't need to do the entire book. Chapter 3, 4 and most of 2 and 5 aren't included. If you're giving the NUST test, then the whole book will be included but not for MCAT since the main focus is on Biology and not Physics.

Okay, so:
• Point (a) is covered on pages 116 - 118
• Point (b) isn't really in the book. You should just know what the centre of gravity is which you have already studied a billion times before. Nothing more is required.
• Point (c) is covered on pages 36 - 39

Chapter # 6
Questions: 03

This is an entirely different and new chapter that you have never before. You might take some time learning and understanding it but once you do, it is a pretty easy and straightforward chapter. Again, you need to learn the tidbits on the sides of the pages as with every chapter. I can not stress this enough.

This chapter has a few confusing formulae but you'll get the hang of them eventually. Understand how they are derived. Read every line carefully. Now even though some topics like 'Torricelli's Theorem' aren't mentioned in the syllabus, I still did the whole chapter to stay on the side and you should too.

Small pieces of information such as '1 torr = 133.3Nm-2' as given on page 137 are the examiner's pet questions. The UHS examiners pick out the smallest of figures and information and make an MCQ out of it so keep your eyes peeled and watch out for every word. Try not to overlook anything.

• Point (a) is covered on page 128
• Point (b) is covered on page 130
• Point (c) is covered on page 131
• Point (d) is covered on page 132 - 134
• Point (e) is covered on page 135, 137 - 138.


Chapter # 9 & # 10
Questions: 04

This chapter is more or less the same as the one we studied in AS Level. It does have a few more details that are new to you as well as a few more formulae. Note that the variables used in the FSC books aren't always the same as those in A'level books. For example, one of the formulas we have studied for 'fringe distance' in A'levels was 'x = λD / a'
But in FSC, it is 'y = λL / d'. You have to learn and adapt to the FSC formulae now. Because the MCAT is purely FSC.

• Point (a) is covered on pages 195 - 202 (Definition of interference is on page no. 178. Details is Michelson's inferometer are not required. Just learn the basics!)
• Point (b) is covered on on page 203 - 206
• Point (c) is covered in pages 206 - 207
• Point (d) is covered on pages 209 - 220
• Point (e) is not in the FSC book. If you have the KIPS KETs book, cover it from there. If you don't, Google it or consult another book. Basically all you should know us what happens in both long & short sightedness and how they are corrected.
• Point (f) is covered on pages 214 - 216
• Point (g) is covered on pages 217 - 219
• Point (h) is covered on pages 226 - 232.

The Telescope and Spectrometer are NOT included. For this chapter, I would recommend revising the O'LEVEL chapter of 'Light', and the method of calculating focal length etc. Questions from this topic are not so straight forward so get your concepts strong.


Chapter # 7 & # 8
Questions: 04

A LOT has been excluded from this chapter in the MCAT syllabus. Doppler effect is a relatively new concept as is the speed of Sound. Both these topics are VERY important.

• Point (a) is covered on pages 142 - 151. You don't need to study the graphs or go into too much details. Just learn the basics and definitions and the formulae.
• Point (b) is covered on pages 152 - 153. Personally, I never had a good concept of this particular subtopic. So if you're confused too then ask a Physics teacher.
• Point (c) is covered on pages 154 - 155
• Point (d) is covered on the pages 155 - 157
• Point (e) is covered on pages 184 - 188
• Point (f) isn't exactly in the book so refer to the KIPS book.
• Point (f) is on pages 167 - 171. This is VERY important subtopic. Make sure you have a solid grip on it. Do not forget to cram the values and figures.
• Point (h) is covered on page 169 (under the box 'for your information')

(This chapter will be dealt with in part 2.)

Chapter # 11
Questions: 02

This topic and the next, 'Heat and Thermodynamics' are basically both inter-related and in chapter no.11. But I'll deal with both of them separately.

• Point (a), (b), (c) & (d) are all from pages 237 - 243. The formulae are very important and the relation of one variable to another. For example in the formula 'P = 2/3 N/V <½ mv2>', you should know that 'P' is directly proportional to 2N and inversely to 3V. Manipulating these formulas and understanding one quantity's relation to another is very important, so your maths should be strong.

Chapter # 11
Questions: 03

When you first read this chapter, your expressions will be... what ever. That's because a lot of the concepts that you have learned in your A-2 chapter of Thermodynamics suddenly get messed up and confusing. So I'll warn you beforehand how this chapter is different from the one we studied back in A'levels. In A'levels, we clearly studied that 'Work done by the gas on a system is taken as negative, whereas work done on the gas by the system is taken as positive." However in FSC, on page number 245, it's written the exact opposite.

Since the concept has been totally reversed, the formulas for the law of thermodynamics are also reversed. I think you'll get to know what I mean when you study the chapter yourself. This chapter will confuse you at first but do it over and over and you will get the hang of it. Cram the values, tidbits and For Your Inforrmation-s. Can't repeat that enough.

• Point (a) is not clearly mentioned in the book, so refer to the KIPS books. It's not very important though.
• Point (b) & (c) are again not in the book. Refer to the KIPS book or read it from your O'levels chapter of 'Temperature'
• Point (d) is covered on page 245 - 248, 252, 254. Heat Engine, Molar Specific Heat are NOT required. But the Thermodynamics scale on page no. 256 is important.
• Point (e) is covered on pages 244 - 245. The graph (figure 11.2) is important too.

The syllabus for Physics part 1 ends here. You should view the part 2 next.

For credits, go to the introduction page.

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