Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Physics 9702 Syllabus 2016 Changes

  • Physics 9702 Syllabus 2016 Changes

Compared to the previous years, there have been some major changes to the Physics 9702 syllabus for examination in 2016, both in the examination structure and in the syllabus content.

The syllabus has been reviewed and reorganised. The key changes are outlined below.

Changes to the exam papers (assessment)
·         Paper 1 (Multiple Choice): Time allowed = 1 hour and 15 minutes (previously: 1 hour). All other aspects of this paper has remained the same.

·         Paper 2 (AS Level Structured Questions): Time allowed = 1 hour and 15 minutes (previously: 1 hour). All other aspects of this paper has remained the same.

·         Paper 3 (Advanced Practical Skills): The generic mark scheme has been adjusted.

·         Paper 4 (A Level Structured Questions): There is no longer be a section A and section B. The question paper has been changed so that the assessment of core and applications will be integrated.
These applications (topics 28 to 30 previously) are mostly still in the syllabus, but the chapters are now more closely related to the appropriate area of physics. e.g instead of being in a separate section called Remote sensing (as it was previously), nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is now part of the section on magnetic fields.

·         Paper 5 (Planning, analysis and evaluation): The generic mark scheme has been adjusted.

Changes to syllabus content

Changes to the wording of learning outcomes for clarification (+ some minor additions).
·         sources of energy loss in a transformer
·         effect of internal resistance of a source of e.m.f. on the terminal p.d.
·         capacitance applied to both isolated conductors and parallel plate capacitors
·         charge on a sphere and mass of a sphere to be taken at its centre
·         thermistor thermometers rather than resistance thermometers
·         definition of the radian
·         introduction of the Boltzmann constant into the kinetic theory of gases.

New learning outcomes have been added to the syllabus content (some new material, with the introduction of extra topics).
·         Doppler shift for a moving source of waves
·         basic ideas about fundamental particles such as quarks and neutrinos
·         band theory of energy levels in solids
·         derivation of the Hall voltage
·         derivation and use of the equation I = nAvq for current-carrying conductors
·         conservation of momentum applied to problems in two dimensions.

Some learning outcomes have been removed from the syllabus content.
·         structure of crystalline and non-crystalline solids
·         distinguishing between the processes of melting, boiling and evaporation
·         force–extension graphs for typical ductile, brittle and polymeric materials, including an understanding of ultimate tensile stress
·         polarisation as a phenomenon associated with transverse waves
·         Millikan’s experiment and evidence for quantisation of charge
·         need for remote sensing in medicine
·         mobile-phone system, public switched telephone network and mobile phone handset.

Some learning outcomes have been moved from AS Level to A Level.
·         concept of internal energy and simple kinetic model for solids, liquids and gases
·         difference in structure and density related to the spacing, ordering and motion of molecules
·         Brownian motion
·         temperature characteristic of a thermistor
·         thermistors and light-dependent resistors in potential dividers providing a p.d. dependent on temperature and illumination
·         simple nuclear reactions and nuclear equations
·         spontaneous and random nature of nuclear decay.

I hope this post can help both teachers and students who are dealing with the physics 9702 course to transition to the new syllabus and plan their work accordingly.


  1. The search feature seems broken. It doesn't show the results

    1. Try it again later, maybe it's just temporary.

      Let me know if it's still not working then.

    2. I've been trying it for a couple of days. It's the same :/

    3. Sorry, but it seems to be a problem with the service provider itself.

      Let me know what you were searching, I'll try to help if possible.

  2. The search feature seems broken. It doesn't show the results

    1. Yeah, it's been some time now.

      But this is a problem with the service provider, I can't really do much about it. Sorry.

  3. Are these changes for all students taking A2 exams?
    For example, what if a student took the AS level exams (Papers 1,2 and 3) in 2015. Will they also face these changes in Papers 4 and 5 in 2016?

    1. Yes, they will need to learn for the new syllabus

  4. Is ultrasound still in syllabus

    1. I believe it's still there since it is not in the list above.


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