Physics - Both ends catered for

5th June 2009 at 01:00

This year's Higher physics offered a reasonably good coverage of the syllabus, given that you cannot cover everything in an exam of two-and-a- half hours, thought Gordon Doig, principal teacher of physics at Ellon Academy.

There were some accessible questions, which would allow some lower achievers to score a few marks, as well as a smattering of quite searching questions which would help "sort out the top end", he said.

The multiple-choice questions were straightforward, although he admits to a personal dislike of "statement" questions in this section which ask, for example: "which of the following three statements are correct?" These require a pupil to keep the information in his or her head at one time rather than know the information.

The written paper began with a "quite searching" kinematics question, particularly the last "explain and justify" part. Less-able candidates might have been put off by starting with such a difficult one.

Mr Doig also felt there was an "unevenness" in the distribution of marks, with a double calculation in the first question in the written paper worth only two marks, while later on, double calculations were worth three. Overall, however, it was still a good paper, he said.

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